Weather the Storm ( Damon Harrison)
The more I stared into the water trying to gauge how deep it was, the more I kept thinking about killing myself.
Just jump off the bridge, Damon.
Nellie Ball (Don Nelson)
The wheel rarely reinvents itself.
We are all inspired by someone.
Shaquille O'Neal x Krispy Kreme 80th Anniversary Commercial #1
Cause & Effect Project
NFL players making a difference
Portraits From a Jail Cell (Spice Adams)
But one sound in particular I’ll never be able to forget.
Ruff Ryders 20th Anniversary Concert
Had the opportunity to come out and witness the historic night. Check out the review here.
Bread & Butter ( Stanley Johnson)
If there was a way to describe my rookie season, only one word comes to mind: encouraging.
Interview With Sango
In a game filled with a continuous trend of new faces, sometimes it’s hard to even figure out the man behind the boards unless you look up the producing credits. With new producers entering the game and sounds being somewhat similar, it’s only a few producers that are completely carving out their own lanes while staying ahead of the competition.
The 22-year old Seattle-bred is a beatsmith who infuses Afro Punk and hip hop sprinkled with influences from Aaliyah, Lauryn Hill and Timbaland. Sango has completely managed to mesh both worlds, while completely developing his own sound. I caught up with him after his tour in Australia to talk influences, future projects and more.
Andrew S: So starting off, who exactly is Sango?
Sango: A navy raised kid that grew up in a musical house and was super absorbent to everything that was thrown at me.
Andrew S: So you just talked a bit about your musical influence. Where does it derive from?
Sango: I honestly think my mom gave it to me. Back in her navy days she used to make music and also my grandfather. He played the congas and ever since a kid he used to put us on the drums. It taught me rhythm, how to be creative and catch a beat.
Andrew S: So how do you describe your sound?
Sango: All it is, is influences. I’m always searching for something new and innovative I can add to my arsenal of production.
Andrew S: So to continue on the subject of your sound, how did you even come up with it? What made you want to come up with these eclectic sounds mixed with Hip Hop samples?
Sango: In my case, I have a really strong Hip Hop base. I grew up listening to Timbaland, Aaliyah, Pharrell and Lauryn Hill. There’s actually a Portuguese group I really mess with named Buraka Som Sistema that really got me back to making more “worldly” sounds. I've always messed with that, but they really helped get back into those types of sounds. But to answer your question, Timbaland is a big part to my sound. I always drop his beats at my shows. It’s a ritual.
Andrew S: So who are five artists you would love to work with? And out of them, who is the one artist you feel your sound meshes perfectly?
Sango: 40 (Drakes producer), Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Ariana Grande and No. I.D.. I think 40 and I would make great music though because I feel his sound could be something you would find on Soulection.
Andrew S: So you really have a good relationship with the whole Soulection crew and Kaytranada. How did that even come about?
Sango: Honestly, it started online. We are like the online generation and met those guys off Tumblr. A girl named Angel who is close to those guys one day hit me and was like “I want to put your music on my Soundcloud and I started to get looks from it. Then Joe Kay reached out to me and everything was good after that. The internet was really a big factor for me.
Andrew S: That's dope, so you just got back from tour in Australia How was that?
Sango: It was cool, the one thing I learned is patience. You know, Australia is really far away, so people were not too familiar with my sound so it took a lil’ getting used too. But once they got familiar, they warmed up to the music and it was tight.
Andrew S: So what are some of the projects you have coming up?
Sango: Starting off, me and WALDO will be working on his EP and his album. He doesn’t have any names yet to those projects. SPZRKT and I just finished our EP and the mix and mastered it, so look for it to drop on Soulection around September/October. Im also working on my album, which will be titled In The Comfort Of. Also, coming up I will be performing at DC’s Trillectro festival on August 23rd.
Andrew S: So the last question I want to ask is, when people listen to your music what do you want them to get from it?
Sango: What I want them to get from it is, I want this music to serve as a soundtrack to whatever your doing or working on. I want people to be able to draw their own picture and meaning to these songs. That’s really what I want people to get from listening to a Sango record. I have my own stories and I present it, but I want you to draw your own pictures too.
This interview was done on June 24th 2014
Martellus Bennett: Game Break
Most NFL players always have a playbook nearby. For New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, it’s his animation notebooks that are never far from his grasp.
Exclusive interview with up and coming artist Goldlink
Crafting his lane and flourishing in it, Goldlink has been able to introduce his “Future Bounce” sound and it’s safe to say the ‘Chocolate City' hasn’t felt this in awhile.
Now don’t get me wrong, foreseeing the future for artists these days can be tricky especially considering the one hit-wonders we had in recent years. But, despite all the hits and misses in the game there is still a reason to look forward and Goldlink is a sheer example of why.
Melodically, Goldlink has managed to be refreshingly original incorporating his bouncy and one of a kind elusive sound while at the same time being aggressively straight-forward. The complexity of his flow and cadences are distinct but reveal his creative sensibilities. Time will only tell how great he can be but one thing is for sure, the kid has the “it” factor.
I caught up with the rising DMV emcee and talked about everything from The God Complex to what drives him to step out the box musically.
So in your own words who exactly is Goldlink?
Goldlink: That’s a good ass question my dude! Goldlink is a lot of n–––as man. Goldlink is a kid who was born in DC that grew up in Maryland his entire life and is currently living in Virginia. He embodies a lot of street culture because of his uncles being pimps and everybody around him being pimps, hustlers, thugs and killers. My dad was a dealer and my uncle is Wayne Perry. I used to run on the streets with his son so he embodies a lot of street culture and he is the DMV.
That’s great you clarified it for everybody. Because, there was a lot of information floating around not really stating where you’re originally from. The fans needed the clarification.
So my next question is, how did you really get into music?
GL: I grew up on music my entire life. My mother was a super gospel women and my dad was into soul and art and my brother was super into rap music. Ya know, growing up in DC all you hear is Go-Go and I grew up around music. But, I didn’t even attempt to think about rapping until I was 18 or 19. But the thing about it is, I started rapping because I had no choice. You know at that time of my life I didn’t have that much going on but I was always positive. I was like f––k it, if I’m going to rap I’m going to do it right. I took my time to stay in the house more than anybody and study poetry, lyricism, and study MC’s. I literally became a student of the game, that’s why I learned so quick and absorbed sh–t like a sponge and here I am today.
That’s dope. So for the people that aren’t familiar with your music and sound, your sound is sonically different than most DMV artists and really unlike anything we heard before. What drove you to sculpt your sound and really break from the norm?
GL: The thing about it was everything sounds the f––––– same and everybody is manufactured from the same building. Another thing is, growing up in the DMV there is no difference between me and Trel (Fat Trel). We damn near grew up on the same block. I grew up in the same neighborhoods, I know that same struggle and I know that same dealer. But my thing was, how can I say this in a more universal way that is more appealing and people can dance to the pain while at the same time listening. I mean, I know I have an accent and I speak slang and sh–t but I say it differently and a way people can relate.
That’s so dope man, I agree with you in terms of the DMV scene being the same to some extent so it’s always refreshing to hear somebody bringing something new to the table. Now, it’s been sometime since there was an artist from the DMV that was original and organic from their sound to beat selection. More specifically, it’s been awhile since the DMV had somebody that totally turned the internet upside down probably since Wale. How are you taking to the publicity and the critics online.
GL: That’s crazy nobody asked me that. You know what, I take it and it’s a blessing. I’m very humbled and it keeps me grounded. It shows everything that I worked for is paying off as oppose to me celebrating and letting it get to me. So I take those critics and use it as feedback and see what I’m doing and how to do it better. I’m always forward thinking and always thinking ahead as to how I can make these people happy. At the end of the day it’s very humbling and I take the good and the bad.
So, the term “Future Bounce” has been thrown a lot lately relating to your sound. Describe it for us?
GL: It is a very nostalgic thing that everybody has heard before. See the producers I’m with from Louie, Lakim and Fingalick take these samples that we are all familiar with, but add a new twist to it. They add a new drum, piano, element or a new string causing it to be very futuristic and very forward so that’s why I say Future Bounce. It’s like you’re hearing the music for the first time again. It will have you saying “what the hell is this” hahaha. So I guessed that’s how I can describe it.
Did you come up with the term originally?
GL: I did not it was all Lakim. He’s from Soulection and he coined it I just adopted it. He crowned me and I thank him for that. But at the end of the day, he started that.
Now, with your “When I Die” video buzzing on the net what was the vision behind that video?
GL: You know what, I’ll give you the real story. The idea was inspired by an actual event. So my name on twitter is “Illwhop” and I used to run in the streets of Baltimore with a lot of people that showed me love. So what happened was, I left Baltimore and I was on my way back and heard about a killing spree that happened in Baltimore where 55 motherf*ckers were getting killed…
Yea I heard of something like that…
GL: Yea, so I was like man sh–t. I started calling all my mans and em’ and nobody was answering their phones. So I called my boys and asked “Have you heard from “ill? But nobody heard from him. So I had a gut feeling something happened because this was unlike him to not talk to me. So next thing you know, I looked it up and him a few others close to me got killed. I couldn’t believe it and couldn’t accept the fact that he was dead. So pretty much, if you notice in the “When I die” video there were four kids and one of the kids get shot. In actuality, there were three kids and one was ghost and they couldn’t fathom the fact their friend was gone. That’s pretty much what it was, I couldn’t accept the fact that one of my n–––as was gone. I couldn’t let go and get over the fact he’s dead and I won’t ever see him again.
You came up with all that by yourself?
GL: Yea. But, I got to give it up to the directors, they did their thing.
No doubt. But I got to ask you a question. The opening beat to that video was produced by VirtuosoTheGod right?
GL: Alright this is how it works. First off, Virtuoso is the homie and he is so amazing with F–––––– sh–t man. I met up with him one day and he was like “I want to make you a beat” so he started showing all these beats and I ain’t like any of them. So I was like F it, lets do it from scratch and what people don’t understand is I made that beat. I made that beat and I told him what to put on it. I came up with the two samples which were Missy Elliot’s “Work it” and Gwen Stefani’s “Holla back” joint then I took the sample from somewhere on the internet that I won’t say the name and a sample from the beginning of my song and made the beat. A lot of people don’t know that with Virtuoso at hand we made the beat.
So, can people expect anything together with you two guys?
GL: umm… maybe.
I also noticed that Baltimore spitter Black Zheep who opened up for you release party is also in that video. How did you guys connect and is there anything brewing in the future with you guys?
GL: Yea man. Like I said earlier I used to run around in Baltimore so that’s my guy. But the way I met Black Zheep was, he came to the studio that I happened to come too and I heard about him before and liked his music. So when we actually met we clicked and that’s like my brother. I will f––king die for Black Zheep. So we ended up being close and I kept him with me. I think he is one of the dopest n–––as out of the DMV and Baltimore. I believe in him and he runs with these guys called 7th Floor Villains and I believe in all of them. But yea, we been working on some stuff and me and Black Zheep got some sh*t coming.
Like Virtuoso, there are certain producers that really have the sound you gravitate towards. How does the selection process go for choosing the right producer?
GL: I’m really really selective. Like Fingalic and Lakim have such unique sounds that you never heard before. When I pick a beat, I don’t want it to be the weirdest thing in the world but must be a certain way. That’s a good question, like if it hits me a certain way I may just take it. You can be the worst producer in the world but I will take it.
Now I got to ask you, you pretty much made yourself hidden and it’s virtually impossible to link a face to the music. Was that the plan all along?
GL: Yea that was the plan. The whole thing behind that was I don’t understand why people have to attach a visual. My whole thing was I did the reverse and didn’t attach an image to the music. The reason I did this was because people can’t really judge how I look like and it was pure quality. At the end, people can only judge the pure quality of the music. So I made sure I worked on every song and perfected it and kept people on edge.
So is that going to be your whole motive throughout your career?
GL: I can’t say, but for the God Complex and this God theme since you never seen God’s face it fits.
Oh okay. So your project The God Complex has simply broke the internet and is making some noise online, why the title The God Complex?
GL: Well the title has two separate definitions. Back in the day I had an ex whose father was a philosopher and one day she telling me that “God is perfect and everybody in the world should strive to be like God.” Then the definition of the God Complex theme was somebody who was very arrogant, cocky and above an icon. So, I took two ideas and blended into one and made it musically cohesive. So you can hear the Future bounce beats that are loud, grand and so cocky.
I hear you’re a pretty big fan of Sango?
GL: Yea that’s the homie. I’m actually dropping something soon and we’re performing at Broccoli Fest with him. He’s the homie though, we text and all that.
Cool, now you performed at SXSW on the Soulection stage with some of their artists. What is the connection with all you guys and can we expect a collab or anything of that sort in the future?
GL: Yea Joe Kay is the homie and Abjo so expect something in the future. That’s fam and we will be doing stuff together for a longtime.
So Broccoli Fest is near and it’s your first major show in the district. What is the one thing you want your fans to expect when they see you perform?
GL: That I’m really hot and I’m fly hahahaha…
Lastly, we’re going to play a little game of “On da Spot.” I’m going to round off 5 topics/names and you give me the first thing that comes to your mind. Cool?
DMV Music Scene
Best Place to Eat in the DMV
GL: Yum’s Carry-out
Favorite Song on God Complex
Ta-Ku and Kaytranada
Interview was done on April, 14, 2014
Mac Miller Talks Jay Electronica Performance, Most Dope Family and Upcoming Pink Slime Album
The second season of Mac Miller’s hilarious reality series kicks off tonight and promises to be crazier than ever. This season will feature Mac and his buddies causing mischief while touring in the biggest of cities across the world. You can catch the show on MTV2 on 11:30pm/10:30PM.
I caught up with the Pittsburgh rapper to get the inside scoop on everything “Most Dope Family”, his crazy performance alongside Jay Electronica at the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival and the long awaited collaboration with Pharrell. Check out the exclusive interview below.
So starting off, the Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival was a couple weeks back and Jay Electronica brought you on stage to perform the cut “Suplexes Inside Of Complexes And Duplexes” off your album “Watching Movies with the Sound off”. How was the vibe, experience and everything that came with it?
Mac Miller: It was amazing. Just being able to be a part of that and getting onstage with Jay who is like a God was a great experience. To be honest, there isn’t another person I’d rather have bring me on stage.
So was the performance planned or did it really just happen out the blue. Also, did you get a chance to talk to Jay Z?
Mac Miller: As far as the performance, it was all planned and I didn’t get a chance to holla at Jay. But, to be a part of the festival and Jay Z coming to Brooklyn was cool as sh*t.
Ok, so I got to ask you. What’s good with this music? What you got cookin’ for us?
Mac Miller: Right now, it’s all about “Faces” man. I put out a mixtape that was like an adventure and it’s a lot for people to go through. Right now, I’m just doing what I can for people to help process this project in a day and age where a 24 track mixtape is crazy. I don’t expect that many people to comprehend immediately, I just want people to take pieces of it and understand it. To be honest, I'm really taking my time so my next album will do exactly what I want it to do.
So that takes us to our next question. What’s good with you and Skateboard P’s project “Pink Slime”? We want answers, what’s going on?
Mac Miller: Haha... I mean what’s funny is, I was just in the car listening to some of the old records we’ve done and that sh*t is crazy! We just got to sit down man. He’s been working like crazy and so have I. We just got to get a time where we both can sit down and bust it out. It’s definitely one of those projects that should come out, because there're some bangers on there. But, that sh*t is crazy
Sounds good, so let’s dive into this season of Most Dope Family. Season two is upon us, how are you feeling?
Mac Miller: Im feeling good. I’m in a great mental space right now and I’m very excited for this show to come out. At the end of the day, it’s a show about me and my homies having a good time and that’s what it should be. So yeah, you will see us acting like a bunch of idiot’s haha.
So speaking of your homies, what are you, “Peanut” and the rest of the crew getting into this season?
Mac Miller: Well, Peanut went backpacking through Israel so DJ Clockwork is on the show this season. But, we got a bunch of things going on. Actually, the first episode is our camping trip which was awesome and a great time. With us, you see we’re in the studio a lot so we really came up with ideas for us to get out and kind of disconnect from everything. These are just ideas we come up in the studio and do.
So I got to ask you, is “Larry Lovestein” making an appearance on the show along with your ever-so-famous bike gang “SCW”?
Mac Miller: Haha, nah man. “Larry & Thomas” is not in this season. But, they are working on a couple things that are crazy right now. As for SCW, we’re not doing that either and I loved that sh*t haha! Everybody that worked on the show loved SCW too. You know we had Schoolboy Q with us and we did a pretty good job in Studio City so it’s onto the next.
What are some surprises the viewers will catch this upcoming season?
Mac Miller: The “Pittsburgh Episode” is always tight because I am home. The “Dublin Episode” is cool too. We did a lot of traveling so our episode in Paris is tight too. At the end of the day it’s all positive and fun. This isn’t the type of reality show you’re going to see drama in my life.
So for somebody that never watched an episode of your show, why should they tune in this season?
Mac Miller: Cause I’m on that mother*cker haha. But seriously, it’s just different. To be real, it’s not like a regular reality show. It’s not like an overly dramatic show that is supposed to connect with people. It’s just real.
Well, thanks for sitting down with me bro, I know you got a lot in store for the viewers this upcoming season. Also, you got to let us know when that project drops.
Mac Miller: Yea, and when I figure it out and the album comes I’m sure will talk more about the music.
My Top 5 Fashion Influences (Malcom Jenkins)
Fashion is all about being passionate, versatile and stepping outside of the box — all while owning your look.
For My Brother (Dion Waiters)
We have this expression.
Stay out the way.
It just means: chill. Don’t put yourself in a bad situation. Stay out the way.
Caron Butler: Tuff Juice
“Tough-Bucket” [/təf/ -/ˈbəkət/]
A phrase often associated with a player making a crafty move and scoring a basket that is often perceived as impossible to pull off.
Now, how does that correlate to Caron Butler? Everything you could’ve ever imagined..
Growing up in the inner streets of west side Racine, Wisconsin, Caron Butler often imitated the phrase through life’s impenetrable and perplexing obstacles relatively similar to how he crosses up and finishes on opponents in his day job. Nobody ever said life would be easy, especially for Caron, but the 14-year vet understood from an early age that in order to get past the harsh realities of life, you have to be ready to go through whatever the world throws at you.
From the drug-infested streets of Racine to the bright lights of the NBA, Caron seen it all and been through it all and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. I caught up with Caron during his preseason run to talk about his new book titled Tuff Juice, his new home in Sacramento with the Kings and his hand in helping unite African American communities. Check it out below:
So, new location and team. What’s your mind state coming into the upcoming season?
Caron Butler: We have a great group of guys and I am excited about the opportunity. I’m just really excited to be playing with this team and having a chance to change the culture here in Sacramento and win games.
So the talk of the town is largely due to the new guys you have over in Sacramento from Rondo to the new rookie phenom Willie Cauley-Stein. In your words, how do you see the team moving forward with the additional new pieces?
Caron Butler: I see it going in the right direction. Here, you have the right group of guys that are willing to sacrifice and do the right things in order to win and for the culture to change. With Willie, Demarcus and the rest of the young guys here, the future’s looking bright.
Coming in as the “OG” of the team, what kind of the role do you see yourself playing as the season vastly approaches?
Caron Butler: Being a leader, keeping a balance in the locker and being kind of the shoulder to lean on while all being able to provide. We are going to see alot of different line-ups this season because George Karl is not your conventional coach, you may see big or small lineups so you have to be ready.
Okay, so let’s make a transition to talk about your new book “Tuff Juice”. Your book highlights your upbringing in the drug-infested streets of Racine, Wisconsin to your present days in the league. Why did you decide now was the time to put out an autobiography?
Caron Butler: Over the years we always had the material stemming from ’07-08’. I just wasn’t too sure if I was comfortable talking about everything back then. Over the years, friends, family and the agency wanted me to talk about those things, but reflecting over those experiences and fame brought back memories that I wasn’t ready to visit again. When you revisit those memories you bring back emotions that you’re not ready to deal with, but it got to a point in my life that I was comfortable talking about it and it became therapeutic.
How was your family taking to you going backwards to relive the story?
Caron Butler: They are the reason that I even did it because they were so supportive. From my mom, grandmother, aunts to everyone, they were like why not? Like, why not use your platform for something great. There are so many people going through trying times, it’s like why wouldn’t I use my platform to help inspire. There are so many athletes that are not using their platforms and I feel like we can utilize our platforms to help our following.
Agreed. I think that’s something more athletes can do. Sometimes, I don’t think NBA players and athletes alike understand the type of reach they have on these platforms. So moving forward, it’s been about 20 years since you’ve been incarcerated. If you could go back, what would be the advice you would give the younger self of Caron Butler?
Caron Butler: The thing I always put out there is always stay dedicated and determined. Seeing is believing and you are what your exposed to. Don’t be limited to the confines of your environment. Always expose yourself to more because your capable of doing anything.
So that leads us into the next question. For the kid out there going through similar struggles and looking for a way out of their situation, what is your advice?
Caron Butler: Don’t ever give up and you can accomplish anything. Too often do we get discouraged when we can’t do something or accomplish things. In this book, clearly there were obstacles and things that could have completely derailed me, but with my family by my side, I stayed positive and things started to open up for me.
So your book talks about your childhood back in Racine. When was the last time you went back home?
Caron Butler: I’m in Racine every summer, I do community work back home and I partnered with United Way and the YMCA . This has been something I been doing since forever and nowadays I get praise and recognition because of the book, but this is something I’ve done regardless if the cameras are on me.
So looking back on your road, what’s the one thing you learned about yourself?
Caron Butler: The one thing I’ve learned is that I’m extremely resilient and grateful. I’m humble without boundaries because I know it could have went the other day. When I speak to these kids, I get emotional and wish my dudes that are no longer here with us were here to see this.
So recently you were at the White House for the Champions for Change event, how was that experience coming there to speak?
Caron Butler: It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was invited to the White House before when I was on the champion Dallas Mavericks squad back in 2011, but being invited for your platform is a little different and special because you are changing lives. I felt the energy in the room and to see all these young entrepreneurs in the building was a special feeling and night.
Absolutely. To see all these young entrepreneurs doing so many successful things was probably extraordinary. Did they inspire you also?
Caron Butler: Heck yea. It makes you feel good. All the time you go out and do things and wonder if you are doing the right thing and to see people applaud you and show support is a great thing.
So speak more about your community outreach, where do you see your community work going?
Caron Butler: Just doing more community work and bringing the community together. We shouldn’t have to wait for a situation like Ferguson to happen. With my contacts, I try and bring people from all different walks of life together from the NAACP to doctors and lawyers. I’m just trying to just bring people together to help inspire our youth and find new initiatives that can reflect the identities of the kids and people now.
So you just talked about the community and not waiting for another “Ferguson” to happen before making a change. What are some things you are doing to bring together the African American Community?
Caron Butler: We are doing job fairs and creating experiences while exposing them to things outside of the community that they are not used too. We are bringing in people from these Fortune 500 companies so they can be exposed to people that they would not normally see in their community and they can create relationships. Back in the day, in my community you would know that one police officer in the neighborhood or that owner of the corner store down the street, nowadays you don’t see that. It’s all about bringing the community together as one.
Click here to read the full interview
Sway And Chris Distefano Talk About New MTV Show "Off the Bat"
Andrew Somuah: First off how did guys get involved with the show?
Chris Distefano: Well, I work for MTV2 a lot especially with Guy Code, Ain’t That America and Guy Court.
Andrew S: Yea, I’m familiar with those shows.
Chris Distefano: Yea so, the network came to me knowing I had an existent knowledge of baseball and I was a comedian so they were looking for a personality to fill one of the host roles and felt that I fit the role the best.
Andrew S.: What about you Sway?
Sway: Well about 2 summers ago, we did a thing with Converse and MTV2 which showed how pop culture, sports and athletics have a natural fusion and commonality. It showed how people who grew up in Hip-Hop and pop culture typically had a sport they were into as well. Fast-forward to the present, when MTV told me this show’s concept and what it was based off it really exciting to me. The reason is cause you never seen a show of it’s kind. I’m excited about a lot of baseball players primarily Oakland Athletics and it just felt like it would be a fun show.
Sway: I actually remember the first time I was on the phone with Chris I thought I already met him in person. Then I realized I was so familiar with his work I actually thought I knew him. Later, he would tell me gingerly “Nah we never met" haha...
Chris Distefano: Haha, I mean “Sway I knew who you were of course!”
Sway: Yea, when we saw each other in D.R (Dominican Republic) he would walk past me and I would be like “Who is this bum” haha. But honestly, it really comes from working at MTV for such a long time and the concept of the show. I grew up an athletic kid and a big Oakland A’s fan who followed baseball throughout years. Now, I’m not that much of an expert as he is (Chris Distefano) but I played the sport and I know the teams and players I like. I felt like this is a great way to learn about it, but at the same time make that fusion special man.
Andrew S: Yea I agree, this show is really going to change the game.
Sway: Chris said it best the other day, “Kids will be looking forward to meeting their favorite athletes without the uniform and the hats on.”
Andrew S: That’s what’s going to make this show so great. Fans are going to see their favorite players come in and kind of be themselves.
Sway: And it’s Funny! It’s going to be just natural conversation and things normal people would say. I think MTV2 has always done well when it comes to funny.
Chris Distefano: Absolutely, look at Guy Code!
Sway: Perfect example. For me, it’s great for me too. I don’t get to do too much funny, I’m usually doing radio or if I’m on TV I’m doing news.
Chris Distefano: Sway is funny on the low!
Sway: Nah, I’m funny looking guys, I don’t like to deliver a joke but I like to talk sh*t and make people laugh. But, it’s been fun right?
Chris Distefano: Yea, it’s been so much fun. Personally like Sway said earlier, I love baseball and watched it my whole life. I know a lot of the players so at first I’m in awe of them as we all would be. Then it’s like, we wouldn’t ask any questions about their life but rather ask what their into musically, entertainment wise and what type of food they ate. After 5 minutes, I would forget I’m talking to Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles whereas two years ago I would ask for his autograph and giggle like a little kid. When you find out you share a common interest, it’s just so amazing that these are high-profile baseball players.
Andrew S.: That’s so dope.
Chris Distefano: Every single player has shockingly been down to earth to the point you can’t believe that this guy has millions of dollars and is living out his dream playing in front of thousands of people. It’s been really great on a personal level to know the players and as far as the footage we’re getting, I don’t think there has ever been a show like that. Many networks have tried to do pieces outside of the sport, but it’s never been this in-depth or as edgy as we’re going to do it. Really this show will give you a deep look as to what these players are doing when they aren’t playing baseball.
Sway: Yea, like we all been studying the game. For example take Melanie (points to her) she’s studying stats.
Chris Distefano: Or looking at her shirtless boyfriend haha
Chris Distefano: Yo Melanie, you studying batting averages or looking at “bats?”
I’m studying batting averages (Melanie Iglesias)
Chris Distefano: (In a strong Italian accent) “Yo it’s off the bat.”
Chris Distefano: That’s how we should present the show.
Sway: That would be a funny ass way to open up.
Chris Distefano: We should do that, and then we can like blur the bat out or something.
Sway: Yea you do that sh*t, you just said “we.”
Chris Distefano: We can both do it, and yours will be down to the floor.
Melanie: Guys, I don’t think it will work.
Chris Distefano: What!? You don’t think they will say my penis is small and cute?
Sway: Yea, that will definitely keep the viewers.
Andrew S: Haha, I can sense the vibe from all you guys on the show. How is it working with the rest of the cast?
Sway: Well I love Melanie she’s sweet. She’s very smart and talented, I actually remember when the Guy Code correspondents came into the MTV building. I always thought it was great and Darin Byrne who is one of the executive producers on that Guy Code Show used to be my office mate.
Andrew S: Wow, so you saw some of the beginning stages?
Sway: Yea, I would always hear a bunch of ideas for the show. I remember when it first came to be, he was telling me about all these personalities and when I saw how natural they were on camera I knew this is where MTV needs to be. Chris is somebody I would hang out with regardless. He’s a great comic and this is just a start for him. Seeing these young talents is inspiring for me and I’m an OG. I don’t care how old you are, you’re always learning. As for Fat Joe, he is really going to surprise some people. He has a very multi-layer personality and he tells the greatest stories. Honestly, you’re getting a batch of different people that are trying to create something new.
Andrew S: I can definitely tell. I think with the vibrant cast you guys have, it will translate well to the screen.
Sway: Yea, I can say that in my career I have always tried to be groundbreaking and make history. With MTV, I have been able to do that multiple times and I just think this is just a continuation of it. I can just sit back and chill, Chris what do you think of it?
Chris Distefano: I agree with everything that Sway said. Me and Melanie been friends for a couple of years due to the show and I have watched Sway for about 15 years.
Chris Distefano: Yea 14 years, and with Fat Joe I have been listening to him for 15 years so it’s great to see how the four of us gelled so quickly. It feels like you knew them your whole life, same with Fat Joe. Like Sway is the glue, he just doesn’t want to admit it. He is the one that is going to steer the ship and the one we look to for advice. I think we all know our roles, and whether or not he wants to admit it he’s the captain. Sway is the Derek Jeter of the squad.
Sway: I’m Derek Jeter?
Chris Distefano: Even though I have the number two tatted on my lower back haha
Andrew S: So Chris mentioned to me earlier that he grew up playing baseball, did you?
Sway: I didn’t play baseball in highschool, because I ended up running track. But, we played baseball as much as basketball, football or any other sport. I grew up in a very athletic environment growing up in Oakland, and you couldn’t be wack in sports. It was like a social status thing. Growing up, to us the Oakland A’s were like how the Yankees were to New Yorkers. You had to know your history from the: Vida Blue’s, Canseco’s, Maguire’s, Coco Crisp’s to even Sonny Gray. Growing up, baseball has always been important to me. Only thing that was more important was Hip Hop culture.
Andrew S: That’s Dope. My next question for you is how much baseball did you have to consume prior to this show?
Sway: I was already knowledgeable of baseball but not like Chris, he knows his sh*t. He is way more in-depth than the rest of us. I know what your average baseball fan would know like difference between the National and American Leagues, some divisions or teams that are hot. So for me it wasn’t so much learning the game, but more so learning them as regular people.
Andrew S: That seems like it’s going to be the formula for the show. This show seems like it will be a relaxed environment for players to just come in and be themselves.
Sway: Exactly! I’m going into this as a fan, not an expert. You will not hear me talk like the guys on ESPN. For example, Bryce Harper may come out to Dark Horse by Katy Perry and I will ask what’s the tie to the song and why is he coming out to that song haha.
Andrew S: So I asked Fat Joe earlier who out of the whole cast was the best on the diamond and he gave me his answer. Now it’s your turn, who is the best on the diamond out of all you guys?
Sway: I bet he said he was right?
Andrew S: He actually didn’t say.
Sway: Depends on what you’re asking.
Andrew S: Hitting.
Sway: If it’s hitting, it’s not Chris. Then I saw Melanie doing a piece and she couldn’t hit a tee-ball. So if it’s hitting, it’s between me and Joe. At pitching I would say Joe because he used to play for a softball team and at fielding I would give it to me. Also at running bases, I would also give that to me because I run the fastest. At talking sh*t to another batter, I would give it to Melanie.
Andrew S: She be talking that sh*t?
Sway: Man, she don’t stop talking that sh*t hahaha.
Andrew S: So can you give a little insight to who is going to be on the show?
Sway: Well one of our guest is Bryce Harper. He plays for the Nationals and I think our audience really wants to get to know him. Adam Jones is going make an appearance down the line also on the show. I actually met him in D.R when “Big Papi” had his charitable golf tournament who by the way is the executive producer of the show.
Andrew S: That’s pretty amazing he is stepping into the executive chair.
Sway: He’s so down to earth bro, it’s like how me and you are talking. Papi would sit down and talk to you about rappers and who’s his favorite. We talked about Drake, Kendrick and Jay-Z.
Andrew S: That right there is a glimpse as to how great this upcoming show will become.
Sway: We all our fans, none of this is choreographed or scripted. MLB has been really great in getting us these players and the players have been great in participating.
Andrew S: Ok, so we get to that last question. We’re going to play a little game of “Word Association.” I’m going to round off 8 topics and without thinking you have to give me the first answer that pops into your head. You ready?
Andrew S: New York Yankees
Sway: So what.
Andrew S: Miguel Cabrera’s new deal
Sway: I’m pissed because I went into the wrong field. I should have been a baseball player.
Andrew S: Derek Jeter
Sway: The A’s is going to sincerely miss him.
Andrew S: The enforcement of the new drug penalty laws
Sway: Absolutely, I think every sport should be clean.
Andrew S: Boston Redsox
Sway: Big Papi
Andrew S: Mashiro Tanaka
Sway: Exciting. There are some amazing players around the world and Japan has an incredible baseball consciousness.
Andrew S: New team to watch out for this season
Sway: Detroit and Cincinnati. I think Cincinnati is looking real promising this year.
Andrew S: Lastly, who is your favorite MLB player of all time?
Sway: Rickey Henderson. He stole a lot of bases back when he had the “They called me little Rickey cause I looked like him” hairstyle. Rickey was solid for many years bro, he was a very durable player. I could have also said Barry Bonds, it’s unfortunate the way his career kind of tapered off. But, Rickey Henderson was a great player and a great model for kids in little league.
Andrew S: Well, this pretty much sums up the interview. Thank you and good luck on the show.
Sway: Good job and it was my pleasure.
*Interview is orginally published on thesource.com
Mind Games (Stanley Johnson)
So I took a few beats to get ready.
The Right Play (Keenan Reynolds)
To everybody at Annapolis, thank you for four great years and all the lasting memories.
My Little Oasis (Manny Santiago)
But here’s the kicker.
I found out he had a son. And guess who his son’s favorite skater was?
Yep, Skater White-Boy Manny.
Muck City (Anquan Boldin)
“If a person is in need, you help them. Who cares about the color, race or religion? If a person needs your help, you help them.”
EBC Celebrity Challenge Highlights
My Favorite Musical Influences (Justin Tucker)
To me, music and sports are synonymous with each other.
The Face of the Game (Myles Jones)
Just knowing that those two African-American guys were playing for Georgetown makes me hopeful that maybe another kid will see them playing and think, I want to play, too.
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