Even though he’s played exotic venues around the globe, multiplatinum-selling rapper Flo Rida still marvels at his surroundings whenever he visits ESPN’s studios in Connecticut or California.
“I’m always intrigued by all of this. It’s amazing to see,” ESPN Music’s “Artist of the Month” said after his Tuesday Car Wash appearances in Bristol, Conn. “My social media team and my family are tuned into every show. A lot of my friends and family wish they could be here today, because they want the chance to go head-to-head with [First Take commentator] Skip Bayless and they love Mike & Mike. We love all of the shows.”
Three songs from his new album “My House” – including the title track – will be heard throughout ESPN’s April programming. His hit single “GDFR” – or “Goin’ Down For Real” – has been the theme for the NBA On ESPN promos.
– Flo Rida on the opportunities ESPN’s Car Wash presents celebrities who want to talk about sports
The Miami native and longtime Heat fan knows the injury-plagued team’s 2015 playoff prospects are dim, but he sees hope for the future. He raves about young Heat center Hassan Whiteside, whose surprising play briefly revived the Heat’s chances after an ailment sidelined Chris Bosh: “[Whiteside is] like an angel from above. At the rate he’s going, I look at him becoming one of the greatest centers of our time.”
Flo Rida has sports takes by the dozens, which he enjoyed sharing especially with his ideal choice for a SportsCenter co-anchor, First Take host Cari Champion.
“She likes to get a little feisty with the debates and at the same time,” he smiles, “who wouldn’t want to work next to a beautiful woman?”
Fellow rapper Wale, whose collaboration with Stalley “Every Word Great” serves as First Take’s theme music, was also in Bristol on Tuesday.
Flo Rida appreciates the platform ESPN and the Car Wash provides for celebrities like himself who once were aspiring athletes but remain ardent sports fans.
“My first love was basketball. I’m pretty sure for [Wale], it was football,” Flo Rida said. “It’s amazing that we could be a part of something that we love in another way versus the way we [originally] sought out to do it.”