Veteran Milwaukee rapper Romey, who has spent a good portion of his life here in Madison, is not shy about being a diehard Milwaukee Bucks fan. Recently, however, he’s taking his lifelong love of the Milwaukee Bucks to the next level, dropping the new anthem “Fear The Deer (Championship Anthem),” paying homage to the organization that inspired him.
“It’s cool to see it keep blowing up. I’m excited about it,” Romey, whose real name is Jerome Hunt, tells Madison365. “This really has a shot to be a huge record. I dropped it a month ago and it just exploded.”
“Fear The Deer” has been featured in major media including AllHipHop.com and The Source Mag. Hunt says that it has been on 93.1 Jamz here in Madison on heavy rotation. as well as V100, Hot 105.7 FM and KISS FM in Milwaukee. “We got the #1 hip-hop station here [in Madison] and the #1, #2, and #3 in Milwaukee all in full support of the record,” he says.
Romey has had the song in the works for a while now in his head, inspired by the Milwaukee Bucks championship run of 2021 and, in particular, the team overcoming odds to beat the Phoenix Suns in the finals, 4-2, after dropping the first two contests.
“After seeing the Bucks performance in game 6 [of the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns] up close, I knew I had to make this record happen and I just fed off the vibe and the energy of the championship run … all of the ups and downs and coming out victorious,” Romey says.
Many Madisonians remember Romey, a veteran Hip-Hop artist and performer who had a recording studio in the lower level of the Genesis Enterprise Center on Madison’s south side for 10 years and who goes by “The Midwest King.” It was in Madison where Romey really blossomed as a hip-hop artist and honed in on his craft and was featured on the cover of 608 Magazine (right) among other publications.
Romey’s mom is beloved Madison community activist Jackie Hunt, founder and CEO of F.O.S.T.E.R. (Families Overcoming Struggles To Encourage Restoration), a wraparound case management program that seeks to address the needs of families, single-parent households, those at risk of involvement in the foster care system, and/or parent(s) of those who have been incarcerated. Many Madisonians remember Romey for years volunteering at his mother’s events, most famously as the 6’7″ “Soul Santa” at FOSTER’s “Dinner with Soul Santa.”
He’s been back in Milwaukee for a while now and as a season-ticket holder, Hunt is in the front row at Fiserv Forum just about every Bucks game. A chance encounter a little over a month ago with Alex Lasry, the Senior Vice President of the Milwaukee Bucks and a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate, led to deeper ties with his favorite National Basketball Association organization.
“He noticed my $100,000 Bucks pendant and was like ‘Where did you get that?’ and I noticed his championship ring and I said, ‘That’s a dope ring!’
After they introduced themselves, they shot some photos swapping their accessories. “We exchanged phone numbers and he was like, ‘Are you going to be here next Tuesday? You have to be here!’ I told him I would,” Romey remembers.
Lasry wanted to introduce Hunt to his dad, Marc Lasry, the co-owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, which he did on that following Tuesday at the game. “His dad saw my pendant and was impressed with it and I put it around his neck. He said, ‘Come with me.’”
The elder Lasry took Hunt on a tour of the whole Bucks facility. “The locker room, the entertainment area, the special trophy room … we went through everything,” Romey says. “I let him know about the ‘Fear The Deer’ record and he wanted to know when he could hear it. I told him, ‘Right now!'”
Hunt went on iTunes and cued the record up and performed “Fear the Dear” in front of Lasry and the whole Bucks staff. “Everybody gave a standing ovation. It was amazing,” Romey remembers.
Hunt’s love of The Milwaukee Bucks is not something new. It goes back to his childhood when he would meet some very famous Milwaukee Bucks through his dad. Originally from the south side of Chicago, Hunt lived with his father, Jerome Drinkard, the recreation director at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Milwaukee which hosted games played by Milwaukee’s NBA pro-am league.
“I remember seeing a lot of the NBA players back in the day – Terry Cummings, Mark Aguirre, John Lucas, Jack Sikma and countless Bucks players I got to meet and really be up close and personal with as a young ‘un,” Romey remembers. “I was a waterboy and a ball boy at the King Center; my dad gave me a little job to start earning money. It was really amazing to be around Milwaukee Bucks basketball at an early age.
“Before that, when I was 8 years old, my dad was coming to Chicago and picking me up in the summer before I even knew what Madison was and I was doing the ball boy stuff at the games,” he adds. “His cousin, Craig Hodges, got traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Milwaukee Bucks playing in the Pro-Am. I would be there countless hours after the Pro-Am watching him and my dad play one on one.”
Romey says that he remembers meeting Michael Jordan in the locker room at the Mecca Arena. “That was amazing. I got to meet Big Dog [Glen Robinson] and [former two-time NBA MVP] Steve Nash, [Philadelphia Sixers star] Allen Iverson. It’s been an exciting journey for me from being a basketball player to now being a season ticket holder in the front row.”
The one basketball star Hunt hasn’t met yet is Bucks two-time MVP and NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, but if “Fear The Dear” keeps blowing up, it’s possible that he could sometime soon. The single is being distributed through Hunt’s Get Rich Records, which will also be distributing his upcoming new album titled “Game of Thrones, Vol. 1.”
“It’s cool to see it keep blowing up. I will be performing at halftime at one of the games before the regular season is out. I’ll be doing the world premiere on the Jumbotron at the Bucks stadium,” he says. “I’m a diehard Bucks fan, through thick and thin. They have been an inspiration to me … I hope I can inspire others with the song.”