This is Jay Harris. He's one of the top high school wide receiver prospects out of Pennsylvania this year. He's 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, and until last month, was headed to Michigan State University this fall on a football scholarship after graduating Downingtown East High School. Not anymore. Instead, Jay Harris dropped college football to pursue a rap career.
“I’ve been thinking about doing this for a couple of years now,” Harris told the Philadelphia Inquirer today. The rapper, who goes by Jay DatBull, then told the paper that he's wanted to quit the sport for years, but couldn't muster up the courage to tell his parents. That's understandable.
For a parent, it's probably pretty frightening to hear about your kid turning down a full collegiate scholarship to rap. But it sounds like Harris has been burned out for a long time, which happens, and is tired of playing. So he's following his dream.
We listened to his first single, "DatBull 4 Life," wherein he raps about having sex and smoking weed and being awesome. These are all tried-and-true things to do and write music about, so good start, Harris. The video for the song, which went up on YouTube less than three weeks ago, already has over 50,000 views, so it appears the kid has a little bit of a following as well.
The only thing that sucks about all this is that, by the numbers, rapping is a much tougher way to make a living than football. At the start of next year's season, there will be some 1,700 football players on NFL rosters. There aren't 1,700 men and women combined who are making NFL money by rapping.
Harris still unsigned, but his sound is what the kids are listening to these days, so maybe he's got what it takes. His mixtape comes out June 1. Keep an ear out for Jay DatBull, we guess.
UPDATE: The Inquirer is now reporting that Michigan State likely had a hand in Jay Harris's decision. In an updated post, the Inquirer wrote that his explicit rap videos pushed the school to revoke the student's football scholarship. Harris says the choice to pursue rap was his, but a Michigan State spokesman says it was "a mutual decision."