Lecrae, Ruslan and more Christian hip-hop artists’ music sounds throughout the Oakland Raiders’ stadium during the NFL season thanks to wide receiver Brice Butler.
Butler, who the Raiders drafted in 2013, is best known for his breakneck speed. He is less known for another of his passions, hip hop.
“You’ll almost never catch me without my headphones,” he said.
Growing up, Buter’s parents had his music “under wraps.” With a father as an ordained minister and mother who worked for Baptist pastor Charles Stanley, Butler was introduced to Christian hip hop at a young age. The Christian hip hop he was introduced to, though, he hated — until his freshman year at USC when a fellow football player played “Air Jordan” by K-Drama in the locker room.
“Yo! Who is that?” Butler said. “That dude is pretty good.”
Butler soon discovered and became fans of other artists like Lecrae, Tedashii and theBREAX.
In 2011, Butler graduated with a year of college football eligibility left, so he enrolled in a master’s program at San Diego State, where he played his senior season and became friends with Ruslan, Beleaf and John Givez. They stayed in touch after the Raiders drafted Butler, and, last year, he made a cameo appearance 2:54 into Beleaf’s “Take No Days Off” music video. The video shows Butler doing football workouts while Beleaf raps.
Over the past couple of years, Butler has taken his love of hip hop beyond being a mere listener. He became interested in DJing after a friend introduced him to turntables. His wife later bought him a DJ controller, and the rest is history.
Under the moniker “DJ Duffle Bag,” Butler has been honing his DJ skills and has had the opportunity to DJ various events. He considers it a hobby, but, as a competitor, he wants to strive to be the best he can be.
On the turntables, in the locker room and in the stadium, Butler has introduced quite a few Raiders teammates and fans to the subgenre he once said, “You couldn’t pay me to listen to.”
In addition to Lecrae and Ruslan, artists like Andy Mineo and Tedashii have all been played over the loudspeakers at the Raider’s home stadium, O.co Coliseum, which holds over 60,000 people.
There may be no better Raider to trust with the pregame playlist. Few athletes take music as seriously as DJ Duffle Bag.
“Music can affect your mood,” Butler said. “That’s why music is so serious. We all know the chief angel that had control over music in Heaven before he got kicked out. Music can affect you positively, and we know how music can affect you negatively.”
Follow Butler on Twitter: @Brice_Butler