A LOVE OF MUSIC

A popular question for professional athletes: What music is coming through your headphones, and what gets you pumped up on gameday? But in a day and age where oversized headphones are a staple in NFL locker rooms, for Jamaal Charles, music is about much more than a pregame pump-up playlist.

When he isn’t on the field, the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher can often be seen making crowds go wild elsewhere — namely, on stage at the DJ table.

“I love music,” Jamaal says. ” Just going to the club and hearing things that people like got me into DJing. I just fell in love with music, and I’ve been trying to build my craft on the DJ table. I love it. It’s fun going out to the club and playing music.”

When No. 25 becomes DJ Charles during his downtime, he sees some parallels between being a DJ and being a star running back. In both disciplines, you have to make the right plays to keep the fans happy.

“The only thing about that is you’re going in front of a crowd,” says DJ Charles. “They’re coming to see you and you got to play. You got to go out there and be yourself. When you go off season and DJ, you got to go out and please the crowd by playing the right music.”

During the 2014 Pro Bowl festivities, Jamaal got on stage at a party at a Honolulu night club hosted by Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. Several other NFL stars were in attendance, and DJ Charles had the place jumping.

In addition to his Pro Bowl blowout in Hawaii, Jamaal has taken the turntables all across the country—in major cities like Los Angeles and New York, as well as his current hometown of Kansas City, and his home state of Texas. In his football life, he has to know the ins and outs of the defenses he faces across the league, but when he DJs, he also has to know which artists the crowds in each city want to hear.

“You got to be upbeat in New York because they got people that DJ every night out there,” JC explains. “In LA, it’s Hollywood out there so you got the Snoop Dogg and you got Reggae music and all that. In Texas it’s more like me, so I can play what I want because I’m from Texas and I know some of the big rappers out there. In Missouri sometime you don’t know what you’re going to play because it’s in the Midwest.”

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He’s getting better and better on the ones and twos, and when he hangs up his cleats, he says that he’ll find his second career on the turntables.

“For me, DJing is trying to find a hobby that I can do when I retire from football. It’s what’s going to get me out of bed after I retire.”