Odell Beckham Jr. knows what it's like to be Drake – after all, they both broke onto the scene in spectacular fashion.For Drizzy, it was with his Grammy nominated studio debut, Thank Me Later. For the Giants' receiver, it was with a sensational one-handed catch in a prime-time game against the Dallas Cowboys last year, a grab so great it's yet to be duplicated (or even replicated, for that matter). With one play, ODB became a star, but that instant fame has also come with a downside: It seems that the entire NFL is ready to dismiss him as a fluke…and, if you've ever listened to a Drake album, you know he's dealt with the same pressures.
"Whether he knows it or not, he motivates me," Beckham says. "'Energy' is one of his songs I'll listen to before the game. [When] he's talking about, 'Got a lot of people trying to drain me of this energy,' he's talking about what's inside of him that makes him who he is. It does get draining, because you want to give that to people, you want to see other people be great as well. I'm waiting for somebody to come along and do some crazy catch!"
In the latest installment of The Die-Hards, a four-part video series that brings athletes and musicians together to celebrate fandom in all its forms, Beckham reveals how Drake's lyrics drive him to excel on the football field – and inspire him to remain true to himself off of it.
"A lot of his songs, it's almost as if he wrote them and had me in mind," Beckham says. "All of his music was about what he's experienced or what he's gone through – he's never tried to put on; he's always been exactly who he said he was...it's about taking a leap of faith, being bold, being who you are."
Of course, though his breakout catch has the rest of the NFL gunning for him, Beckham isn't about to complain about his newfound celebrity status. Turns out, there are a few benefits to being a star – like getting to hang out with your heroes.
"I've been to [Drake's] shows, kinda became friends, just hung out with him a few times," Beckham says. "We have respect for each other. Like he said, 'If I die, I'm a legend.' He's a legend forever."
James Montgomery | rollingstone.com | October 28, 2015