Ex-Sumo Wrestler Konishiki To Release Rap Album

Retired from the Japanese sport, the 600-pound athlete throws his weight into hip-hop.

Retired sumo-wrestling champion Konishiki has a new activity to keep him busy in his life outside the ring — hip-hop.

The 600-pound athlete, the first American-born wrestler ever to win titles in Japan's most traditional sport, will release his debut album May 9, on Koch Records, according to the label. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony collaborator Darren Vegas and former Motown songwriter Jimmy Varner are among the producers who worked on Konishiki K.M.S.

Konishiki, who rhymes in English on the disc, has wanted to record for a long time; he approached labels in Japan before striking the deal with Koch, according to his publicist, Guy McCain.

The 36-year-old Konishiki (born Salevaa Atisano'e), a native of Oahu, Hawaii, is now a Japanese citizen. He retired from sumo wrestling in 1997.