AEW Star Announces Debut Album

One AEW star just shared some big news about his music career. On Thursday, Swerve Strickland (real name Stephon Strickland) went to Instagram to announce that his debut album, titled You Couldn't Be Me, will be released on May 14. He also revealed the track listing for the album, and the artists featured are Flash Garments, Anthiny King, Monteasy, Benny the Butcher and Jewice. 

While most professional wrestling fans know Strickland for his work in AEW and WWE, he is an established artist and goes by the name Swereve the Realest. Strickland will perform at this year's WaleMania, an event hosted by rap star Wale where hip-hop and pro wrestling come together before WWE's biggest event of the year WrestleMania. 

"I shared the stage with Monteasy last year in Dallas and played four or five songs and had a great time opening for them," Strickland said in an interview with The Athletic. "This year, I'm going to be going solo a little bit." Strickland also talked about how rap stars have appeared on AEW television over the last few years. 

"It's huge for wrestlers to see there's a movement on that side, too," Strickland said. "The fan base of wrestling is very timid when it comes to that, when it comes to hip-hop … (They) don't understand the music, how big the artist is, or (why) the music is aggressive. The WaleManias and stuff like that brings them in and they get a little more comfortable with it."  

Strickland made his pro wrestling debut in 2011 and began working at Combat Zone Wrestling in 2012. He also spent time on the independent circuit before joining Major League Wrestling in 2017. Strickland then signed with WWE in 2019 and spent his time at the NXT level where he won the NXT North American Championship. In November 2021, Strickland was released from his WWE contract and then signed with AEW in March 2022. And during his time with the company, Strickland won the AEW World Tag Team Championship with Keith Lee. 

"I always survey the playing field of my character, other people's characters, other people's motivations, my motivation and the situation in the scenario I'm in," Strickland said during an interview with The Root. "Then that's where I really get to have a lot of fun and manipulate and play with certain things. I think that's why people really dig a lot of my work in the ring as far as my persona, because I'm just taking and improvising with what I'm giving. I shift on what the crowd's feeling."