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Former college hoopster attempting to break freestyle rap record

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Never knew who Pat Cleland was until this morning, but this guy seems pretty ambitious and free-spirited. Cleland played at Western Michigan from 1999-2003, averaged less than a point in his four-year career and played in 41 games after playing his way from walk-on to scholarship player.

So now Cleland, 33, is embarking on something that's getting him more publicity than basketball ever did. On Saturday he'll attempt to set the world record for most hours consecutively freestyle rapping: 17. His stage name is "Rick Chyme," and starting at 8 a.m. in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., he will improv off the top of his bald dome all the way until 1 a.m. At least that's the goal. Be careful out there, Chyme, the game ain't easy.

Chyme will be performing at ArtPrize, a nearly three week-long art festival/competition in Grand Rapids. The official website for the event states, "For 19 days, three square miles of downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, become an open playing field where anyone can find a voice in the conversation about what is art and why it matters. Art from around the world pops up in every inch of downtown, and it's all free and open to the public. It's unorthodox, highly disruptive, and undeniably intriguing to the art world and the public alike. Come see for yourself."

MLive.com spoke to Cleland about his ambition.

“When ArtPrize first started, and in years after, the most amazing part of it to me was the power of all these people converging on the city at once,” he said. “The art is great, but without people to see it, what is it? So I wanted my piece to turn people who are normally spectators into collaborators.”
Chyme, who lives in Grand Rapids, will begin his journey at John Hartman Photography on Division Avenue. He will rap about most anything almost continuously (he is allowed three-second breaks) as spectators shout out words or phrases, show him objects or send him tweets. He plans to reach The Pyramid Scheme at midnight, where he will be joined by musicians for the final hour.

Seems like a hell of a Saturday. Chyme initially planned on doing this for 14 hours, back when he first drummed up the idea, and that would've been the new record. But then a new Guinness World Record was set in May by someone named Austin Antoine, who MC'd for 16 hours, 31 minutes and 22 seconds.

Prizes are also on the line for Chyme Saturday. Public voting has first place set at $200,000. Anything from fourth to 10th place would earn him 5 grand. Look forward to the video when it surfaces -- albiet a much-abridged version. Here's Chyme's flow, if you're curious. Bump ahead to the 4:30 mark.

(H/T, Deadspin)

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