Miami Hurricane Standout Is Suddenly An In-Demand, Superhuman, Hip Hop Producer
Chad Thomas is known in the sports world as a starting defensive end for the Miami Hurricanes and a former five-star recruit out of Booker T. Washington High in Miami. Off the field, he’s recognized as a local producer that goes by “Major Nine.” The senior’s profile is steadily rising in both realms, causing Miami underground hip-hop artist Ice Berg to label Thomas “superhuman” for his numerous talents.
As Thomas, 21, begins spring practice this week with the Hurricanes, Major Nine made a significant career breakthrough. He produced the opening track, “Apple of My Eye,” on hip-hop artist Rick Ross’s new album, “Rather You Than Me,” establishing a relaxing, yet rugged, tone to Ross’s ninth solo album in the biggest moment to date for the young producer.
Thomas exists at the intersection of South Florida’s subcultures, with football and hip-hop among its biggest influences. It’s often overlooked by those who accociate the city with the South Beach lifestyle mostly enjoyed by tourists, but it can be spotted across Biscayne Bay in Liberty City, a predominately African American community where Thomas grew up. The neighborhood is known for its poverty and crime, but rarely for the beauty produced through its perseverance.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, Trick Daddy, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Trina all call Liberty City home. These neighborhood idols instilled hope in Thomas, who finished second on the Hurricanes with 4.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss last season as one of Miami’s top defensive playmakers. He’s currently majoring in sociology with a minor in music business.
Listed at 6 feet 6 and 265 pounds, Thomas aspires to play in the NFL after his senior season, while continuing to make beats with his friends and help them stay off the streets (he’s currently in the process of building his own studio). In a 30-minute conversation with Thomas, we discussed his relationship with Ross, his passion for music and football and how he manages to find time for both in college.
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