Deion Sanders is currently one of the hottest names in sports thanks to what he’s done as the head coach of Colorado, but the man who took the NFL and MLB by storm in the 1990s is certainly no stranger to the spotlight. While he’s done pretty well for himself as a player and coach, he does have some shortcomings, including his ill-fated attempt to get his rap career off the ground.
“Prime Time” is far from the only athlete who’s tried to break into the music industry. In the early 1990s, Shaquille O’Neal dropped a string of surprisingly successful rap albums, and while plenty of other players have attempted to follow that blueprint, their execution of those plans has left a bit to be desired.
Sanders was on top of the world when he set out to follow in Shaq’s footsteps in 1994. He’d proved he could play two professional sports at the same time, and while he may have come off as cocky, it was pretty hard to blame him when you consider what he’d been able to achieve since leaving Florida State.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest his hubris led to him deciding he could dominate the rap game in a similar manner, but he got a bit of a reality check when that didn’t end up being the case.
Looking back at Deion Sanders’ ill-fated attempt to become a rapper
Deion’s aspirations can probably be traced back to his friendship with M.C. Hammer, who routinely accompanied Sanders and the Falcons on road trips during his time in Atlanta.
In 1994, he inked a deal with Bust It Records (the label the “U Can’t Touch This” rapper had founded in conjunction with Capitol Records), and on December 26th of that year, he released his debut album in the form of the aptly titled Prime Time.
Prime Time featured 16 largely forgettable tracks and failed to make much of a commercial mark, as it peaked at No. 70 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart (one reviewer described it as “competent at best” but added “At worst, it’s not just for sports fans—it’s not for anyone,” which isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement).
However, there was one song that stood out from the rest of the pack: “Must Be The Money.” People seemed to actually dig the track, which got a fair amount of play on the radio and television with the help of the music video where Sanders flaunted his wealth while sporting some very flashy outfits.
I can honestly understand why “Must Be The Money” got some traction. It’s definitely not a Certified Banger, but it’s actually a pretty solid song to throw on at a party; it’s got a pretty catchy hook, and knowing Deion is the guy spitting the verses makes it that much better.
Deion was really feeling himself here, too, as “Must Be The Money” sort of came off as an excuse to brag about how successful he was. Unfortunately, he wasn’t really able to boast about his success as a rapper when everything was said and done.
He did team up with M.C. Hammer for a song that appeared on the soundtrack for the Street Fighter movie, but Prime Time essentially marked the beginning and the end of his music career.