Interview: Jadakiss Talks Ferguson, Streetball Culture And New York Rap’s Next Gen
August 18, 2014 - 7:13 pm
There was an article recently from ESPN that said streetball was dead. Events like this and the NIke World Basketball festival out in Chicago kinda proves that claim wrong, right?
Streetball ain’t dead. Whoever said that is obviously under a rock. These tournaments are going on all around the world in amazing cities: New York, Chicago, L.A., they’ve got them everywhere. They give the kids something to do, they give the athletes that’s still trying to peruse their dreams something to do. Na’mean? I could never see it dead. As long as they keep it going, the platforms extending. I’m always gunna come out just to support them.
What pro that we haven’t seen come to the Rucker yet would you want to see come and show out?
I’d like to see Steph Curry out here. I ain’t see Steph Curry play no streetball yet. I’ve seen Kobe, I’ve seen Durant, I’ve seen KG, Iverson, Marbury, I’ve seen all of the greats. I’d like to see [Andrew] Wiggins and Jabari [Parker]. I know they rookies but that’s what the people wanna see.
I want to switch it up a little bit and talk about music. New York has mad legends from your era, like yourself, Nas, Jay Z. Where do you think the younger generation of New York rappers are taking hip hop?
I think it’s doing good. You know, hip hop is a big ferris wheel that goes around and you’ve just gotta be able to maintain yourself while it’s going around. We got Bobby Shmurda and the GS9. Them boys is doing they thing, na’mean?
What do you think about Bobby Shmurda?
I love it! I love the energy. But it’s from New York and I love that more than anything. It’s bringing it back and it doesn’t matter how it comes back, as long as it comes back. They’ve got great energy, they’re doing great things. Lets just keep it going baby.
What do you think about his sound? I feel like he’s merging a little bit of what the new school is about, but he has the grittiness that New York’s been missing for a little bit.
Yeah, he’s got that grit. He’s talking hard. Every bar is reckless. It ain’t as lyrical as myself or Nas or none of that, but the energy from it, the grittiness of it is a beautiful thing. He’s a young kid, he’s got room to get even better. I think he’s a beautiful talent for the game right now. He’s coming with that energy, he’s bringing the goons out, the chicks love it. I like their whole movement, I think they have a bright future. He’s just gotta keep working and don’t get into no trouble outside of the music business.
One of the reasons you're so respected in the game is because you know how to talk to the streets, but do it intelligently. I don’t think you get enough credit for it, and I don’t want to label you, but, in terms of being conscious, you're always one of the people who I've held up there with Nas and Common for always addressing important topics. That being said, I want to know your thoughts on everything that’s happening in Ferguson right now?
It’s crazy. We’re at a time in life where that shouldn’t be happening, but since it happened we can’t just tolerate it. As a people, if we let it go then it goes. This is a time when we have to unite. We unite for things like concerts, and Jordan releases and this and that, all kinds of stuff that’s more frivolous than this. So we’ve got to stick together as a people and let them know that we ain’t gunna tolerate it.
It don’t have to be violent. The strength is in the numbers. Things die down when you let them die down. These are the two incidents that we can’t let die down. Everybody, artists, athletes, the whole community, us as a people have to make sure that we don’t let this die down. You have to take it as if what’s happening in Ferguson was for your pops, or if Mike Brown was your brother. That’s how sincere you’ve got to be about it. We’ve got to stick to it so the higher powers know that they’ve got to do the right thing, not just something. A lot of times they’ll do something to get us out of their faces. They’ve got to do the right thing.