Dunn Done It

"I'm not trying to be Puffy or JD," says Atlanta Falcons' running back Warrick Dunn of his new record label, Big Ticket Music. Nevertheless, Warrick and partner, former NFL player Cory Gaines, do have high hopes for the label's first release Press Play by the "best of both worlds" (one's R&B, the other is hip-hop) Detroit duo Que & G.

The new label is the result of Dunn's longstanding love for music. He even dabbled in it when he was a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. "That's when I started trying to be a producer," says the Baton Rouge, La., native. "I had the beat machine and the keyboards and the mixers and all that stuff."

Producer dreams aside, Dunn is well aware of the poor track records athletes have had in the music industry. He's determined not to go belly up. "I'm not really trying to waste money," he says, "so I am not the type of athlete where I'm putting a million dollars into it and saying, 'OK, let's just blow this.' This is really a business and I'm looking for a return. Better than looking for a return, I'm looking for a profit."

To increase Big Ticket Music's chances for success, he and Gaines have surrounded themselves with industry veterans who have worked for companies such as MCA and Bad Boy. His expectations, however, are realistic. "I'm not trying to sell 500 million records," he says. "Let's just sell one album, then you work on two, then you work on three."