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Athletes & Music: Q&A with Chicago Cubs' OF Darnell McDonald
Swag Sold Separately

Athletes & Music: Q&A with Chicago Cubs’ OF Darnell McDonald


Darnell McDonald

Running a music blog isn’t easy; the competition is fierce, the barrier to entry is non existent and the notion that we all make a ton of money couldn’t be the farthest from the truth. With that being said, I am always trying to think of a way to separate Swag Sold Separately from the competition; and recently I had thoughts about Athletes and Music. You see rappers and musicians at sporting events regularly; from Drake being at Miami Heat games to Jon Bon Jovi at Patriots games, it has been a topic of discussion for quite some time. Athletes want to be musicians and musicians want to be athletes. The idea then came to me to create a series of interviews with Athletes and how music affects them on a daily basis, how it inspires them and what they are currently listening to.

A few months back one of my favorite baseball players, Darnell McDonald, gave me a follow on Twitter, and I thought to myself ‘Who better than DMac to introduce the new series?’. Darnell has been playing baseball professionally since 1998, shortly after he was drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft in 1997 by the Baltimore Orioles.

Now, as most of you know, we at Swag Sold Separately are based out of Boston and Darnell played for the Red Sox from 2010-2012 and became a fan favorite. Despite not being an everyday player it always felt like DMac was coming up in big spots and delivering. You couldn’t help but love the fact that he was always smiling, having fun and truly enjoying playing the game. I coach a 13 year old AAU baseball team and always point out guys like Darnell, Dustin Pedroia, Derek Jeter, Gabe Kapler, etc; guys who play the game the right way, run every ground ball out and make the most out of every play.

I have been following DMac on Twitter (@MacDime54) for quite some time and it is pretty easy to see that two things are extremely important to him, music and his family. Darnell was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for us, check it out and be sure to give him a follow on Twitter!

Q&A with Darnell McDonald

Q: Thanks for taking some time to sit down and answer some questions for us. First off, how have things been so far this offseason? What are you looking forward to most in 2014?

A: The off season is going well. I Love being able to take my kids to school and be involved in their lives on a daily basis. I’m looking forward to returning to Chicago and helping our organization get to the next level.

Q: Having spent 3 seasons in Boston was it bittersweet seeing them win it all this season?

A: Not at all.  In fact I was very excited for the city of Boston. To see what they went through earlier in the year with the marathon and to watch everyone pull together in a tough times, shows what the city is about.  They call them Boston Strong for a reason. Boston was very good to my family and I.  We met a lot of great friends there. The Red Sox is an organization of integrity & class, they know how to treat their players.  I was also happy for my boys. Now do I wish I was getting some champagne poured in my locs? Hell YES!!!  I understand that everything happens for a reason.  Cheers to Bean town!  

Q: Ok, enough with the baseball questions, on to music. In general, how important is music in your daily life?

A: Music is life. Meaning no matter what you’re going through, you can always find a song that sings to you and your situation. Not sure what I would do without music.

Q: What artists have influenced you the most? What have they inspired you to do?

A: So many different artist have inspired me along my journey. Especially, anyone that has come from a bad situation in life and has used music to turn that around and help others to do the same. Bob Marley’s music probably has had the biggest influence on me. His music transcends race, religion, sex, age etc… Most importantly, he’s taught me to be strong and appreciate the journey of life.

Q: Currently, who are your favorite Artists? Favorite/ Most played songs on your iPhone?

A: I listen to everything. I still bump a lot of old school artists. Since it’s the off season and I’m in grind mode, I’m playing a lot of Jay-Z, YG, Rich Homie Quan, 2pac

Q: Just by looking at your social media outlets it is easy to see you are extremely proud to be a father; with that being said it is conscious decision to listen to music that is positive and not parental advised?

A:  While I’m in the car with my girls, we listen to age appropriate music. We listen to a lot of reggae, oldies and radio Disney.  It is definitely a conscious decision I make.

Q: There is a lot of time that you spend at the park before games, how does what you listen to change as the day progresses? (Driving to the park, Locker room, Stretching/ BP, closing minutes before the game starts, etc.)

A: I like to play music for my teammates when we get to the yard. When we first get there I might have some Bob Marley on or maybe like some Red Hot Chili peppers or Marvin  Gaye,  but as we get closer to the game that’s when it changes to Jeezy, Eminem, Jay-Z…

Q: Having played college baseball myself, I can attest to how important walk out music was for me personally. How much does that 7-10 second clip mentally prepare you for your at bat?

A:  Yes it’s just a little something extra to get you in your zone. I also think it gives the fans a chance to get to know  a little more about you.

Q – How do you go about choosing your song?

A: It depends how I’m feeling at that time. Or, how I want the pitcher to know I’m feeling!!

 Q – What’s it like on the road? Ever just get stuck with an awful song? 

A:  I don’t worry about the music on the road. One of the livest parks i’ve ever played in though was Dodger stadium. What an experience, it was exciting playing there.

Q -It is well known that every time Pedroia steps to the play you can hear Snoop Dogg blasting at Fenway; is he really a Snoop fan?

A: I’m not sure you’ll have to ask him. I do think he is from Cali though

 Q – Who is one player you would trust to pick your walk out music?

A: Big Papi. One word. Swag

Q-Who is one player you would never let choose your walk out music?

A:  Probably Josh Beckett. No disrespect. I like some country. I just couldn’t have it as my walk out

Q: ESPN glorifies the idea that Athletes want to be musicians and musicians want to be Athletes. Is this true? If so, what type of music would you play? 

A: I think so, because, personally, I would’ve loved to be a rockstar. Probably play drums or acoustic guitar

Q: Who is one artist you would love to go on a tour with? 

A: Lenny Kravitz 

Q: One Artist you would give anything to talk about life with? 

A: Bob Marley

Q: Last question – Game 7 of the World Series, bases loaded, 2 outs, down by one. Whats playing when you walk to the plate?

A: Eminem “Cinderella Man” classic


MK3 is the Creator and founder of Swag Sold Separately. He has worked with everyone from J. Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller, Chiddy Bang to Outasight, Sammy Adams, Hoodie Allen, Mike Stud, Timeflies, Radical Something and many more. He is the manager of Lost Hearts & Academy. When he isn't writing, he DJ's, is a photographer and videographer. Hit him up on Google+
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