Courtesy of WWE

“Seven years ago, I was in a suicidal state,” Rush said. 

By Justin Barrasso
August 05, 2019

Lio Rush is on a sabbatical from WWE, but he is making the most of his time away.

Rush, who last appeared on WWE programming during the April 15 edition of Monday Night Raw, just released his hip hop single “Scenic Lullaby.”

“I’ve always had more than one goal,” said Rush. “Yes, my goal is to be a professional wrestler and accomplish big things, but another goal has always been to work in the music industry. That’s what I’m doing with ‘Scenic Lullaby.’”

The song reintroduces Rush to a wrestling audience that has been questioning his status with WWE for the past three and a half months, but also provides a look into Rush’s psyche.

Scenic Lullaby is a first-person account of Rush’s darkest days and the pain he continues to carry.

“Seven years ago, I was in a suicidal state,” said the 24-year-old Rush. “There was a point in time where I was hospitalized for a few days because I was in such a bad state. It was really hard to continue, but I made the decision that I wouldn’t give up. I decided to keep pushing forward.”

Creating the song sparked Rush’s creativity. The son of two gospel singers, Rush’s childhood bedroom sat atop his father’s recording studio, so recording sessions served as one of the backgrounds to his childhood. But life was far from perfect for the Maryland native, as his struggles with mental health were an integral piece of his past.

“There was a point when I wanted to give up on my dreams, just give up on everything, I wanted to give up on life,” said Rush. “Writing the lyrics to ‘Scenic Lullaby’ was therapeutic to me. I put my words to music so others could feel my struggle, understand why I am who I am, and feel what I feel on a daily basis. I wanted to give people something they could feel.”

Rush (born Lionel Green) is well known to the wrestling world after his run as Bobby Lashley’s manager in WWE. Never known for his promos, Rush excelled with a microphone in his hand as the antagonistic mouthpiece for Lashley, adding a new flair to the muscled powerhouse. Rush is also highly talented in the ring, delivering a combination of athleticism and flexibility few others possess.

But being misunderstood represents a key part of Rush’s past and present, and Scenic Lullaby serves as a chance to share a segment of his past.

“It’s real and it’s raw,” said Rush. “I wanted to make sure I expressed my emotion in the video and the lyrics,” said Rush. “I wanted my music to tie into the cover, which has a throwback feel with me as a kid with my sister. That’s why there is a scene in the video where I sat on a swing at a playground, reminiscing about the old days. There’s another scene where I’m sitting on the bathroom floor. That represented the lowest point of my life.

“All of my hard times have produced good things, and that’s my art, music, and work on-screen. Those times have helped fuel my fire.”

A misunderstanding is a plausible reason why Rush is no longer on-screen working alongside Lashley. Rush is a devoted husband and father of two children, yet deemed by some in WWE as too green—or stubborn—to adhere by the unwritten rules of the industry.

Rush’s passion can never be questioned, whether that pertains to wrestling or his music. His greatest passion is his family, and he dedicated Scenic Lullaby to his two sons.

“I want my children to be able to listen to this song one day and know that I worked very hard,” said Rush, whose children are six and one. “I want them to know that I worked their whole life to provide for them and set a good example.”

Rush is still under WWE contract and understands that people will continue to ask when he will return to the company. He credits the skills learned on-screen in WWE with the development of his new single.

“Being around music my whole life, I’ve been exposed to so many different styles of music, and that helped me create ‘Scenic Lullaby,’” said Rush. “And my performance in the WWE has definitely helped me, especially at conveying emotion through a certain lens.

While there is no specific timetable for his return to WWE, Rush has no doubt that there will come a time when he is back in the ring.

“Right now, I’m spending time with my family and working on other projects,” said Rush. “But being a pro wrestler has been my dream since I was five years old, and my heart is still in it. I’m only 24 years old. I’m still going to pursue a career in professional wrestling. I have a lot of time in front of me.

“I’m still going to wrestle. This is not the end for me. I’m working on my music, I miss wrestling to death, but maybe this [break from WWE] happened to give me time to accomplish some of my goals in music.”

“Scenic Lullaby” is now available, and Rush eagerly awaits the chance to share his passion with the world.

“It’s something relatable, it’s something that people can feel,” said Rush. “‘Scenic Lullaby’ is authentic, it’s my story, and I hope people check it out.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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