LEXINGTON, Ky. — Benny Snell wasn’t yet in high school when former Kentucky safety Marcus McClinton rapped ‘Believe’ in the locker room.
It came before the Wildcats’ 42-29 win over Arkansas on Sept. 22, 2007.
“And that Kentucky blue, how that jersey feel?
Cause this is our state. It’s not Louisville.
So jump around, get crunk and knock some heads off.
See when the time work out, we done pay the cost.
Snell knows McClinton as “that guy who hypes us up in the fourth quarters.” McClinton comes on the field at Wildcats home games and fills Commonwealth Stadium with a pumped-up screaming frenzy.
Snell wants to recreate what McClinton brought to the locker room during his playing days.
“In 2007 this dude has rapping videos on YouTube giving motivation,” Snell said. “I’m like, ‘OK, this is a little tradition. Let me try to extend it out.’ ”
Snell started rapping in high school. In February, he released a track called “Like I Do” on Soundcloud under the name “Benny Tha Bandit.”
“Been struggling all my life just to make it out.
More fans showing up to see what all the talk’s about.
If football don’t work, you know I’ve got to take the lyric route.
When against my team, boy, you know that’s a three-and-out.”
Snell, a star sophomore running back, recently changed his major to media audio software (MAS) instead of communications. He will take production classes and work on his own songs. For now, friends are helping with the production.
“I would say it’s an undercover passion,” Snell said. “Football’s always first, but I enjoy it.”
Snell writes his own songs and makes sure to include football references. He broke Kentucky’s freshman rushing record last season en route to 1,091 yards for the season. He enters 2017 as Kentucky’s backfield leader after Boom Williams left for the NFL draft.
Snell endeared himself to Kentucky football fans, and the next step is to widen his rap audience. Snell said he is trying to convince people to let him do a show Friday night after the Blue-White spring game.
“Just for the fans, and it’s free,” Snell said with a laugh.
While the spring game show isn’t likely to happen, Snell and senior wide receiver Dorian Baker said to watch for videos during the season.
Baker was among the first to hear Snell’s “Like I Do.”
“We all about to be featured on it,” Baker said. “The next tape’s coming soon from the whole team this time.”
It could be a flashback to McClinton’s Wildcats of 2007.
“Behind this rap stuff, there’s a meaning,” Snell said. “I’m just trying to carry on a legacy.”