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Dylan Koller is a Camas, Washington, resident and a Portland Trail Blazers fan.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has a lot to say as hip hop artist Dame D.O.L.L.A.The game clock counts down from five as he crosses half court and is immediately met by his defender.

Four, he crosses over and peels around the screen set by his teammate. Three, as the defensive help rushes at him, he stops, elevates and lets the shot fly. Two, the ball rotates through the air as he watches with confidence. One, the ball tears through the bottom of the net. Zero, the fans erupt in their seats, his teammates sprint toward him to celebrate, three points are added to the scoreboard.

Damian Lillard turns knowingly as he taps his wrist. Dame Time.

It's a familiar scene for Lillard fans, but less familiar is his place within the music industry as a rapper under the moniker Dame D.O.L.L.A. Though many players in the league rap, Lillard is unanimously regarded as the best, with a smooth flow constructed with impressive rhyme schemes, Dame raps like Jay Z with a Bay Area sensibility.

Raised in Oakland, California, his roots are evident in his music. The name of his debut album, "The Letter O," is a clever homage to his life: his upbringing in Oakland ,his college years in Ogden, Utah, and his professional career in Oregon. With that much thought put into the title of an album, it's not surprising his lyrics are just as rousing, but more importantly, they're inspiring, commonly promoting a message of positivity.

Hip hop today is dominated by ego-driven, toxic masculinity and twerking for camera time. Positive messages are rarely heard, but we've all heard of Damian Lillard.

With his status he could easily make braggadocious music, but instead he creates something uplifting. Messages of unity and humility abound as evidenced in "Loyal to the Soil," a popular track, where he raps "do a lot for others, not for credit or to soak in, but to have an impact on the direction that they go in."

After a tumultuous year where the divide in humanity was made obvious and society was left on shaky ground, it's important we all work toward taking a positive step forward. Whether Dame's intention was to make a positive impact or that's just his style, it's an outlook that needs to be expressed more.

We all need to stay motivated, stay humbled, and lend a compassionate hand to our brothers and sisters. We should all listen to some Dame D.O.L.L.A.

Dylan Koller is a Camas, Washington, resident and a Trail Blazers fan.


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