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On his 2010 track “Thank Me Now,” Drake rapped, “I swear sports and music are so synonymous, ‘cause we want to be them, and they want to be us.” There’s truth to that. There are uncanny similarities between the journeys of an athlete and an artist, so it makes sense that the two are able to see eye-to-eye, and maybe even envy each other’s position at times.
The crossover between sports and music can be as subtle as rappers name-dropping athletes in their songs, or the year’s hottest tracks blaring through stadiums as players are warming up. But every once in a while, the connection can become something deeper. That’s what happened in January with the Michigan State football team and Atlanta rapper Rich Homie Quan. It made everyone involved feel some “Type Of Way.”
Fueled by Dry Branch, Ga., native and All-America cornerback Darqueze Dennard’s love for the hit record, Rich Homie Quan’s “Type Of Way” became Michigan State’s unofficial anthem over the course of the 2013 season. After the Spartans knocked off previously unbeaten Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 7, head coach Mark Dantonio revealed that he was headed to the locker room to dance to the track with his players, giving a shout-out to Rich Homie Quan on national television. That led to the 24-year-old emcee receiving an invitation to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., and following a dramatic 24-20 victory over Stanford, he was brought into the locker room to join in on the boisterous celebration. SI.com connected with Rich Homie Quan at SXSW last month to talk about the once-in-a-lifetime experience.