Hip hop, basketball, and charity are being brought together through the album Full Court Press Volume 1. Helmed by Shannon "Slam" Ridley and Joseph "Screwface" Charles the goal of Full Court is an inspirational, non-profanity laced youth friendly-project. The 10-track album features NBA stars Charlie Villanueva, Stephen Jackson, Louis "Lou" Williams, Shawn Marion, Carlos Boozer, Iman Shumpert, as well as hip hop stars Twista, Ma$e, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Future, Snoop Dogg, Trina, Bun B, Rocko and Royce Da 5'9.
"Slam always wanted to do something. The reason why he created the project is because he’s a single dad, and he has twin boys. He wanted to create something for the boys to listen to. He wanted to create a clean, inspiring, motivational album. He said, ‘Make sure you tell anyone who’s gonna be on the album, nobody curses.’ It was a task, especially with Snoop [Dogg]. But we did it,” says Charles, who also managed Danity Kane and Day 26. “We wanted to get guys that we knew who understood the giveback component. This is a giveback project. There’s a couple of charities that we have associated with it and we wanted to make sure they had some sensibility and mindset. We wanted to find guys that we thought could pull it off as well to make it credible. We wanted to make it where people believed that this was really a project that they should listen to and that the hip hop community would embrace.”
The lead single "I Am Champion", honors the Maverick's hometown of Dallas, featuring hip hop artists T-Pain, Dorrough, Young Cash and Mavericks' baller Shawn Marion. "It’s something that can resonate through sports, it can resonate through community, it can resonate through trial and triumph, it could resonate through real life experiences,” says Charles. “We all felt that would be a really strong record to set the project off."
With singles from Full Court also serving as theme songs for teams and the cities they represent, the NY Knicks’ Iman Schumpert is featured on the song "Welcome to NY" which also includes Ma$e. "I like to be in the lane of that conscious rap. Letting people really know what’s going on," said Schumpert. "You don’t really hear anything from an NBA player. You think you know but you really have no idea what an NBA player actually goes through."
Benefitting organizations like nPlay Foundation which strives to combat childhood obesity, every player involved contributed for free. “Some people were like, ‘Nah we gotta get paid.’ But all the basketball players did this gratis. They literally did it pro bono. They wanted to give back, they wanted to do this and just be part of it,” says Charles, who plans music videos for several singles on the project. “And frankly, if you’re a basketball player rapping the old saying that, ‘Basketball players love rappers, and rappers love basketball players,’ makes it a great project to get any basketball player or rapper to want to do.”
Full Court Press Vol. 1 drops on September 30th.