Texas student uses his sports smarts to spit rhymes about his Longhorns
Ariea Bastami's rap career began when he was 11 but it didn't really take off until last October.
The University of Texas student from Plano has gained as huge following on social media after his sports-themed rap videos started going viral.
The rap video he posted to introduce the NBA season in October has over 200,000 views. Bastami's favorite player, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers, helped blow it up by retweeting the video. Lillard released his second rap album "Confirmed" in September. SBNation using his rap to announce the NBA season didn't hurt either.
"That was crazy as hell," said Bastami, 20.
He started rapping as a kid after falling in love with A Tribe Called Quest, a favorite group of his older brother. His love of sports helped him develop a fondness for sports broadcasters such as Stuart Scott, Scott Van Pelt, and Dan Le Betard, which is why the sophomore is studying journalism in Austin.
"Watching them at a young age molded my drive to get into the industry," he said.
But his rhyming skills may provide an alternate career path. The Texas athletic department reached out to Bastami the same day he posted a video about Longhorns football. Coach Tom Herman was even impressed with his skills.
"It was the coolest thing in the world, I felt like a kid that got the Golden Ticket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," he said.
Bastami has kept his rhymes clean on purpose.
"I think that hip-hop has always had a negative connotation in society for some of the vulgarity and subject matter that's used, though I don't have a problem with it, I understand that some people do," he said. "I always made it a point of emphasis to challenge myself not to use expletives."
His latest rap is about the Longhorns' latest recruiting class in which he includes the names of all 27 recruits. He was invited to visit the football offices last week.
"I met every single coach and lost my mind a couple of times,” Bastami told the Houston Chronicle. "I’d met everyone but Tom Herman. Then he comes out of nowhere, and goes 'Oh my gosh — it's the rapper himself.' When he said that, I lost my head. This is Tom Herman. I just start bowing to him — I'm just being weird as hell — bowing to him. He gives me a bro hug, which was crazy because … I dapped up Tom Herman."
Soon, Bastami might have fans bowing for him.