Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Exit Interview: QB Jack Kennedy
By Michael Rothstein
Jack Kennedy the performer (with WR Joe Reynolds) has a brighter future than Kennedy the QB.
‘Exit Interview’ is a concept started at WolverineNation last year where we chat with players leaving Michigan about their experiences with the Wolverines and in some cases, what’s next.
Quarterback Jack Kennedy didn't play much at Michigan, with one pass completion for 7 yards and one carry for 6 yards. But Kennedy ended up fairly well known with the Wolverines not because of his play on the field, but for his ability to rap and his musical duo with Michigan wide receiver Joe Reynolds, JDK and Rey.
Q: You had a different career than most because of your music. How would you describe your career?
Jack Kennedy: I loved it. Obviously I would have wanted to play more but there were a bunch of really talented people in front of me. That’s just being a walk-on, how it goes.
Q: When you came in, did you think you’d play?
Kennedy: I was a tryout walk-on so I always wanted to play but I didn’t necessarily feel like it was going to be a failure if I didn’t because of the nature of the position. And you had Denard [Robinson]. The kid’s amazing.
Q: Was there a point you thought you might play?
Kennedy: This year I was close. I was one play a couple of the weeks. That was the closest. They did a good job preparing everybody so I wasn’t too concerned.
Q: Did you think you’d go in for the Nebraska game? You started running.
Kennedy: I was cold. That’s why I started running. I was just cold. They didn’t say anything so I didn’t necessarily think so. But I just tried to be ready. That was my mindset.
Q: You really enjoyed your career but when did it become a potential gateway to become known more for music?
Kennedy: I’d been making music for a while and I had known the power of the Michigan brand, so the thing Joe and I did was two years in the making. Before we launched it, we wanted to make sure we had everything in place, had facilities and videos and a place to make tracks reliably. We used to just go to a studio for a day once every six months. You can’t build anything on that. We realized sophomore year that it is helpful to have the Michigan brand.
Q: How did the connection come about?
Kennedy: His freshman, my sophomore year. In the fall of ’09 was the first time we started doing stuff together. They all knew that I rapped on the team and somebody said Joe sang so I approached him to do a track with me. Then he was really good so we figured, ‘Let’s do this.’
Q: How’d you get started in music?
Kennedy: I’ve been doing music my whole life. I used to play guitar, then I played bass and then drums. I used to play in a rock band and then when I got to college I went out on my own and made a bunch of stuff I haven’t released, obviously, and honed myself that way.
Q: Was the rock band good? Was there a future there?
Kennedy: Nah, we’d play like Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden. Like 70’s Zeppelin. Pretty much a metal band.
Q: Did it bother you that people knew you more for music than football, or did you almost want that?
Kennedy: It didn’t necessarily bother me because it was sort of by design. I didn’t play a lot so I didn’t expect a lot of people to know me for football, if that makes sense. I just like to make music. The point was to sort of leverage football with music, clearly. That’s stupid if I didn’t do that. But the point wasn’t to get well-known, I guess.
Q: Now that football is done, what’s next?
Kennedy: I graduate in May and then I’m going to make music for a career. We, well, I can’t tell you but we planned out video releases for the next six months and doing that right now.
Q: Is it frustrating you can’t make any money right now?
Kennedy: It’s frustrating in a way but at the same time the benefit that I’ve gotten from football has outweighed the money we would have made, anyway. It has put us way ahead. We were able to have our song played in the Big House. We got shared on ESPN. You couldn’t do that without football. It’s a huge audience. We have a bunch of fans that are adults that are Michigan football fans who love our music but never ever would have found it otherwise. We could have made a little money but I don’t know if we could have made enough to offset what football has done for us.