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|Sebastian Richards' Hip-Hop song “I’m a Wrestler” promotes amateur wrestling|
By Michelle Thilges USA Wrestling
College wrestler Sebastian Richards wanted to help wrestling to come out of the shadows of basketball in the winter season. A talented musician, Richards wrote and produced a song to show what the sport is about.
His song, entitled "I'm a Wrestler," tells about the camaraderie of amateur wrestlers and what they go through while participating in the sport.
"I wanted to make wrestling a more popular choice," he said. "It gives wrestlers a chance to express themselves in a different way."
Richards said the idea of the song came during practice one day while he was wrestling for the University of Pennsylvania.
"It was something I had in my head for awhile," said Richards, who goes by S.B. when recording. "Finally, when I went to the studio and got it out of me."
Richards has musical background from his family, which has a music production company called Musical Artist Development Enterprise (Musical ADE). The company helps recording artists find positions for their music in movies and commercials.
The inspiration for Richards' song came from a 2005 Cassidy song called "I'm a Hustler." "`I'm A Wrestler is a hip-hop remix of the song," said Richards.
It parallels the themes in wrestling with those in hip-hop. A line from the song says "If you get a lot of ice then it ain't from baguettes." In the hip-hop world, ice refers to jewelry worn by the rappers. However in wrestling, Richards said you usually only see ice when icing an injury.
Once the song was recorded, Richards gave it to a fellow wrestler on the team, who then shared the song with the rest of the team. It became so popular that members of the team would use it for warm-ups before a meet or just sing lines from the song at any given time.
"I gave the CD to one person and he could have kept it in his room, but he shared it with the team," Richards said.
Richards decided to put up a website, www.Imawrestler.com, because he was asked to make so many copies of his CD. After only two weeks of the site being up, it had more than 40,000 hits. Currently, 25 countries have visited the website.
"The web tracker said people from California and Virginia had seen the site. Then, people from other countries were looking at it, too," he said. "Once a person got exposed to it, it spread like wildfire."
Richards originally wrote the song to pertain to Penn wrestlers. After the success of the song, Richards thought other wrestlers would benefit from the song and changed it to fit wrestling in general.
As a child, Richards said he didn't have songs about wrestling to pump him up for competition. There might have been songs that mentioned wrestling, he said, but nothing that was just about wrestling.
Richards participated with junior high and high school wrestling teams. He took time to share his experiences with others as a coach. Richards transferred to Penn his senior year of college and wrestled with them.
"It was such a community," he said. "It is really demanding and a good outlet."
Although he no longer wrestles competitively, Richards said he is still involved with the sport and wants people to appreciate amateur wrestling.
"When people hear wrestling, they think of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF)," said Richards. "I want to boost amateur wrestling, Olympic wrestling and the college style. The WWF stuff is good, but the amateur needs promotion."
In addition to writing more songs, Richards said he also wants to create a fashionable clothing line that will help promote wrestling and represent the athletes.
"I want to bring wrestling to the forefront of popular culture and make it a more popular choice for kids," Richards said.
To hear a portion of the song, or to buy a CD, visit www.imawrestler.com