In case the NCAA is keeping tabs, Rich Paul is eligible to produce music.
The head of the powerhouse agency Kluch Sports will make his producer debut on rapper Fat Joe’s upcoming album, “Family Ties,” which is scheduled for release on Friday, Dec. 6.
Among a tracklist featuring heavy-hitters Eminem, Lil Wayne and Cardi B, Paul earned production credits on the song titled “Hands On You,” alongside Boi-1da, who most notably produced smash hits for Drake.
“Rich Paul’s creativity isn’t just limited to sports and business — he brings strong ideas from a music standpoint too,” Fat Joe told Sports Illustrated on Monday. “Rich is family, so it’s only right that we collaborate with him and Boi-1da on ‘Family Ties’ and this special ‘Hands on You’ record.”
Paul has yet to finish breaking barriers for the modern-day agent as the NBA’s most polarizing figure. After disrupting both the NBA and NCAA models with a near-deal for Anthony Davis at last season’s February trade deadline, the part-time producer’s steps into the music scene follow those of LeBron James, who served as executive producer on 2 Chainz’s album, Rap Or Go to the League and hired his childhood friend from Creative Arts Agency (CAA) to become his agent under the newly created Klutch Sports Group in 2012.
Davis fired his agent before the start of last season and signed to Klutch Sports. In February, the All-Star passed on a five-year, $240 million super-max extension and demanded a mid-season trade with a year and a half left on his Pelicans contract.
“Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him the chance to win consistently and compete for a championship,” Paul told ESPN in late January. “Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that’s the reason for informing them of this decision now. That’s in the best interests of both Anthony’s and the organization’s future.”
The power play produced delayed results after the Pelicans completed a trade with the Lakers for Davis in June. A month and a half later, the NCAA instituted an agent certification program that stated agents must be NCAA-certified (code for “must have a bachelor’s degree”) to represent student-athletes testing for the NBA draft. James led the widespread backlash by dubbing the new criteria “#TheRichPaulRule” in backing his agent, who challenged the NCAA’s logic in an op-ed for The Athletic. The NCAA quickly amended the rules to require “a bachelor’s degree and/or are currently certified and in good standing with the NBPA.”
The Lakers opened the season with a 17-3 record for best in the Western Conference behind Paul’s signees and orchestrated tandem of LeBron and AD.
Who knows what strings Paul will pull behind the scenes on what may be Fat Joe’s final music project.