Damian 'Dame D.O.L.L.A' Lillard's 'The Letter O' Chronicles the NBA Star's Struggles and Triumphs

Damian Lillard in 2016
Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Damian Lillard photographed on Sept. 26, 2016 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Ore.

“I’m like a product of poverty and prodigy”, Dame D.O.L.L.A rhymes on “Bill Walton”, a song inspired by the former Portland Trailblazer, and the opening track of the current Blazer's debut album, The Letter O. "Poverty and prodigy" serve as the dual main themes on the new project, which Dame D.O.L.L.A -- better known to NBA fans as All-Star point guard Damian Lillard - gifted fans on Friday (Oct. 21) at midnight.

The Letter O offers listeners a glimpse into the artist’s life as he recalls his adolescent years, and chronicles the struggles he encountered on his rise to fame. The four-minute narrative “Wasatch Front” is far from typical rap braggadocio, and centers on the area D.O.L.L.A spent most of his time “ripping and running” through during his college days. “I claimed I wanna make it, Phil was first to call my bluff,” he spits on the gritty, jazzy tune, citing his former Weber State University coach Phil Beckner as the reason he’s a star athlete today. “If it wasn’t for Phil I wouldn’t have made it to the league,” he admits in his own Genius annotations for the song.

“Legacy” uncovers a raucous trap arrangement laced with the southern swag of Juvenile -- the man behind the bouncy turn-of-the-millennium party anthem “Back That Azz Up”, which hit No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- before leading into the candid, Lil Wayne-assisted track “Loyal to the Soil,” which boasts messages of authenticity and the two artists remaining “loyal” despite fame. “They said you wanna make it so here's the keys to survival / Get you a work ethic, go about it maniacal”, D.O.L.L.A drops in the second verse. “Look at my demeanor, see loyalty in my background/ Love me cause I'm solid, not because I became a cash cow.”

The 13-track narrative continues to dish out contributors, like R&B newcomer Adrian Marcel and famed singer/songwriter Raphael Saadiq, who assists on the closing track (and recently released single) “Hero."

Listen to Damian Lillard’s debut album The Letter O below.


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