The rapper and the rooster: Milwaukee man hopes to turn bad luck into his big break

NOW: The rapper and the rooster: Milwaukee man hopes to turn bad luck into his big break

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The history of music is filled with stories of people who took strange paths to success. Brian Love hopes he and '46 Sanders' are next.

Love, a Milwaukee rapper, promotes his music by taking his sidekick, a rooster adorned in a variety of different outfits, across the city in a can't-miss truck decorated in signatures and a massive mural of 46 Sanders.

These days, Love says he's come to accept 46 Sanders, wearing wardrobes that include custom-made flannel shirts, jeans and socks, is the main attraction.

"As time as passed, I'm the sidekick," Love said with a laugh. "He's the main show, and I'm the sidekick now."

The story of this fashionable fowl begins at the Seven Mile Fair flea market in Caledonia. Love was there shopping for shirts, but said when he saw a rooster for sale, it reminded him of a dog he once had, and how it got him compliments.

Love figured making an unconventional companion part of his act could help him standout among Milwaukee rappers.

"I said, 'if I can get this rooster to be my pet, like the dog was, I guarantee it's gonna spark some attention,'" Love said. "And here we are."

Love named the bird after his childhood home -- he grew up near the corner of N. 46th St. and W. Center St. -- and after the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Colonel Sanders.

As for the outfits, Love recalls the fall of 2019. The weather was getting colder, and Love said he could tell 46 Sanders was uncomfortable. He purchased a small dog vest for the rooster.

"I put the dog vest on him, and he looked so cool with it, man," Love said. "And he was comfortable, and I could tell he wasn't hurt, so I was like, 'I got something, man.'"

From there, Love began tailoring clothes that fit around a tailfeather and wings. While people stopped to take pictures with the bird during the Bucks' 2021 championship run, the act was not catching on, overall.

After three circuits playing shows around Wisconsin, the rapper and the bird decided to go south.

"I'd go to Chicago, went to Indiana. I kept going down until I got to Miami, Florida," Love said.

The duo made a music video and Miami, then worked their way back toward Wisconsin. Along the way, they encountered truck trouble.

Little did Love know his big break would be his truck breaking down, leaving him and 46 Sanders stranded in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Love and the bird parked the truck at a gas station. They raised money for engine repairs by charging people for photos with 46 Sanders.

In March, the CBS affiliate in Little Rock, KTHV-TV, picked up the story.

"I was on the news, so people started donating," Love said. "I wanna thank everyone that showed me support around that time 'cause that was helpful for me."

Love was eventually able to get the truck fixed and made it back to Milwaukee in late May. He's continued his mission of using donations to help feed the homeless, something he did along the road trip.

He's also remained committed to following his late mother's advice.

"She always told me to follow my dreams, and she passed away when I was 19," Love said. "That was one of the things she always told me: follow your dreams, no matter what."

Between the music, the new 46 Sanders merchandise and support from his community, Love said he feels like he's finally making progress as he strives toward his ultimate goal.

"My real dream is to perform in front of millions of people," he said. "Let [46 Sanders] come on stage with me, and have some fun with the world."

For now, Love is having fun bringing smiles to neighbors and anyone else who comes across 46 Sanders.

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