A Volleyball Star Who Raps as Kofi


Name: Daenan Gyimah

Age: 21

Hometown: Toronto

Now Lives: In a five-bedroom home in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles that he rents with nine other students.

Claim to Fame: Mr. Gyimah is a star volleyball player with the U.C.L.A. Bruins, as well as a rising hip-hop artist who performs under the name Kofi. A highlight reel of his blocks and jumps posted by Epic Volleyball, a YouTube volleyball channel, has more than 12.5 million views.

“I’m not that good in the technical skills, but I jump very high, which people like to see,” he said. In the music studio, Mr. Gyimah writes, produces and performs his own material including “Came Up,” a melodic rap song he released last January.

Big Break: Mr. Gyimah started playing volleyball in the ninth grade, mostly because his older sister, Aja, played. His gifts were quickly recognized: He was taller, longer and jumped higher than others in his class. While playing a tournament with the Canadian youth national team in Des Moines, he was recruited by U.C.L.A. coaches. “I couldn’t believe it,” Mr. Gyimah said. “Everyone knows U.C.L.A.”



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