By Jack Barnes
With President Donald Trump’s polarizing comments from this past weekend still reverberating across the sports world and beyond, Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo delivers a powerful statement of his own as the NBA heads into the preseason. The multi-talented star releases his second single, “Rope A Dope,” an uplifting track about persevering through hardship that is infused with symbolic meaning in the wake of President Trump’s attack on athletes who have been kneeling during the National Anthem to protest the disproportionate amount of injustices and police brutality against people of color. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
Joining Oladipo on the track is Atlanta’s 2 Chainz, who addresses Trump’s comments head-on with his verse. For Oladipo, however, the song is about bringing people together. “I wanted to address what was going on and bring awareness to it, but in a positive manner,” he says. “I want people to feel inspired and motivated to be great, and to stand up and have confidence. We need to come together as a country to deal with these problems. We aren’t going to solve anything unless we’re united.” “Rope A Dope” is the second single off Oladipo’s debut EP, Songs For You, due out October 6.
Born and raised just outside of Washington, DC in Maryland to immigrant parents, Victor Oladipo would sing in church at 7 or 8 years of age at the request of his mother. A blossoming basketball player, Oladipo’s love of singing was overshadowed by his visibly growing talent. After leading DeMatha High School to a Washington Catholic League Conference victory in his senior year, Oladipo attended Indiana University, where he had yet another fruitful career, eventually becoming Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Finally, Oladipo decided to forego his senior season at Indiana and was second overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2013 NBA Draft. Following the circulation of this TMZ video of Oladipo performing R. Kelly‘s “I Believe I Can Fly,” the basketball star is making moves to catch the attention of fans everywhere with more than just his stellar skills in the paint.
Less than a month ago, Oladipo reinterpreted Donny Hathaway‘s “A Song For You,” passionately covering a verse from the original and appending his own modern narrative to the track’s second half. Last week, the Maryland-native shared the visual for “Song For You,” his first ever music video. The video found Oladipo rocking a low-leaning fedora and an open button down, tinkling the ivories on a brilliant white piano, and serenading the unseen object of his affection in a gorgeous villa.
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Props to V.O.