As much as Jalen Rose knows about hoops, he may possibly know even more about hip hop and R&B.; The twelve-year NBA veteran - who can effortlessly play the first three positions on the court - is currently on his fifth professional team, and is an outright hip hop head and R&B; junkie.
Get Rose talking and he’ll cite The Lox, T.I. and Young Jeezy among his current favorites, still, his musical taste is very assorted and can sometimes lean towards the “fine wine” approach - The older the better. Rose, 33, never hesitates to reach back in his vast vinyl collection and play the greatest hits from the likes of Al Green, Luther Vandross and Sade. He even likes to get his mix and scratch on every once in a while on the 1’s and 2’s.
Rose also frequently combines his love and knowledge for hip hop and basketball to serve as a co-host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period.
Vibe.com got Rose to share a bit of that knowledge and then some, as he addressed the NBA’s dress code, playing basketball for the New York Knicks, the idea of ballers wanting to rap - and vice versa - and Cam’ron going at Jay-Z.
THE NBA DRESS CODE:
I love it. It actually makes guys have to reach into their closet and show their versatility. Don't get me wrong I love being able to rock my jeans, tees and ice, but I'm a dresser and I'm into my style. I think guys should have their own flavor. I wish some of the perimeters weren't so strict, but at the end of the day I think it's a good thing. If you really think about it we all have times when we have to dress up, whether it's Easter Sunday, the NBA draft, or the Grammy’s. It's just that the NBA made it to where you got to be clean all of the time. Really, a team like the New York Knicks, will want us to wear a shirt and tie all the time. Now on the court is where we have our sanctuary and that's where we felt like we should look and represent the hood.
PLAYING B-BALL IN THE BIG APPLE:
I feel like a kid in a candy store. I'm excited to be here, just the whole aura that comes with being a New York Knick, the prestige that goes from playing with an organization like that and the NY fans are considered the most knowledgeable in the game. The fans understand that at the end of the day NY teams are always trying to be productive and represent the city, and I'm just trying to be a part of that.
THE KNICK’S LOSING RECORD:
The bottom line is to finish strong. We got to be professional about the entire situation. Obviously we want to be a team like Detroit, Dallas, or San Antonio. It's a lot easier to go to work when you’re winning, but we’re not. So, you got to play for the love, for the fans and the people that still support the team to show them that you're willing to put a good product out on the court. I know that with Isiah Thomas and Larry Brown, we’re going to do that.
CO-HOSTING THE BEST DAMN SPORTS SHOW:
I love doing that. I'm lucky to be one of the only NBA players, if not the only NBA player, that actually had the opportunity to pursue a post-career while still playing. Being on The Best Damn Sports Show, James Brown’s radio show every Friday and doing my blog for BET.com every couple of weeks - those are the things, as far as my media career and going to college for radio and TV at Michigan goes, that I always wanted to pursue. I knew that sports would give me that avenue to do it. So hopefully it's giving me the opportunity to do something not only while I'm playing, but when I'm done playing. When I decide to retire, the sky's going be the limit for my post-career.
MUSIC IS MY PIPE:
I got a real extensive vinyl collection, because I'm into not only just hip hop or rap. I'm into, obviously, the old school genre of rap, when you talk about Public Enemy, EPMD, Grandmaster Flash. I’ll reach deep down into the crate and grab an E-40, the Geto Boys, or songs that a lot a people will look back in the history and be like, ‘Wow, I remember that record.’ I get back there, and I blow dust off a couple of records. I take it back to Sade, Luther Vandross, Al Green and Curtis Mayfield. You gotta start with the roots first. Once you build from the roots, then it's easy for me to start collecting what's in the ‘90s and 2000s. But I have to lay down the roots first.
I bump anything by the Lox…that's like family. I'm into lyricists. I like Cassidy, Beanie Sigel and Shyne. I'm bumping the Biggie Duets, Lil’ Wayne, Jeezy's hot, T.I. - he's hitting. I've always been a fan of Outkast’s earlier stuff. Eminem too.
I love Cam. Always been a big fan of his, from his first album. You know, Jay is Hova, but at the end of the day when you’re sitting on the throne, people are going to take shots at it. That's good for the sport. Obviously, when you try with Jay, you just talk something totally different. He’s (Jay-Z) an entrepreneur, president, boss. I'm not mad at Cam's hunger, though. Like KRS-One used to say, ‘Battling is good for the sport. It keeps everybody on their toes.’
I've actually DJ’ed live a couple of times. People perceived it well. The bottom line is, a good DJ plays to his crowd. So, I play the music that I feel like the people that are dancing or bopping their heads to want to hear. I don't just play what I like. I have spun in Toronto, Chicago and Detroit before, but it’s strictly a hobby. Obviously, I'm not DJ Clue or Funk Flex, but it's something that I really have a passion for.
BEING A JACK OF ALL TRADES:
I got a chauffeur's license and a bartending license. I try to be a renaissance man. I always was the guy that made greatest hits CDs and DVDs for friends in college.
AT THE END OF THE DAY:
I try to be smooth and stylish, but humble. I’m a God-fearing man and I’m a Gangster and a Gentleman like Styles P. On the court? Slashing, versatile and a seasoned-veteran that comes to play every night and doesn’t sit out of a game because of a hangnail.
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