It was recently announced that global independent hip hop artist and producer Kota the Friend, from Brooklyn, and his Flight Boys Network (FLTBYS) have invested in NYC Sports Network (NYCSN), with the expansion of NYCFootball.com as the first phase.. Kota is considered to be one of the top independent hip hop artists in the industry. (Recent UPROXX article)
“This is a full circle moment for me. Most people don’t know that years ago when I was a teenager I used to film and edit highlights for the NYCFootball.com and NYCBasketball.com games of the week. Those websites covered high school football and basketball in New York City. I remember filming and editing high school highlights of players who are now pro athletes in the NBA and NFL. This industry goes hand in hand with the hip hop culture so this investment makes sense on so many levels. I created highlights of Curtis Samuel (Washington Commanders), Gus Edwards (Baltimore Ravens) and others who are now in the NFL. Sometimes I can’t believe how far we’ve all come. We’re all just guys from New York City who kept grinding in sports and music”, stated Kota the Friend.
NYC Sports Network combined all sports onto one platform 5 years ago, but the company recently decided to relaunch NYCFootball.com as a separate digital platform, once again.
Kota is no stranger to investing. He owns income producing real estate in NYC, LA and PA. His Pennsylvania property is a commercial/residential property that houses his flagship FLTBYS store, which ships his merchandise globally. He also is a part owner of Equity Platforms, a digital technology company backed by real estate.
Vernon Jones, founder of NYCSN, stated, “The investment by Kota the Friend and his Flight Boys Network allows us to relaunch NYCFootball.com. The site will include weekly lists of game results and top performers, game of the week coverage, MADMAN predictions, top 10 teams, top 100 players and overall exposure for players and teams. We’re also talking about bringing a podcast to the Flight Boys Network, focusing on high school football and basketball.”
The Flight Boys Network produces Kota the Friend’s upcoming Flight Boys Podcast, as well as the upcoming Simple Talk podcast, which the host will be interviewing professional athletes and sports influencers. The Flight Boys Network will also be launching a podcast that focuses on up-and-coming hip hop artists and producers. The lineup of the podcasts will be announced on or before September 15, 2023.
Kota added, “we want to see how this season goes. If it goes as expected, then we will expand to high school basketball and invest in a relaunch of NYCBasketball.com. I know how excited the players and fans were when I was filming those games as a teenager. It was insane. Especially with the MADMAN and his predictions. Everyone loved the predictions and the breakdown of the games. At that time Instagram wasn’t around so I can imagine the insanity this time around. One of the stipulations for us to get involved was bringing back the MADMAN. I saw the excitement firsthand, so I was really serious about them bringing back the MADAMN. If I wasn’t there personally then I probably wouldn’t fully understand it. It’s just one of those things where your gut tells you that this is valuable. And the numbers are there and you know what they say, numbers don’t lie.”
The amount of the investment hasn’t been disclosed, but it includes funding, the use of the Flight Boys Network studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, as well as a possible podcast focusing on NYC high school football and basketball and the use of Kota’s music that is relevant to specific highlight videos.
Jones added, “we have a list of over 35,000 high school sports fans that we will be inviting to become members of NYCFootball.com. The list also includes college coaches throughout the United States, which will open the door to more scholarships for players. Now that students can earn income through sponsorships, this takes things to an entirely different level in terms of exposure and partnerships.”
The first week for the NYC high school football season begins Thursday September 14, 2023. Players, fans and coaches can become members of NYCFootball.com. It’s free to join and players can create profile pages that can include their stats, highlights, articles, photos, music and other details.
Become a Member of NYCFootball.com
Kota the Friend is a kid from Brooklyn that loves art. He burst onto the music scene in 2016, helmed by his well-received debut EP, Palm Tree Liquor, which garnered praise from industry staples such as Billboard, XXL, RESPECT. Mag, and many others. This was around the same time that the multihyphenate started to see success with his “Lyrics to GO” series, securing a fervent fanbase for his subtitled rap videos. But before Kota became the enigma that he is today, he was finding his way through Clinton Hill, consuming art on different levels. His gift is that he knows how to execute a vision, backed by a worldview that sees the bigger picture in all things. His seminal debut album, FOTO, has a soulful texture and was anointed as “one of the best hip-hop albums of 2019” by Rolling Stone. In 2020, the Brooklyn MC was riding high from the momentum of his critically acclaimed sophomore LP, EVERYTHING, which arrived during the isolating lockdown of the pandemic. The album went on to debut at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-hop Chart, peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums Chart, and earned Kota his first entry on the Billboard 200. The following year was no different, with a presidential cosign leading Kota’s campaign for greatness. His track, “Lupita’s Interlude,” was the first song on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ inauguration playlist, which was curated by Emmy Award-winning actress Issa Rae. Further, UPROXX crowned Kota “one of the most commercially viable indie artists since Chance The Rapper,” which signaled a breakthrough 2021 for the lauded scribe. Last year was highlighted by his third studio album, MEMO; followed by 2023’s Lyrics to GO, Vol. 4, and his 18-track opus To See a Sunset (Deluxe) with Statik Selektah. On top of all this, as an independent artist, Kota has amassed over 700M+ streams to date.