A little over a month ago, while in the backseat of a car headed from New York to Philadelphia, Eagles star running back LeSean McCoy picked up the phone and spoke with our friends down the hall at XXL Magazine.
A hip-hop heavy portion of that interview is featured in the Drake-covered September issue of XXL. The rest of it—what was left on the cutting room floor—is featured here.
A lot has happened— from Jeremy Maclin’s torn ACL to the never-ending quarterback controversy to Riley Cooper’s caught-in-the-act moment—since McCoy, aka Shady, spoke with XXL. Much of what he said, though, still rings true.
So if you want to hear McCoy’s take on all things Eagles, and if you want to hear his predictions for the upcoming season, be sure to read below. And, no doubt, be sure to peep the new issue of XXL.
* * *
Q: You grew up in Harrisburg, right, so what was the music there like at the time?
A: We had a lot of Philly. So that whole era with Freeway and ’em, tons of that. I was a big Roc fan for sure.
Q: Then you went to Pitt for school, so what were you listening to there?
A: Well Wiz, when he first came out, I heard some of his stuff in college. I was already familiar with him and I knew a lot of his stuff was hot. When he came out and everybody was like, ‘That Wiz is hot!’ it was weird ’cause I had already heard of Wiz. But Wiz, Wiz is tight.
Q: I’ve been reading that Coach Chip Kelly likes to play a lot of music during practice. I also heard it’s mostly oldies and rock. How do you feel about that?
A: Oh, somebody’s been telling you a lie [laughs]. Yo, the majority of music is hip-hop with Coach Kelly.
A: Oh my God, yeah. We be out there jamming. You can name any artist and he knows.
Q: You saying he’s a hip-hop head?
A: Yeah [laughs]. I don’t know what it is, but he has that young energy to him.
Q: Who makes that playlist that he blasts during those open practices?
A: See, I don’t know that. But whoever it is, it’s good. It’s good music.
Q: Who controls the music in the locker room?
A: As far as in the locker room, you’re talking to the right man. That’s me—I got the controller rocking, as far as the new music, who’s hot, who’s not. There’s always tons of arguments, guys want to hear that and hear this, but I have fun with it.
Q: How’d you get control of the locker room’s music? That’s like better than being the captain of the team.
A: I dunno. It’s my fifth year that I’m gonna be there, and we’re a young group, and I probably have the most swag style, you know, in the young group.
A: Yeah, every once in a while we throw a Jaccpot song on. I mean DeSean, he’s from L.A., so he loves all the L.A. music—and he has his own little group.
Q: I know he messes around in the booth, what about you?
A: Nah, not really. I mean, I’m supposed to get in the booth with Meek Mill and ’em, but I got to get my lyrics up a little bit unless I let him ghostwrite for me.
Q: What’s it like for you when you hear a rapper namedrop you, be it in a verse or an interview or whatever? What’s that feeling like?
A: It’s crazy, man. You grow up listening to so many different rappers use different athletes names or scenes in a movie, you know what I mean, so for them to do it to your name is kinda cool. It’s like a sign of respect.
Q: I can only imagine. And you were saying that you’re cool with Meek?
A: Yup, Meek’s a cool dude. He’s from Philly and I’m an athlete in Philly, and we pass quite a bit, we’ve partied a couple of times. He’s a cool dude, artist. It’s always right when we link up.
Q: What else you do listen to these days?
A: I listen to a lot of Meek; obviously Jay-Z and Kanye together; TI, TI’s definitely hot; Future, Future is definitely doing his thing; a little Wiz; but I always keep that 50 Cent on deck, though. That’s my favorite rapper of all time, my biggest childhood idol. I listen to a little 2 Chainz, no doubt.
Q: You’re sort of known for you touchdown celebrations and end zone dances. Are you the best dancer on the team?
A: I can’t lie to you—the best dancer probably goes to DeSean Jackson. He’s got all types of dances. I guess, ’cause he’s from L.A., he’s got the C Walk, the Crip Walk, and all that.
Q: When y’all are in the club together though, you still probably hold it down.
A: Nah, yo. I’ve got to give it to DeSean. He do all types of dances.
Q: Yeah. But you’re just posted up in a booth or on a couch enjoying, probably.
A: Yeah, a little bit. I do my thing. I do my thing in the club. You know what I’m saying, I’ve got a little bounce to me.
Q: What’s your favorite city just to chill in?
A: That’s tough, man. I love Philly, I have good times in Miami, and in New York in Manhattan. So, I don’t know. That’s tough. I can give you a couple of answers off of that one.
Q: 50 was your favorite artist, so who was your favorite football player coming up?
A: Barry Sanders, running back for the Detroit Lions. He was my favorite, yup.
Q: People say that they see some of his style in you. Do you think you play like him at all?
A: You know what, I don’t see. Maybe it’s because I’m playing, but that’s always been my idol growing up so it’s hard to put us together. I put him on such a high pedestal that nobody can reach him, not even myself.
Q: I hear. So you scored 20 touchdowns two years ago, what goals are you setting for yourself this year?
A: I’m trying to get back to that. Last year I got a little hurt, and I didn’t get to finish my season. This year I want to make sure I get back to the top of the charts. I want 24 touchdowns.
Q: And how many yards? Adrian Peterson is talking about rushing for 2500 yards; what are you trying to do?
A: Our style is different. I’m trying to have about 2,200 all-purpose yards. That’s running, that’s catching. He’ll probably run the ball more than I will, ’cause we got more players on my team than he does. We’ve got to share the ball a little bit.
Q: I was gonna ask, how’s that new offensive scheme looking—you liking it?
A: I like it, yup. When people see it, it’s going to be crazy. It fits the style of, like, music. Just how fast-paced it is, with big-play capabilities, and all that type of stuff. You’ll like it when you see it.
Q: It’s like, you being a big name already, Wale joining MMG or something.
A: You know what, it’s something like that. [Mike] Vick is probably the big homie Rick Ross; I’m probably like Meek, exciting and wild; DeSean is probably Wale.
Tzvi Twersky is the senior editor of SLAM Magazine and TD Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @ttwersky.