NCAA athlete ousted over music tries for first rap album - FOX 10 News |

NCAA athlete ousted over music tries for first rap album

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The story of a University of Minnesota wrestler who was forced to choose between his sport or a music career made headlines across the country, but now he's trying to score a few more with his first album.

Joel Bauman had a choice to make when he ran afoul of the NCAA rules, and the aspiring artist told magazines like Sports Illustrated he wanted to fulfill his dream of inspiring others.

In February, the school declared Bauman ineligible to compete because he couldn't use his name and image to promote a music career while being an NCAA college athlete. In the end, he refused to stop rapping and turned away from the wrestling mat. Now, he's heading to the studio.

Two weeks ago, Bauman got a new opportunity through a local artist development group, and he said he's living out his dream through his music.

"I was put here to help other people evolve into the best people they can become," he said.

No longer producing his own music inside his apartment, Bauman has begun to work with Jay Escobar of FAME, an artist-development company that works with up-and-coming talent.

"I feel like God is using me. I feel like I was put on this Earth to deliver a message, and I think that message is about to be heard," Bauman said. "It's awesome."

Escobar has worked with the likes of the Black Eyed Peas, and he told FOX 9 News he approached Bauman because he believes there are too few positive role models in popular music.

"For people who want to reach an urban audience, they really need people Joel -- people who can inspire and uplift and tell them there are other options to reach your dreams," Escobar said.

The first song they are working on is called "Limitless," which is about breaking through your own boundaries.

"Physically, what he's been able to do on the wrestling mat and now through his music and inspiring, he's breaking through boundaries that others would say are impossible," Escobar said.

Bauman is currently working on his first album and hopes to release it in July, saying the sky is the limit.

"It's all about dream and belief," he said. "If you have a dream and believe in yourself, you can do anything."

Online resource:

- Here's to the Dreams on Kickstarter:


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