Get in tune with Jimmy Rollins

Updated: September 1, 2009, 6:51 PM ET
ESPN.com

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins recently spoke with ESPN.com about how music influences his life and work.

[+] EnlargeJimmy Rollins
Howard Smith/US PresswirePhillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins has three or four different songs per game for his at-bat music.

ESPN.com: We're here with Jimmy Rollins, and we're talking music. You have a lot of experience, very involved -- Jimmy Rollins Entertainment. Tell us about that.

Rollins: Oh, JRE, it's just a way for me to express my musical talent. A lot of the world don't know this, but I used to play the trumpet in jazz band. So I've always had some experience in music. And I've always had some family members who are very talented and it gives an opportunity to get involved through their talents and my funds, basically.

And we're in studio right now. I actually have an artist right now down in L.A. working with King [Logan], who has produced songs for Keri Hilson, came up under the tutelage of Timbaland, produced Omarion's "Ice Box" album, so we're going in the right direction.

ESPN.com: Big names.

Rollins: Yeah, yeah, something like that.

ESPN.com: Do you sing at all?

Rollins: Well … um, in the car.

ESPN.com: Right now?

Rollins: In the shower, I sing. We even sing in the clubhouse. It depends on what song is on.

My voice is more in the background, not the lead, if you know what I'm saying.

ESPN.com: During interviews I hear the bass in your voice. What's your favorite lyric of all time?

Rollins: My favorite lyric of all time? You mean like of the songs that I've ever heard? My favorite lyric of all time … whooo.

Thinking of a massive plan
'Cause ain't nothin' but sweat inside my hand …

Eric B. & Rakim ("Paid In Full," above), he was a great artist. Although I am from the West Coast, you know I have that East Coast-West Coast beef. Just going back and listening to when he was coming up and listening to music before it got crazy and everybody started singing real hip-hop. He was a guy who was over my head at the time but as I became older I learned to appreciate.

ESPN.com: Other than your own artists, the top five songs and artists on your iPod right now?

Rollins: Right now? Well, probably two of Jay-Z's: "DOA" and "I Run This Town."

Well I got some Drake in there, you could go either way, but "You Da Best" is one of those songs that caught me off-guard.

ESPN.com: I like "Successful."

Rollins: "Successful" is great also. Actually I listened to that on the drive up. … It took a little while for me to really get into that because it was like, is he singin', is he rappin', what is he doin'? The other songs were very catchy, so they just go in the club, so you know what they were.

That's three, so two more. Umm … one I really can't say on camera, it's "A 'boop' In a Box" [by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg]. Just for laughs, that's one of those postgame songs. And I can't think of a fifth, but those are four songs that I pretty much listen to every day.

ESPN.com: Back to Drake, the video for "You're The Best." I don't really get it. Have you seen it?

Rollins: No, I haven't seen the video. That's a shame, I don't watch videos. I listen to music, but I really don't watch videos. And I should watch videos more because you get to learn the new artists when they come out because I'm not always on the radio, traveling so much during the season.

But no, I haven't seen it. What's wrong with it?

ESPN.com: Well, it's a basketball team and they lose, so I'm just not getting the correlation. But maybe you're still the best …

Rollins: Right, but I want to be successful. See, you know he's saying, although I'm not now, he wants to be the best. He wants to be successful, and you have to go through hell … to get to heaven.

ESPN.com: At-bat music: How much thought do you put into it?

Rollins: There's a lot that goes into my at-bat music. I'm listening to the beat, I'm listening to the lyrics first. Can I even play the song? And which part do I want to come out to? Is it the hook? Is it the beginning of the song that when people hear the song they immediately know what it is?

And I try to keep it fresh. I rotate songs. I usually try to go with three or four per game. Switch every month. When Mike passed and all that was going on, I had a Michael Jackson collage and after the funeral I stopped it there and moved on.

And now I'm coming out to some Kriss Kross. I got some old school doong-doong, doong-doong … ktch!. You know I forgot the name of that song, I even had to look it up.

And about three or four more songs I can't think of right now. Putting me on the spot -- I can't think; I'm brain-froze.

ESPN.com: OK, putting you on the spot one more time. If you were P. Diddy, you're "Making The Band," but with Phillies players -- we know you can sing -- who's going to be guitarist, drummer, or a jazz band? Let's hear the guys.

Rollins: On the gee-tar, we're going to go with Greg Dobbs.

On the drums we have to probably go with Chase Utley. I don't know if he has any musical talent outside of the violin -- sorry, Chase. But, you know, he's got that crazy style.

J-Dub [Jayson Werth] is gonna be on stage, he'll probably just be the cat, you know, hyping everybody up.

[+] EnlargeDobbs, Utley & Rollins
Rich Pilling/Getty ImagesThree-fifths of Jimmy Rollins' fictional musical group of Phillies: from left, Greg Dobbs, Chase Utley and Rollins.

My lead will have to be Ryan Howard because he has all the dance moves. So that would be my "Making The Band."

ESPN.com: Take your pick, Shakira or Beyonce?

Rollins: Ooh, wow. You know that little Latin lover … where my sister be?

Well, you know, Beyonce, she's married now. I don't know if Shakira's married. Is she married?

ESPN.com: No.

Rollins: Well, there you go. She can shake it, too.

ESPN.com: She's got a new song. Some crazy moves, combination of belly dancing and the …

Rollins: You mean I gotta watch it in slow motion?

ESPN.com: Yeah, it's serious. You gotta watch it. "She Wolf."

Rollins: "She Wolf."

ESPN.com: OK, one last question: Who'd you go on tour with?

Rollins: Present, living, dead?

ESPN.com: Anyone.

Rollins: I would have to say, anyone living who got to see this man perform would have to choose Michael Jackson.

Who wouldn't want to go on tour with MJ? He could go anywhere in the world, do anything he wanted. He made women cry. The boys even fell out, too.

But just to see what it's like to be a mega-star. We get a little bit of it, you know we get 40,000 every night to come watch us play. But to have the world in the palm of your hand expecting something great and being able to deliver that every time out would have to be some sort of an experience.

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