'Things like suicide, going insane' were blocked living as 'Swiper Boy'

Renaldo Woolridge #0

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Renaldo Woolridge wrote in his blog that he's erasing his "Swiper Boy" rapper image, and in doing so, leaving an outlet that helped him overcome thoughts of killing himself.

A 6-foot-9 senior forward on Tennessee's men's basketball team, Woolridge is expected to compete for playing time this season. He's coming off an injury-plagued junior season that saw him appear in nine games and average a career-low 1.6 points.

"The past three years specifically have made the biggest and made some of the most difficult imprints in my life,'' Woolridge wrote on "Swiperboy's World" posted on Sunday. "I wanted to give everything up. Some of the things I endured are things most people in my position should never have to deal with ... but I did.

"I've felt alone, confused, disappointment, hurt and a true lack of belief in the world.''

Music, Woolridge explained in the blog, has helped him deal with such letdowns.

"I began doing music when I was 8 (years old) as an emotional release,'' said the 21-year-old Woolridge, the son of former NBA all-star Orlando Woolridge. "I went through a lot of things in my life that have troubled me emotionally. There have been times when I've contemplated things like suicide, going insane, or giving up all hope.

"However, through faith, God was able to put Music into my life to keep me out of harms way.''

UT coach Cuonzo Martin, who's in China serving as an assistant coach with the USA Basketball Men's Junior National team, couldn't be reached for comment Monday. He has taken the same stance on Woolridge's music as the previous staff.

"There's a time and a place for it.'' Martin said shortly after being hired on March 27.

Apparently, that time and place doesn't include the upcoming fall camp or basketball season. UT begins classes on Aug. 17, and the Vols start individual workouts the following week.

Woolridge, however, didn't mention basketball as one of the reasons for him leaving his musical outlet.

"In all honesty I feel extremely under appreciated when it comes to the talent I was given more music,'' Woolridge penned.

Woolridge made it clear he didn't agree with his critics.

"I am the best new rapper; I have to say new because for whatever reason mainstream America wants to continue to sleep on me and consider me as such,'' Woolridge wrote.

"I will go bar for bar, punchline for punchline, swag for swag, with anyone in the game.''

Former UT associate head coach Tony Jones said the former staff expected Woolridge to go toe-to-toe with the best players in the SEC when they signed him out of Harvard-Westlake School, a private college prep school outside of Los Angeles in Studio City, Calif.

"When Renaldo was recruited out of Westlake High School, we thought if he focused solely on basketball he would be a very productive player,'' said Jones, the primary recruiter for Woolridge, who was ranked by Rivals.com as the 53rd overall player in the Class of 2008.

"Obviously, with the distraction of rapping, he hasn't reached his full potential,'' said Jones, now the coach at Alcoa High School. "Now we'll see if his projected talents come to fruition.''

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Comments » 56

eVOLved writes:

I don't think people with multiple talents have to focus on only one, but I do respect that he wants to focus more on basketball while he is in school. I thought his tribute to the troops song/slideshow showed a great deal of talent.

sambad writes:

We're with you Renaldo and looking for a great season from you. Make all of the negative people eat their sour comments.

MrBamSeydu writes:

Booo hooo... I grew up with money and I'm sad about it. Geez, no wonder people hate America. Kids like this talking about suicide... get over it and be a man. There are people who don't have food and shelter in this world. Far worse off than the son of an NBA player.

MrBamSeydu writes:

And for the record, if Renaldo really wants to impress someone he could play a musical instrument. Looping a beat and rapping over it isn't all that impressive.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Booo hooo... I grew up with money and I'm sad about it. Geez, no wonder people hate America. Kids like this talking about suicide... get over it and be a man. There are people who don't have food and shelter in this world. Far worse off than the son of an NBA player.

You sir are a stupid fn jerk. A pox on your house.

TheOpinion writes:

The guy isn't a good basketball player and an even worse rapper. It's hard to be in the public eye as much as he has been and fail at both things. And also having to live up to your father's accomplishments. I understand where his thoughts of hurting himself would come up in his mind.

RockyTopinAlabubba writes:

I liked footvol and the Eric Berry track. Screw mainstream America. Thats where good music gets ruined. You can keep it underground and still make money. Once you hit the mainstream,music isnt real anymore because you have to rap about what they want you to. And have people writing the lyrics for you. You will just become a puppet. But right now you should just be worried about elevating your game on the court,education,winning games,and enjoying life! Appreciate what you got brother.....and that is talent! On another note;it's footvol time in Rocky Top,Tennessee! GO VOLS!

VFL00 writes:

in response to RockyTopinAlabubba:

I liked footvol and the Eric Berry track. Screw mainstream America. Thats where good music gets ruined. You can keep it underground and still make money. Once you hit the mainstream,music isnt real anymore because you have to rap about what they want you to. And have people writing the lyrics for you. You will just become a puppet. But right now you should just be worried about elevating your game on the court,education,winning games,and enjoying life! Appreciate what you got brother.....and that is talent! On another note;it's footvol time in Rocky Top,Tennessee! GO VOLS!

Have people writing for you? Half of his music is changed lyrics from REAL songs that musicians did. Eric Berry song...real original...too bad the song came out months before that as Hallie Berry. He has enough talent to change one word.

Futurecoach16 writes:

You know what bothers me the most? You all saying that he needs to "get over it" and "be a man" have absolutely NO idea what may be going on in his life. An ex-friend of mine came from one of those same "good" families, and planned his own death. People IN my "good" family have attempted it. Before you pass judgment on this young man, get over yourself. It is unfortunate that he has not lived up to the expectations on the court, but that is no reason to tell him to get over it like he was just turned down for a date on Friday night.

Futurecoach16 writes:

in response to VFL00:

Have people writing for you? Half of his music is changed lyrics from REAL songs that musicians did. Eric Berry song...real original...too bad the song came out months before that as Hallie Berry. He has enough talent to change one word.

How many mainstream artists have top hits as covers from others before them? Exactly. Before you hate on this young man, think before YOU write.

NTNSTY writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

You sir are a stupid fn jerk. A pox on your house.

lmao! Did you actually just put a hex on BamSeydu? That's great stuff.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Booo hooo... I grew up with money and I'm sad about it. Geez, no wonder people hate America. Kids like this talking about suicide... get over it and be a man. There are people who don't have food and shelter in this world. Far worse off than the son of an NBA player.

Depresion comes in various forms. Money solves nothing. RW Good Luck hang in there we need you this year more than ever. What type of injurys did he have last year?
GO VOLS !!

Brillovol writes:

The negative comments on here are ridiculous! Obviously, you've never dealt with depression. So what if the boy's got a hobby that you don't care about. Don't bash him for it. Life's more than sports.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to Brillovol:

The negative comments on here are ridiculous! Obviously, you've never dealt with depression. So what if the boy's got a hobby that you don't care about. Don't bash him for it. Life's more than sports.

You nailed it,tks.

Prostar writes:

Appear in 9 games and average 1.6 ppg. Not going to be too hard to top that production, and for all of that he gets a "free" ride. Just imagine, all of that from the number 53 player in the country at that time. Trust those rankings every time. (Sarcasm intended)

fearthehound writes:

Maybe I'm a dumbazz or something, but I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight: He has had depression issues since he was eight, he has had on and off thoughts of suicide, he treated himself by making music, Coach Martin comes in and says no rapping during the season, so he's giving up the music to be a better basketball player. Sounds a little risky. How about some psychiatric help?

Bigger_Al writes:

I like the kid. He's talented, and he's all Vol. I will be glad to see him get lots of minutes this Winter.

Pullingguard writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, Gee-Whiz snapper, what wrong with writing about this GUY, as you so call him.
Tells me that he needs some help with problem deeper than music or basketball. Just maybe he will get it going in life and which ever he chooses, be it basketball or music.

Volunatic writes:

I'm glad the music was helpful to him as a person. That is a tough business in which to make it big, unless one gets a LOT of help from radio/recording bigwigs.
I hope Renaldo has a great season this year, and think he will be successful in his post-college endeavors, also, whether that is in the music business or not.

kentwentfishing writes:

Does the title of the article make any sense? "...blocked living as Swiper Boy"? I was taught that if a title needs explaining, it's not a good title.

MrBamSeydu writes:

in response to PHAT_VOL:

Depresion comes in various forms. Money solves nothing. RW Good Luck hang in there we need you this year more than ever. What type of injurys did he have last year?
GO VOLS !!

There was no such thing as depression 300 years ago. That word is something we use far too often these days. Feeling sorry for yourself is selfish, period.

MrBamSeydu writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

You sir are a stupid fn jerk. A pox on your house.

It's a good thing I believe in "pox's" about as much as I believe in self pity and depression.

MrBamSeydu writes:

I'm not saying Renaldo is a bad guy, I've met him before. I just don't like when a guy who's pretty much had it made his entire life is throwing around words like suicide and "I've been through so much" or whatever he said. I think that's just ridiculous. Everyone goes through stuff, it's called life. But I assure you, he hasn't been through as much as alot of other people. Maybe he understands that, maybe he doesn't. Try seeing a friend blown up in combat or having your family taken from you on 9/11... or living in a 3rd world country with no food or medicines. Now that's something to feel bad about.

Volunatic writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

There was no such thing as depression 300 years ago. That word is something we use far too often these days. Feeling sorry for yourself is selfish, period.

This was written over 400 years ago:

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished."

Looks like depression did exist back then. Suicide, too.

KCHS63 writes:

Growing up is difficult on almost everyone. It doesn't matter if you come from wealth and/or fame. Sometimes that makes it more difficult. It doesn't matter if you have athletic ability or musical talent. Sometimes that makes it more difficult.

I salute you Renaldo. You're thinking with your head, your heart, and your soul. I admire you.

madrigal writes:

To those who made negative comments, I sincerely hope nothing ever gets the better of you. It can happen to the best. Good luck to Renaldo whatever path he chooses.

To KNS........this headline makes NO sense whatsoever! Who proofread it and let it get by?

Brillovol writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

There was no such thing as depression 300 years ago. That word is something we use far too often these days. Feeling sorry for yourself is selfish, period.

I take it you nor anyone you love has ever gone through depression. I'm not talking down in the dumps either. I'm talking pure hopelessness, out-of-touch-with-reality depression. When you see someone you love crying for no apparent reason for months on end, you'll think different about your ignorant comments.

jaynem writes:

in response to Volunatic:

This was written over 400 years ago:

"To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die, to sleep,
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished."

Looks like depression did exist back then. Suicide, too.

Wonderful comment. For all those people who don't "get" depression, count yourself lucky. Those of us who have experience with this in our family understand and wish the young man well.

The_Ghost_of_Duke_DeLuca writes:

The next few months may be the last for Swiper's basketball career. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Rap will be there in April.

His choice.

He'll really miss basketball when it's gone.

ATH writes:

in response to eVOLved:

I don't think people with multiple talents have to focus on only one, but I do respect that he wants to focus more on basketball while he is in school. I thought his tribute to the troops song/slideshow showed a great deal of talent.

Just because a person does certain things doesn't mean he's "talented" at those things. This dude's "music" is god-awful. The only reason he is even able to make music is because his daddy gave him money to start his own record label. If he truly had "talent," don't you think he would have simply been signed by a label that had already been established?

And I think it's safe to say that his #53 high school ranking is the definition of "overrated." Scotty Hopson was a five-star prospect out of high school, and we all see how much mileage he got from that.

newportvol writes:

i dont care much for rap but renaold is a very talented and clean rapper... i have enjoyed much of. his music since hes been a vol and true vol fans would support him on and off the court as long as off the court isnt illegal.. sometimes im embarrased by the way my fellow vol fans act.. and i apolize on befalf of all vol fans..

TheOpinion writes:

in response to Tweetdriver63:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lol did you miss what I said? I said He's not a good basketball player not he wasn't a good basketball player in high school. I was simply making the point that he's not good at two things which have been highly publicized in Knoxville. Both things are true. And I was saying I can see where these suicidal thoughts would come from do to the fact he has a lot of pressure on him. I never said that he hasn't accomplished things in his life so I'm not sure why you're arguing that or getting your feelings hurt about it. Letting your thoughts get the best of you there amigo. lol haha

Ironcity writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

I'm not saying Renaldo is a bad guy, I've met him before. I just don't like when a guy who's pretty much had it made his entire life is throwing around words like suicide and "I've been through so much" or whatever he said. I think that's just ridiculous. Everyone goes through stuff, it's called life. But I assure you, he hasn't been through as much as alot of other people. Maybe he understands that, maybe he doesn't. Try seeing a friend blown up in combat or having your family taken from you on 9/11... or living in a 3rd world country with no food or medicines. Now that's something to feel bad about.

First off you have no idea what he has been through. I don't think he ever said he has it rough. Reading some of these post is really just disappointing. The kid is having issues and he is dealing with them. Lets hope it all works out.

allvol32 writes:

Hang in there Renaldo! Work hard and give 100% in whatever it is that you're doing and you'll be fine.

I can't wait for football season to start but I'm also looking forward to seeing what kind of team Coach Martin is going to put on the floor this fall.

boroviathaochvolsfan writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Booo hooo... I grew up with money and I'm sad about it. Geez, no wonder people hate America. Kids like this talking about suicide... get over it and be a man. There are people who don't have food and shelter in this world. Far worse off than the son of an NBA player.

Boy I hope you never have a child or someone close to you who deals with mental issues because it is not something you just get over. I would love to resort to calling you every name under the sun right now but it would not do any good when your dealing with someone who has the intelligence of my stapler.

wildmed writes:

Here's a young man who has represented himself, his family, his team and his university in a classy way, on and off the court. Personally, I'm glad RW is a Vol4Life.

stratocaster54 writes:

I am very disappointed with the negative comments posted on here. My suspicion is that most, if not all, of those doing so didn’t even graduate from HS, much less UT. My hope is that Woolridge either never sees or hears them, or will use them as positive motivation. If Woolridge does see these post, I offer the following as reminder that we all struggler, but still have the promise to achieve our full potential - Jeremiah 29:11.

AHOUSE writes:

When things are not going good, I change the scenery. I am 73 and play basketball year around,swiffle ball in the winter,softball between March-Oct and golf . I get a high because I can still compete against the younger guys. If Renaldo put forth the effort , scored 25 point in a game, and got a girl friend he is excited about he would be just fine.

stratocaster54 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

There was no such thing as depression 300 years ago. That word is something we use far too often these days. Feeling sorry for yourself is selfish, period.

MrBamSeydu.... I don't know if you feel sorry for yourself, but I feel sorry for you! 300 years ago they thought the earth was flat; what's your point?

vol_till_i_die writes:

There is absolutely no reason for negative comments about Renaldo. He is a great kid who always represents himself and the university with class and integrity. Why don't we stand behind him instead of say stupid things about him?

madmaxvol writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He IS focusing on basketball. That was pretty much the point of the story. In the past he wanted a career in the music industry, so he was putting effort towards that goal. Isn't that what you are supposed to do in college.

However, I see your point. Imagine how much better Peyton Manning would have been if he hadn't worked so hard to get his degree in 3 years instead of 4. It's just that much more time he could have been working towards football, right?

Remember Lang Wiseman? That kid wasn't dedicated at all. He had the audacity to study hard enought to get accepted to Harvard Law school. Basketball obviously wasn't his top priority either.

They are given scholarships to play sports, but the scholarships are to go to college and prepare for a career (be student athletes). His major is Entertainment Arts Producion...which is related to his aspirations to work in the music industry. If he was a Physics major, and was taking time to compete in physics competitions, would he be treated any differently?

Hayezb writes:

in response to jrod:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really? You think you should be the one to tell him what his priorities should be in life. Fail.

Let me guess, he should focus on basketball because you where upset with the teams performance last year and he can help contribute right? He's obviously getting passing grades because he's cleared to play... looks like his priorities are in order.

CoverOrange writes:

I now have a less rosy picture of UTBB's fortunes this year.

A_Voice_ofReason writes:

This boy can't blame anything on rapping, he needs to man up and admit that he was lazy and arrogant and thought because of his name that he should be a full time starter. Believe me, the comments he made about his "critics" regarding rapping are the exact same comments he made about people that questioned his basketball work ethic.

How does that humble pie taste Swiperboy?

samvol writes:

in response to TheOpinion:

The guy isn't a good basketball player and an even worse rapper. It's hard to be in the public eye as much as he has been and fail at both things. And also having to live up to your father's accomplishments. I understand where his thoughts of hurting himself would come up in his mind.

for you to understand someone wanting to hurt themselves you must have had similar thoughts loser!

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

It's a good thing I believe in "pox's" about as much as I believe in self pity and depression.

Good to know you don't believe in things that actually exist. They didn't have a word for depression 300 years ago because the biggest advancements in science was blood letting and burning witches at the stake. I guess thinking is too much for you I suppose LMAO!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Booo hooo... I grew up with money and I'm sad about it. Geez, no wonder people hate America. Kids like this talking about suicide... get over it and be a man. There are people who don't have food and shelter in this world. Far worse off than the son of an NBA player.

I think you may be referring to the statement often heard in counselling cirlces..."We are cursed with blessings"...be that as it may we still have people for whatever reason who have trouble coping with life...sad but true...after all...life is a matter of perspective...the apostle Paul said..."I have learned to be content in whatever situation I find myself" (paraphrased)....Oh to live life like Paul....now that would be success!!!

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

There was no such thing as depression 300 years ago. That word is something we use far too often these days. Feeling sorry for yourself is selfish, period.

Show us the documintation. You proably still belive the sun rotates around the earth. Yes deprssion has always existed. You say that because you are ignorant of what deprssion really is. But Ignrantance has hurt killed and mamed more hummas than any disease.
GO VOLS !!

DavidB writes:

I absolutely hate RAP music. That being said I think he is a better rapper than a basketball player. My son listens to all his tracks and has the utmost respect for him as a rapper. He has to look at it as what is going to be his future, can he make a living as a rapper or is his living going to be on the courts. Either way it has to be a choice he makes on his own, sometimes you have to learn to fall before you can walk. Just because his dad was in the NBA does not mean that he grew up loaded. Not everyone invests well or handles money well.

samvol writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

your daddy is TRASH...

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