Miami

Miami starting DE Chad Thomas finding success as hip-hop producer

chad thomas
COURTESY OF MIAMI ATHLETICS

Miami defensive end Chad Thomas enters spring practice as the Hurricanes’ starting defensive end. The former five-star prospect was second on the team in sacks (four) and tackles for loss (11) in 2016.

Off the field, Thomas is gaining a reputation as a local hip-hop producer known as “Major Nine.”

Thomas, 21, who starred in high school at Miami’s Booker T. Washington High, has been acclaimed by Miami underground hip-hop artist Ice Berg as “superhuman,” and should continue to gain recognition after producing the opening track, “Apple of My Eye,” on Rick Ross’ new album “Rather You Than Me.”

I was too happy,” Thomas told the Washington Post about his opportunity to work with Ross, whom he met in 2014. “It dropped a week after my mama’s birthday, and I wanted to surprise her with it. I couldn’t even wait until the day of the album. I just told my mom I made a beat for Ross, and it’s going to be on his intro. I told my daddy, and he said we’ve gotta print the check stubs and frame that. We’ve gotta go buy the hard copy.

“It made me drop a tear. The song really touched me. It spoke my life. Then to think that I made the beat, just to come from where I’m from in Miami in Liberty City, a lot of people don’t get opportunities like this. When they do, they either mess it up or somebody messes it up for them. I felt blessed for that opportunity.”

Thomas, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound senior, said he aspires to play in the NFL after his final season at Miami while continuing to produce. He said he is in the process of building his own studio, which he intends to be an outlet for his friends in Liberty City to stay off of the streets.

“There’s so much talent in Miami when it comes to rapping and football,” Thomas said.

Ross is another example of that. He played at Miami Carol City, then at Division II Albany State under his real name, William Roberts II.

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