‘This Is Mike Stud’ Premiere: Mike Stud Dishes On Transition From Baseball To Music & Josie Canseco [EXCLUSIVE]
It wasn't that long ago that rapper Mike Stud's path to fame seemed totally different. Originally from Rhode Island, Stud scored a baseball scholarship to Duke University right out of high school and was the team's relief pitcher, earning a record 9 games saved over 28 appearances on the mound. But his athletic days were put on hold when he suffered arm injuries and had to get surgery. In 2010, he released a music video for a "College Humor," a track he made just for fun. But the video turned into a viral sensation, leading to a good haul of popularity and Stud followed up with popular hits like "Swish" and "Say No More."
Stud is now part of a new eight-episode docu-series on Esquire, premiering tonight, Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. ET. The series delves into Stud's Back2You tour as he and his friends live life on the road while making sense of how things can change so unexpectedly.
Enstarz chatted with Stud about his transition from sports to music, if he would ever go back to baseball and what it's like dating Playboy model Josie Canseco...the daughter of baseball legend Jose Canseco.
Enstarz: What was it like to go from baseball to music?
Mike Stud: It happened kind of organically, but it's such a change of culture. I was a very serious student athlete pretty much my whole life so when the music thing happened, I didn't foresee any of this. But it was one of those things where I didn't make an effort to transition, it just kind of happened and I had to deal with it. I liked it and I enjoyed how different it was and it was kind of a new lifestyle. It was obviously a pretty drastic change.
Even though an injury is why you didn't continue with baseball, your music career has been pretty successful. Do you feel satisfied where you are?
I wouldn't change anything for the world right now. I found my calling with this type of stuff and it's not necessarily the art, it's just entertainment and dealing with people and the lifestyle that we're living now. It's been about three-and-a-half years of touring, meeting people and seeing the world. I've made more memories in those years than in the 10 years I played baseball. It really does feel like this is my calling now and I am where I'm supposed to be.
Did you have any doubts at all on going to a docu-series?
Absolutely. I don't think there's a show like this. There's not one thing that was produced, there's no change in outfits, it was all very raw. What was important to me is making sure that it was organic and didn't feel produced. We shot this pilot over two years ago. We had a bunch of hits on the initial pilot and we, as a group of my friends, is kind of how we managed my music career. We ended up holding off and it ended up paying off because Esquire enabled us to make the show that we wanted to make.
Would you ever go back to sports?
It's funny, for our final episode, we played baseball and I felt so healthy. My arm felt so healthy again because I hadn't pitched in a while and it's only about making a comeback at some point. I can't rule it out. You never know.
Since you're dating the daughter of a baseball icon, is baseball something that you and Josie share?
Josie enjoys sports, but she's not like an over the top big fan. With her, she's kind of the middle ground. She's not super engulfed in sports, but she can also go and watch a game with me. [Baseball is] not a huge part of our relationship, but whenever I meet Jose, it really helps me because we have a lot of things in common. He loves talking about baseball and his career so I was really able to keep conversation, and with her father, it's about the sport, itself.
What did you think about Josie's Playboy spread?
I was a fan. Selfishly, as a boyfriend, the first reaction was like, 'I don't know.' But I don't have a foot to stand in this argument at all. I'm not an angel by any means so I have no right to tell her what she can or cannot do. And secondly, it's a non-nude campaign and she was very self-aware and I was impressed by her courage. She has a very kind of young fan base and it was a little bit of a risk. I respected her courage that she was like, 'This is a move I'm ready to make and I'm an adult' and I appreciated it. I thought she looked awesome and I support anything she chooses to do that's gonna better her career.
Anything else you'd like our readers to know about the docu-series?
Just check it out. I know what it looks like, I know what people might assume about the show and it's not what you think.
[This interview has been edited and condensed]