As if basketball players weren’t in the Elmen Center enough, on Friday April 5, a member of the men’s team will be in the Elmen to perform.
Darren Glover, from Wayzata, Minn., a New York City-born, but Minnesota-bred sophomore, will open for SoulCrate and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.
Glover started basketball long before music crept in as a hobby and potential career. His earliest court wasn’t exactly regulation sized, as he first got his hands on a basketball while still in a crib. Progressing from one-on-none, he played for various leagues throughout high school and even won a state championship while on the roster for Benilde-St. Margaret’s in St. Louis Park, Minn.
However, he became serious about his music in the summer before his senior year of high school after having knee surgery.
Glover would get together with friends and play instrumentals. Slowly, they began to add free styling to the musical mix. And he and his friends both discovered his talent in putting words to a beat.
While he began hip-hop free styling, he started writing down lyrics after receiving positive feedback on his music.
“I think just this past year is where I have really cracked down on writing stuff more from my heart,” Glover said.
D. Glove first started as a nickname from his friends. It eventually became his performance name.
As a freshman at St. Michael’s College in Vermont, he put together his first mixtape “First Round Knockout.” So far away from home, it was difficult for Glover to share his music.
“The majority of people who listened to it were people back home in Minnesota, which was tough,” Glover said.
“Blessed,” his newest mixtape, was released in October 2012 and contains the songs “We Likes to Party” and “Cry for Help.”
His D. Glove Facebook fan page lists Adele as one of his musical influences, an unexpected choice for a hip-hop artist.
“I like picking up like a line or a verse from an artist like Adele and be able to transform that into a hip-hop song where people can put in their speakers and play loudly and its over like a hip-hop type style beat,” Glover said.
He’s also influenced by his faith. Glover, a Catholic who attends church and prays, wants his music to reflect that college students can be religious but still have fun when the school week is over.
Fans shouldn’t expect an opportunity like opening for a Billboard chart topper like Macklemore to change Glover in any way, except for maybe an increase in energy while onstage.
Glover said he wants his fans to see him as one person: student and performer.
“I’m the exact same person you hear when I’m on the microphone,” Glover said. “I don’t want it to be anything different.”
On the day of the concert, Glover will act like a regular student on the day-of, despite the magnitude of his performance. He said he will even likely attend class.
“I think it’s cool that I go to class and then at night be able to perform at a 4,200 sold-out Macklemore show,” Glover said.
In basketball, Glover has learned to block out the crowd in order to concentrate on the game, but at the concert, he’ll have to let it in.
“Basketball’s more of being able to shut the crowd off,” Glover said. “But for music, I guess it’s the opposite where your main focus is; you have to focus on the crowd.”
Glover enjoys performing because of the response his music gets from the audience.
“There is no better feeling than seeing four people or 4,000 people smiling and having an awesome time listening to my own music that I created,” Glover said.
Macklemore has “My Oh My,” a song about the Seattle Mariners and someday, Augustana basketball may have a song too.
Glover had a pact with roommates and basketball teammates, Yuriy Malashenko and Alex Richter, about creating an anthem for Augustana basketball. If the team had made it to the NCAA Final Four in the basketball tournament, Glover would have tried to write a song about the team.
“I’ll try to make it as seriously as I can,” Glover said. “But it’s tough to do that with all the jokesters that we’ve got.”
While the men’s team won’t make it the Final Four this year—they lost to Winona State in the regional semifinal round Sunday, March 17—Glover has two more seasons with the Augie basketball team to fulfill the pact.
Glover says the players on the basketball team are also his biggest supporters at Augustana.
“They always support my music and they’re always telling people about it on weekends when we go out to all the different places,” Glover said. “They’re always helping, handing out mixed tapes.”
During the women’s basketball games, some of the men’s players trickle out to the stands in their grey and yellow tracksuits and sit, silent and stone-faced while sporting headphones. Many are listening to a playlist that includes D. Glove’s music.
While basketball is most important for his coaches, Chad Hetterman, a graduate assistant coach for the men’s team, said they “support him any way we can.”
“All in all, I am just trying to make him a better musician while having a good time with it,” Hetterman said.
“Coach Hetterman always makes jokes sometimes that if I need anything from them I always have to freestyle for it,” Glover said.
Hetterman said the team visiting a sandwich shop was an occasion requiring Glover’s rap skills.
“For the team to be allowed to get soup at Erbert and Gerbert’s he had to rap all the soups into a song and sing it to the cashier,” Hetterman said.
Glover wrote the rap, which features eight varieties of soup, in less than 20 minutes.
His lyrics included: “I’m here with my team, I’m not alone. Sorry if my breath is kickin’ from that French Onion and Provolone.”
Due to the major time commitment of the basketball season, Glover often puts on his headphones, play his instrumentals, and writes new lyrics on his phone while on the bus to or from a game.
His roommates, all basketball teammates, get a sneak peek into his music.
“It’s nice to be able to hear his songs early,” Malashenko said. “Sometimes I’ll even sit in and listen to him record the songs. It’s a pretty cool experience.”
Glover is used to playing as a team, and his musical debut in Sioux Falls will be no different, although this team will be smaller. He will be joined onstage by DJ SideReal and Evan Battle, his best friend and hype man.
Glover will be opening for the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5 at the Elmen Center. To listen to his music before the concert, check out his new website www.theofficialdglove.com.