SMNTCS Original: Clint Dempsey Talks UGK

Monday, 22 February 2016 1306 Views 0 Comments
Sama'an with US Men's National Team Captain, Clint Dempsey.

Sama’an with US Men’s National Team Captain, Clint Dempsey.

Maybe you wouldn’t suspect the captain of the U.S. Men’s National Team to be a big fan of the pioneering Texas rap duo, UGK, but then you would be wrong. Once you spend time talking with Clint Dempsey, a native of Nacogdoches, Texas, it becomes quite clear. The current Seattle Sounders star midfielder comes from very humble beginnings; growing up in the tiny, working class town of Nacogdoches, he identified with the lyrics he heard on “Hi Life,” a track from UGK’s magnum opus, Ridin’ Dirty.

Sitting in the studio at DJ Skee’s SKEE TV, Dempsey rapped lines from Bun B’s “Hi Life” verse, “Who gives a damn if you can’t afford a turkey or ham / livin’ off of ramen noodles, beef jerky, and Spam / now that’s sad, but that’s a fact of life”

Dempsey’s small town upbringing makes him one of the most humble folks you’ll ever meet. He’s one of the saviors of the MLS, and, against Ghana in 2014, set a World Cup record for quickest goal scored (just 30 seconds into the match); but, off the field, Dempsey is still that bright-eyed kid from Nacogdoches.

“I’m a kid from a small town,” says Dempsey, “To make it, you really gotta put in the effort, you gotta grind, and you gotta go through the trial and error of making mistakes.”

After the Sounders’ trouncing of the now defunct Chivas USA, we’re sitting around a friend’s apartment with DGK brand manager, and childhood friend, Mike Chehade, Dempsey quips, “Y’all don’t want to freestyle right now?” Before busting out an impromptu flow.

Hanging with Dempsey is like coming back to the small town you grew up in for a reunion with your high school friends, there’s no awkwardness, no superficial conversation– you’re all just happy being able to share each other’s company.

— Sama’an Ashrawi

PS thanks to Rob and Adam at MTV News for premiering this interview.


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