Arizona Cardinals Calais Campbell’s Mother’s Day Tribute: Tupac’s ‘Dear Mama’

Billy Johnson, Jr.
Hip-Hop Media Training (NEW)

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell is helping The Aftermath celebrate Mother's Day with a three-song mixtape that pays homage to his parents, namely his mom, Nateal.

Campbell, who just signed a five-year contract with the Cardinals, included entries from Tupac Shakur, Kanye West and J. Cole on his list of favorite songs.

The Denver native said there is one lyric in particular in Tupac's "Dear Mama" that most reminds him of his mother. "Pretty much just 'Making miracles happen every Thanksgiving,'" he said. "That's what my mom did. I grew up one of eight. So to feed us, we're all big dudes too, I'm the biggest [was a miracle]." Campbell added that he often raps the song to his mother.

Campbell said Kanye West's "Family Business" is another hip hop pick that also reminds him of his "close knit" family. When he says "close," he means it in the most literal sense. "I grew up in a big family. [Kanye's] talking about putting three in a bed. Talking about three by the head and three by the leg. I remember growing up and having to share beds with my brothers."

Campbell's final pick, J. Cole's "Farewell," is about creating a legacy, something Campbell attributes to advice he received from his late father, Charles. "My dad, his whole mentality was making sure we challenged ourselves and did all we can," he said. "I definitely want to continue his legacy and make sure people know he's the reason why I'm where I am. That's why my foundation is in his name. Just everything we do is just give praise to my father because he's a big reason for it."

The tough times Campbell's family endured make his success even sweeter. "Man, that's the ultimate feeling to be able to come from where we come from, just struggling," he said. "From a moment and time we were homeless and living in a one bedroom apartment and to now being able to buy my mom a house and be able to look out for my family and really just trying to take care of my family. It feels so good man. It's crazy. Dream come true."

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