- The long-rumoured rap collaboration between Kevin Durant and LeBron James has finally leaked in full.
- The recording, titled “It Ain’t Easy,” was recorded in 2011 during the NBA lockout.
- Producer Franky Wahoo finally released the track after leaking a 30-second clip of the track during the 2017 NBA Finals.
Keeping in the time-honored tradition of NBA players trying their hands at rapping, the long-rumoured collaboration between LeBron James and Kevin Durant is finally online.
The song was recorded during the 2011 NBA lockout, with the two superstars getting together in Cleveland at Spider Studios to each contribute a verse.
You can listen to “It Ain’t Easy” here.
The track was rumoured for some time until the 2017 Finals, when producer Franky Wahoo released a snippet of the song, adding that he would release the whole thing if the post reached 1 million retweets.
— Spider Studios (@SpiderStudiosOH) June 5, 2017
While the goal of 1 million retweets was never reached, Wahoo quietly decided to release the track on SoundCloud a week ago.
As Jabbari Weekes at Noisey notes, there’s a business reason for the song’s release.
James’ agent Rich Paul proposed Wahoo at first that the song might be used as a part of “NBA 2K19,” either in a commercial or as “background music.” That plan wouldn’t come to fruition, but in the meantime, more and more people were hearing and playing the song, and Wahoo worried that a full leak was becoming inevitable, so he decided to release the song himself to ensure he was able to preserve his producer credit.
“We were like ‘well we sit on it we do nothing, they leak it I don’t get production credit,'” Wahoo said, per Noisey. “In the industry, you have to protect yourself first so I’m like ‘what if I just put it on Soundcloud?’ The worst thing that could happen is that [James’ agent] Paul would take it down.”
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