Former football player, Famouz (a.k.a. FMZ), is gearing up to break into the hip-hop industry with his debut album, Ghetto Passport.
From a broke-down project in Shreveport, Louisiana to celebrity status, Famouz has truly been there and done that. Taking his “50 state hustler” mantra to new levels, the rapper played collegiate football for Rutgers University, is a former 4-year veteran NFL football player for the New York Giants (1999-2003), and also played for the Nashville Kats of the Arena Football League.
While there have been a host of former athletes turned entertainment entrepreneurs, Famouz wants to make it clear that he is different from the rest because he was into music before football came a calling. Famouz has actually been rapping since he was 12 years old and even opened up for E-40 at the young age of fifteen.
“I am different from any other athlete that has ventured into the music industry,” asserts Famouz. “First of all, I was a walk on for the NY Giants. I wasn’t drafted and I had to prove myself to make the team every year, as every year I was cut and played my way back on the team.
“Secondly, I wasn’t making a lot of money and the money that I did make went into my passion, which was music. The difference is that music is my passion and my football career just happened to come first. I had the talent to go pro, but music is something that pumps through my blood daily; it keeps me alive. To quiet those people who say that athletes can’t be good at more than one thing is what I intend to do. I’ve proven I can perform at the highest level and produce results in anything that I set my mind to; I’ve been doing it my whole life,” he continued.
His debut album, Ghetto Passport, explains the struggle, experiences and realness of the rapper, entrepreneur / hustler. “Push” (which was inspired by the “get knocked down, get right back up” mentality of NBA Star Dwayne Wade) revolves around the spirit of working hard to get what you want. Famouz also teamed up with Jon Bon Jovi to interpolate Bon Jovi’s classic “Bad Name” with a hip-hop twist. As Famouz explains, the collaboration came to life due to mutual interests.
“I first met Bon Jovi when I was with the Giants, then when I was in the Arena League, I played against the Philly Soul (the team Jon owns) and they were a huge rival of ours. Later on we presented the idea of collaborating to Jon and the rest is history,” said the rapper.
Aside from Bon Jovi, the album also features guest appearances from E-40 and Bun B, but the rest of the 20-track offering will be all Famouz.
In promotion of the new album, the rapper is planning a U.S. club tour, which he says will include some A-List guest stars: “I have a lot of friends that still play football. They know that I’ve been working on this music stuff for along time. I’m not going to mention names right now, but come on, I was a former Giant. But aside from those surprise guests, in the long run, my music will definitely speak for itself.”
Ghetto Passport is slated for release September 25 on World Jam Records.