During March of this year, Hamilton Tiger-Cat linebacker Justin Tuggle and former teammate Terrance Plummer II released their first pair of singles, “Where the Cash at”, and “Dried Tears”. Twenty-three days later, the duo dropped “Thin Air”, and on May 15, 2019, the CFL defenders released their first album titled “Life on Beats” featuring 14 songs. Fellow CFL players “Diesel” (former Argonaut Troy “Diesel” Davis) and “Nak” (current Argonaut Nakas Onyeka) made appearances on the album.
Known on streaming platforms simply as take1 & YGP, the duo currently attract 24,531 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. Prior to the album release, Tuggle launched a clothing line dubbed “Team Takeover”, which has hats, shirts and sweatshirts with the signature UFO, CFL team-coloured helmet shirts and a crossover cap with James Wilder Jr’s ‘Get Wilder’ apparel line. The UFO caps can be seen being worn by many former members of the 2018 Toronto Argonauts squad. I’ve spotted anyone from Argos QB McLeod Bethel Thompson to OL “Big” Will Campbell sporting the cap.
Tuggle, who hails from Georgia, attended Duluth Northview HS in John’s Creek, Georgia. Through High School, Tuggle played QB, and was rated as a 3-star recruit. He later committed to Boston College, where he played quarterback. He transferred to Blinn College for his sophomore year, and moved again to Kansas State. He decided to make the switch to linebacker heading into his senior year, and has played there since. He went undrafted in the 2013 NFL draft and was signed by the Houston Texans where he played 42 games over three seasons, with 71 tackles, one forced fumble and one interception. After a brief stint with the Cleveland Browns, Tuggle signed with the Toronto Argonauts where he stayed until the 2019 season. He later signed a free agent deal with the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
I had the chance to discuss rap culture in the CFL with Justin Tuggle, aka take1:
Reuben Polansky: What’s the culture like between players in the CFL? Is there a lot of support for outside creative projects like music?
Justin Tuggle: The CFL is cool because players come from everywhere. That makes the social culture unique. I’ve gotten to experience a lot the last three years just from being around my teammates. There is definitely support, especially if you are going about things the right way. And that doesn’t stop with music. Creatives have a lane in the CFL.
RP: Where did this serious interest in music come from?
JT: I’ve always enjoyed listening to music. There is music for every situation in life, really for every mood. Music is powerful. I think it’s special to be able to create something that can affect others.
RP: Who are your top three rappers of all time?
JT: Top 3 all time is tough. Lil’ Wayne is my favourite rapper ever, but I listen to everybody. It really just depends on the mood. Future, Curren$y, Big Krit, Nipsey, Benny, Iamsu…the list goes on and on.
RP: Are there any rap rivalries in the CFL right now?
JT: None that I know about but shoutout to YG.P. That’s my favourite rapper with a CFL connection.
RP: In your opinion, what’s the song you enjoyed writing and recording most?
JT: “Where the Cash At”. The energy was crazy when we recorded it. I heard the beat and just started freestyling. Twenty-five, 30 minutes later we were done; from top to bottom. That was the first song we recorded from Life on Beats. I knew we were really on to something after that. If you haven’t, go listen to Life on Beats, out now. Numbers coming soon”.
You can check out take1 & YGP’s Life on Beats on Spotify and Apple Music.
By Reuben Polanksy