Daniel Gibson is known for many things in this lifetime. From him entering our lives in 2006 as a Cleveland Cavalier to the estranged husband of Keyshia Cole in 2014. Booby certainly has a talent in keeping his name unforgettable. After, announcing retirement from the league in 2015, what is next for this former baller? One thing about him, he knows how to keep the people talking.
We caught up Daniel, who goes by Booby, with plethora of questions touching every part of the spectrum, to make sure we grasp every part of his rollercoaster life. Booby certainly has finally answered the million dollar question on everyone’s mind, “Why? What made you walk away from it all?” In his defense he certainly answered with a relatable battle every being goes through in this life. “I just know for me it had to do something with injuries and my mental state, just being prepared to move on with life,” he states, reminding us the tough season he has in Cleveland in 08-09. “At that time, it was just something that I wanted to do. My injuries wouldn’t allow me to play at a certain level of basketball that I wanted to and I always aspired to be a writer, another dream of mine that I put on the backburner to pursue basketball. So, the time with the injuries, I had the opportunity to get into it and I fell in love with it all over again.”
With all the fans and aspiring professional basketball players watching Booby’s basketball career looking promising, it was questionable on why he ended it so fast and early. Dealing with his injuries left him in a different mental space professionally and prevented him from playing at a level he wanted for himself. In addition, he was going through a public divorce, which added an emotional toll on him, placing him at rock bottom. “I had to look around myself and reevaluate everything in my life and where I wanted to go. I believe that is where a lot of greatness is found in those moments,” he openly confessed. Finalizing his retirement from the league allowed him to pursue his first love, music and writing. Making the commitment to fully pursue music was a new phase in Booby’s career, from a fan’s standpoint. He expresses, “It’s definitely a difficult decision due to the fact I have to be more than consistent to break that mole. Trying to get people to understand that this is not a game, this is something I am very passionate about.” The question still stands, how do you transition from it all, “I am definitely in the tough phase of it all. I just know that I was born to do it, so I don’t have any regrets of my decision,” he honestly answers, “It is only a matter time for people to understand exactly what I’ve seen and what is coming. Right now, I’m on work mode, focusing on being the best artist I can be so when the time is right, there will be no second-guessing.”
In this day in age, the only athlete turned rapper we can recall is Shaq. Shaq not only lasted one debut album, but also gave us music that was ridiculed, to put it lightly. Carrying the stigma as a NBA player turned rapper will most likely put Booby’s back against wall before his music career even starts. His music is strongly influenced by his poetic background, which can give people the opportunity to prejudge him as a “soft” or boring artist. With so many opinions, Booby chose to embrace them all. “There is so many different ways you can approach it if you’re open to it. Because I have the best of both worlds, being an athlete, that lifestyle is a little different from being vulnerable, in love kind of guy. So having both of those backgrounds infused into one, you get me.” As far as the NBA stigma, those people have to let it go. It’s been three hardworking years since Booby been in the NBA to master his craft and find himself as an artist.
One thing we can get from Booby’s music is his southern roots. He hails from the H-town, carrying a lot of realness on his records from his personal journey. He has released a song, Suicide, around the tough times of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. “It was controversial record so I just dropped it to show people that I was making a difference, a voice for those people who was going through it at those times.” But he recently has dropped another single, Keep Pushing, which has been an inspiration for many chasing their dreams. He states, “I feel like the best thing about it is when people mention to me that they are inspired by me going after my dream. I’ve been rapping and writing music forever. It is just something you can’t put on the front page when you’re playing basketball. So, a lot of people are surprised that I am actually good, so that is why I cant wait for them fully see what I capable of as far as putting an entire body of work together.” He has been in works with many producers and artists, wanting to earn his respect as an artist. Many may feel that because he was NBA player, he has to luxury of just paying for anything to be done for his music, but Booby begs to differ. He truly works for his. He certainly has interests in working with many artists, but wanted to open those doors for Houston based rappers before anyone, giving back to where he came from. “Those are the ones I really want to start with to make people understand that’s where I come from. On a nationally scene, I want Houston to get the respect that it deserves.”
He plans on releasing his EP, that he considers “an entire piece of work”, sometime this month. He is prepared to give everyone his story, to help understand all aspects of his life in the NBA to what he was going through during his depression. “I want people to be invited to my world and see what artistry is all about. It is the freedom to be able to tell your story. The freedom to inspire someone else who is going through something or just want to get hype for a second. It’s the freedom to put those words together and take them where you want to take them.” After that project is done, he promises to give the opportunity for everyone to see his skillset by dropping mixtapes.
But of course, Booby wouldn’t be Booby without us touching base on his love life. His highly publicized relationship which R&B singer, Keyshia Cole, already formed regulations when it comes to Booby’s heart. We explored his views on being single vesus being in a relationship. Booby admits that he is a lover all time. “Man, I hate being single with a passion. As much as everybody thinks I’m a player because of what happened in my past relationship, being single, especially these days, there aren’t a lot of genuine people,” he explains. “I am definitely the relationship type, but being that I came from a public relationship, I’ve taken my time dealing with anyone on that level. I am just focused on getting my career where I need it to be.” Aren’t we all Booby, aren’t we all.
His relationship with Keyshia is currently good, especially for the sake of their son, DJ. “As long as we communicate, he’s happy. Whenever we are on bad terms, he’s the one that is affected by it the most. That is what I can’t take. I’m obsessed with my baby so I’m doing the best I can to be the best father I can be.”.
For those who want to follow his or her passion in life, Booby certainly is the ideal candidate to idolize. He considers himself the “poster boy” for those who follow the vision in their heart. “I know sometimes we kind of do things because other people want us to do it or we get sidetracked a little bit and we end up unhappy doing things that we don’t love.” From baller to rapper, Booby is ready to let the world hear his story as an artist.
Listen to Booby’s latest single, Keep Pushing on Soundcloud and always be on the lookout for any new music from Booby Gibson.
Written By: Barrie Ladipo