Meet Kadarius Toney, rapper: Giants draft pick is also rap artist Yung Joka

Bruno Cooke April 30, 2021
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

New York Giants first-round draft pick Kadarius Toney, from Florida, is also a rapper by the name of Yung Joka. Not only this, but the football star’s venture into rap music has been hailed as evidence of his versatility “on and off the field”.

Who is Kadarius Toney? Rapper and Giants first-round draft pick

Besides a successful career in professional football, Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney is a rapper. To date, he has two albums to his name: SplitWorld and MillionDollarJokez.

His pseudonym is Yung Joka and, as a recording artist, he has an additional 11 singles and EPs available to stream on Spotify

Yung Joka’s first single, Fat Rue, came out in 2019, and has got 10,000 views on YouTube.

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Toney is by no means the first sporting personality to record a rap album. Kobe Bryant reportedly ran his “gangsta rap” album by longtime friend LL Cool J – only to be advised out of releasing it.

What does Kadarius Toney aka Yung Joka rap about?

Although football has always been Toney’s number one priority, his rap lets fans see him from another angle.

As such, many of his lyrics are as applicable to his football career as they are to anything else.

“I’m using my talent”, he says on Sum 2 Prove (2021), to “do things you can’t even imagine”. 

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Rap and football

As is often the way with rap music, his bars are about asserting self-confidence and boosting his sense of self.

“I walk inside the building, people notice me” – from Close to Me (2020) – could easily be about walking into a football stadium.

Equally, “You scrape from the surface, I dig a little deeper”, from Eirene (2019), is relevant to any sporting endeavour.

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Praise for Toney’s ‘versatility’, on and off the field

A recent article in SI.com sings Kadarius Toney’s praises, specifically focusing on his versatility – “on and off the field”.

It refers to his dual identity as a rapper and a football player as evidence of this, and reckons he is “destined for success”.

Music, it claims, has brought him “peace” and “stability”, rather than distracting from the sport.

After all, its author tweeted earlier this month, “football doesn’t define the individual”.

Bruno is a postgraduate student studying global journalism, with research interests in the intersection of the media, storytelling, culture and politics. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Packs Light and Forge Press, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com. He is a Student Ambassador for Tortoise Media, a big fan of Freddie Mercury and a novelist – his debut novel, Reveries, is available on Amazon.