Number 23 for the Houston Texans, Arian Foster used to slash defenses every Sunday. His one-cut bruising style made him a fan favorite running back. Not only could the 6’1″ 230 pound back smash and stiff-arm defenders into oblivion, but he also had the vision, burst, and quickness to become a feared home run hitter. He was a skilled route runner, pass-catcher and blocker. 54 trips to the end zone followed by his signature martial arts bow became a staple sight on Sports Center and game day highlight reels.
His endless ability to play the running back position made him a nightmare for defensive coordinators and earned him a spot on the 2010 All-Pro Team and four Pro Bowl appearances. He’ll always be remembered as one of the all-time greatest undrafted running backs to play the game, but that’s not the only lasting legacy Foster created for himself. Foster A.K.A Bobby Feeno is poised to make real noise in his hip-hop career as well.
Foster’s first love was always music, he told Rich Eisen of The Rich Eisen Show. He’s been writing since he was seven and started recording music as early as 10-years-old. He created a catalog of hundreds of unpolished tracks before a blossoming athletic career took his time away from music. Foster says “he fell in love with the pen first” and it would take a lot more than a decade of punishing years in college football and the NFL to beat the love out of him. Foster retired from the NFL in 2016 and already knew where all his time would be spent, with a pen and in the recording booth. Football’s absence in his life allowed him to ravenously feed his musical passions. They eventually grew into his rap alter-ego Bobby Feeno; an homage to Bobby McFerrin. McFerrin’s claim to fame is “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” but real music historians know him as a genius vocalist and songwriter.
Feeno’s debut project Flamingo & Koval pays tribute to the scene of Tupac’s death, a figure who was tremendously inspirational to him as a youth. The 13 track project is Feeno’s declaration to the world that not all athletes music is trash, in fact, this project is one of the most inspiring, thoughtful, and quality projects I’ve listened to all year.
The project doesn’t sound like a red-shirt mixtape, but a polished album of a 10-year veteran. The years of musical passion and exploration paired with the militant discipline required to become an elite professional athlete propelled Feeno’s musical prowess to a level that’s garnered the respect of hip-hop legends like Scarface and top producers like Hit-Boy and 9th Wonder. “I gotta really come A-game-rap-game, you really can’t play with this kid cause he’ll make you look bad. For real,” Scarface told Uninterrupted.
Flamingo & Koval is filled with jazz-infused heavy instrumentals and thought-provoking poetry about all walks of life. From dark to the joyous, Feeno floats over jazz/hip-hop fusion with relative ease, changing styles on a dime like he’s burning defensive backs in the open-field.
“I gotta really come A-Game-rap-game, you really can’t play with this kid cause he’ll make you look bad. For real”
Feeno’s debut project is a unique take on hip-hop music that reminds me of vintage Jay Z, Kanye West and Kid Cudi projects. This project isn’t just good for an athlete who raps, damn that. This album is quality by any definition of the word.
Bobby Feeno’s Flamingo & Koval is a true audible treat; an ode to classic hip-hop soul, and the best album you probably missed in 2018.