Bulls guard Denzel Valentine releases debut album

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Chicago Bulls guard Denzel Valentine (45) shoots between Oklahoma City Thunder guard Theo Maledon (11) and forward Aleksej Pokusevski (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

CHICAGO – Valentine’s Day 2021 is a day Denzel Valentine has been waiting for.

The Bulls sharpshooter spent months writing and recording tracks in his home studio, culminating in the holiday release of his debut album ‘517: Made Me.’

“It’s kind of just letting the fans get to know me better. Tell them my story and how I grew up and how my lifestyle is. I’m really excited to get feedback from everybody.”

Valentine freestyled in high school and college, but when quarantine hit it allowed the Lansing native time to take his hobby a step further.

“I was in the studio damn near every day to get my mind free. I didn’t know what was going on. Would we be starting back up? Or was the season going to be canceled? Those first couple months were huge,” explained Valentine. “To go through the whole artist’s process, it’s different. It’s time-consuming and I’ve definitely got a respect level for the artists that put out music.”

The eleven-track EP features songs like ‘Get Ya Grind Up’ and ‘Paper Cutz,’ drawing on creative influences from Valentine’s childhood.

“I just love music. My dad, we used to listen to Biggie and Tupac and Jay-Z growing up, and then from Lil Wayne to all the artists now. I just had a real passion for music ever since I was a little boy.”

Valentine may have less time in the studio as his minutes continue to go up with Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter Jr, Wendell Carter Jr and Chandler Hutchison all out of commission.

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