All a DreamAfter recording a mixtape on a whim, Cal football's Alex Lagemann now moonlights as a rapper and entertainer.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Category: Sports > Fall > Football
Last Saturday, 11:15 p.m.
We're standing on the roof of a frat, the heavy bass and distinct sound of drunken people beneath our feet. You can see the Campanile in the fog. If the roof was 10 feet higher, you would see the city. The only real light is from the flash of the camera.
Be serious. Snap. Stick your tongue out. Snap. Arms in front. Snap. Be yourself.
"I am myself," Alex Lagemann says.
Flash back to two weeks ago.
Thursday, Jan. 28
Someone in the office tells me that Cal wide receiver Alex Lagemann has a rap album. For a columnist, an athlete who thinks he's a rapper is like Christmas come early.
Think about it historically -- Shaq, Deion Sanders, Tony Parker and, of course, Ron Artest. There's no such thing as rap-lete success stories. Now add Loggy and his "chill-hop" to the list and I have next week's Cannon Fodder.
I go home and listen to his stuff. I'm so ready for this to be the worst thing that I've ever heard. But it's catchy, really catchy. In fact, I kind of like it. Damn. You could play this at a party and people would actually like it.
Friday, Jan. 29
I have my people (who am I kidding?) contact his people (Cal media relations) to get something set up.
8 p.m. -- I get a call, it's Loggy. It's kind of unusual for an athlete to call a reporter, but as I'd soon find out, it's just how Lagemann works (Note: Loggy is without a doubt the fastest text message responder ever and not only in the athlete category -- no, he's the fastest of anyone I have ever dealt with).
Tomorrow works for him, 11 a.m., Peet's coffee at Crossroads. Not exactly the place you imagine doing an interview with a rapper, but I'll take it.
Saturday, Jan. 30
8:30 a.m. -- I'm sleeping. My phone's vibrating. It's Loggy. He's a morning person. I'm not. Loggy wants to know if we can do the interview a little earlier. And here I thought he was a party animal.
10:05 a.m. -- My phone's vibrating. Loggy. Do I want anything from Peet's? He's already there. Another athlete first: He's 10 minutes early. At this point, I'm starting to realize that this Loggy character is not the typical athlete or even rapper.
10:15 a.m. -- I get to Peet's. We talked for about 25 minutes. He told me how it all began this past December.
"I was listening to the radio and I kept saying to my roommates that I can't understand how people are being famous," Loggy said. "When you listen to the lyrical content of these people's stuff it makes no sense.
"I sat down and looked at the lyrics of 'Tik Tok' the Kesha song ... and it's literally a third grade poem."
His buddies called him on it, so he recorded 'We Run L.A.' People liked it. And what started out as a friendly challenge turned into a full-blown mixtape over winter break. No studio. Just Loggy in his room fooling around with his Macbook Pro, a computer mic that his mom had lying around and a $10 mic stand.
As for the content of Loggy's songs, he tries to talk about the things that he and his friends have conversations about. And that's what you get when you listen to Loggy.
"I'm a college student just like everyone else, and I know what I say can really speak for our peers," Loggy said. "I'm outgoing, exuberant, spontaneous dude and I go to college. I like to have fun, meet people, go crazy, have a good time and play football.
"I'm not in the ghetto and I'm not on the grind, you know. I write papers."
Lyric-wise, Loggy admits to sensationalizing certain things for effect. But that doesn't mean his lyrics are conscience-free or irresponsible. Lagemann actually called his mom after the mixtape's release, just to make sure that she didn't think that he was a bad kid or anything. Note: She still thinks he's a good kid.
The mixtape titled "Up All Night" was released a little over a week ago and people are loving it.
What's the next step for Loggy?
"There is no doubt that my heart is 100 percent set in football, and school obviously," Loggy said. "So when there's cracks of time, I can fill it up doing this rap stuff."
Meaning that he'll spend the spring trying to promote his music digitally via social networking sites, and also try to get a few shows at frats. Nothing's really set yet, except for a possible show at Blake's before spring break.
I asked if he'd be nervous moving out of his bedroom and onto the stage.
"I caught a ball in front of 70,000 people," Loggy said. "I shouldn't be afraid of playing a frat party in front of 150 drunk people. Most of them will be friends anyway."
And even though Loggy seems to be blowing up with over 3,500 downloads in two weeks, he has no intention to pursue rapping full-time, just yet.
Friday, Feb. 5
My phone's vibrating again. It's Loggy wondering when the photo shoot is going down. He has officially become the most enthusiastic and interested athlete at Cal. It's like the guy is his own media relations department.
I ask if anything new is happening in the world of Loggy, assuming not much with spring conditioning having started earlier in the week. Wrong. He has his first show tomorrow night at Beta.
I have to go, not out of obligation, but because I need to see this.
Saturday, Feb. 6
10:30 p.m. -- Everyone from Kevin Riley to Patrick Christopher to the women's soccer team to the volleyball team to plain old frat boys and sorority girls have shown up to witness the Cal wide receiver become Loggy.
He told people to get there before ten, so the crowd is full and they're getting anxious for Loggy. No one knows what to expect.
In another room, Lagemann's nervous. He's caught passes in front of 70,000 people before, so he said he wouldn't be nervous. Truth is, he hasn't performed like this since the fifth grade.
10:43 p.m. -- Loggy is introduced by some guy who proceeds to shotgun a Sparks. The crowd erupts, everyone seemingly trying to touch him or get a shout out. And here we go.
The makeshift stage looks like it could give at any minute. Regardless, Loggy is rocking his set.
I couldn't tell you if he was off-key. It wouldn't matter anyway; the guy is hitting his lines, working the crowd and killing it like a seasoned vet. Most importantly, the crowd is loving it.
"Up All Night" has been online for two weeks and some people in the crowd knew the words.
11:05 p.m. -- Loggy has just wrapped up the show and his first-ever encore. The set made the party.
11:10 p.m. -- Loggy agrees via text message to an impromptu photo shoot. But where would we do it? Lagemann has an idea: the roof.
So we're back to where we started, letting Loggy be Loggy in front of the camera. He can't keep from smiling. He's shown everybody that he can do it.
And this won't be the last time.
Contact Joseph Cannon at [email protected]
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