CLEVELAND -- In the Cleveland Browns' 30-10 preseason victory over the Washington Redskins on Thursday, Chad Thomas put together an impressive showing. Tallying 1 tackle and 1 QB hit, the second-year defensive end was a consistent presence in the Washington backfield in what may have been his best performance since the Browns drafted him a year ago.
As it turned out, the 23-year-old's big week was just getting started.
On Friday, hip-hop superstar Rick Ross released his highly anticipated "Port of Miami 2" album, the follow up to the 2006 original. And credited as a producer on the album is none other than Thomas -- although he's listed under his musical alias, "Major Nine."
According to a tracklisting for the album, Thomas produced and provided lyrics for the song, "Running the Streets." In addition to Ross, the song features A Boogie wit da Hoodie & Denzel Curry.
Thomas, who the Browns selected in the third round of last year's NFL draft, is no stranger to working with Ross. In 2017, when was still a member of the Miami Hurricanes football team, Thomas produced the beat on "Apple of My Eye," which served as the opening track on Ross' album, "Rather You Than Me."
“I was too happy,” Thomas told The Washington Post of the 2017 collaboration, which features singer Raphael Saadiq. “It dropped a week after my mama’s birthday, and I wanted to surprise her with it. I couldn’t even wait until the day of the album. I just told my mom I made a beat for Ross, and it’s going to be on his intro. I told my daddy, and he said we’ve gotta print the check stubs and frame that. We’ve gotta go buy the hard copy.
“It made me drop a tear. The song really touched me. It spoke my life. Then to think that I made the beat, just to come from where I’m from in Miami in Liberty City, a lot of people don’t get opportunities like this. When they do, they either mess it up or somebody messes it up for them. I felt blessed for that opportunity.”
After appearing in just four games as a rookie, Thomas enters 2019 slated to provide depth as a reserve on the Browns defensive line. But if his career in football doesn't work out, he already has another one lined up with a resume featuring work with one music's biggest stars.