The offseason can be a boring time for Cincinnati Bengals fans, but it is a time of year for NFL players to pursue passions outside of football. Some players spend time with their families, some go back to school, and some decide to launch record labels.
That’s what Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will be doing this summer as he follows his passion while helping a long-time friend realize his dream of making it as a professional musician.
Kirkpatrick’s label, Supa Team Muzik, will soon release an album from J-Ova, the only artist on the label, and a friend of Kirkpatrick's since his days at Alabama.
“I just vibe out, make sure everything is going right, make sure it sound good and be a hard critic,” Kirkpatrick told Paul Dehner Jr. and Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com of his role. “I don’t want to be the best friend critic because the best friend critic don’t make you no money.”
So far, it seems as though J-Ova’s progress has been encouraging, suggesting a successful business venture could be coming for Kirkpatrick and his friend.
“I feel confident,” Kirkpatrick said. “I feel like he’s matured to that level. He came to me and said I want to pursue music. For us to hit play on it now, I just feel like the timing is right.”
Many Bengals players have found hobbies away from football to pursue during the offseason. For defensive end Carlos Dunlap, that was getting an MBA last offseason. Former Bengals receiver Chad Johnson famously replaced kicker Shayne Graham on an extra point and a kickoff, later admitting his first love was soccer, despite making the choice to pursue football professionally. He even earned a tryout with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer during the 2011 lockout.
For Kirkpatrick, had he not found success in the NFL, he says he would have attempted a career in the music business. He and J-Ova are currently working on releasing the artist’s first studio album during the Bengals’ summer break. It seems like a solid pursuit for Kirkpatrick to follow in the offseason, allowing him to multitask while still training and preparing for the NFL season.