The Hurricane defensive end produced the album’s “Apple of My Eye.”
College football players have a lot on their plates to begin with, between daily practices and workouts, film sessions, and a full class schedule. But one college football player, Miami starting defensive end Chad Thomas, has managed to balance all this while becoming one of the hottest up-and-coming producers in the Miami, Fla. hip-hop scene.
The Washington Post recently interviewed Thomas, whose producer name is “Major Nine.” Thomas’ most recent production is Rick Ross’ “Apple of My Eye,” which is the opening track on his new album Rather You Than Me, that was released just last week.
Apple of my eye produced by Miami’s own @MajorNine .
I thank you.
— Yung Rénzél (@rickyrozay) March 19, 2017
So how did this pair come together? Thomas, who has recorded 62 total tackles during his Miami career, said that he first met Ross through one of his high school teammates, back when he was a five-star recruit out of Booker T. Washington High School. A woman who worked with Ross had a son on his team, and she set up a meeting with Ross at a local Dave & Buster’s.
I met Ross in high school, and we kinda connected. He treated me like his little brother. He knew I was into music, and he knew I was into rapping. I don’t think he really knew I made beats and all that. I like doing that more than rapping. We did a song with Lil Dred called “Hurt Nobody” probably a year back. That was the first time he was on my beat, but it wasn’t his song. Sam Sneak, his DJ, kept hitting me up saying, “Send me some beats.” He never told me what it was for. I’d send him everything I made. Out of nowhere, he called me and said, “I got him on your beat.”
— MajorNine (@MajorNine) March 19, 2017
Thomas says he first recognized how much his music could impact and reach other people during the Under Armour Combine back in 2014. He also says making music is something he can fall back on when his football career ends one day.
We were on the bus one day, and I heard people from other states talking me like, “Bro, I listen to your music.” That blew my mind. Then, I’m watching what other people can do. I know football players that can build guns. I know other football players that can rap and make music that sounds good. A lot of people don’t know Jabrill Peppers knows how to rap. He just declared for the NFL, but he’s nice. There’s so many that take on other talents because football is “not for long.” Our bodies are going to give out on football one day, and I know we can’t just sit around.
Miami underground hip-hop artist Ice Berg has even called Thomas “superhuman” for his production skills. I think it’s safe to say Thomas’ rap production career is off to a solid start, being backed by one of hip-hop’s biggest names in Rick Ross.
You can listen to the uncensored version of “Apple of My Eye,” which Thomas produced, for Ross’ new album below.