At this point, I think we can all agree that Ron Artest is the predominant rapper in the NBA. He’s not the best (word to no one), but he’s certainly the most famous, both from a having heard her songs perspective and a biggest name player standpoint. He’s got the NBA rap game on lock.
But what about if he were a DJ, not a rapper? What songs would Ron Artest play? Your answer, thanks to a guest DJ stint on Los Angeles public radio station KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic” program: Mary J. Blige, Mobb Deep and 1920′s jazz, duh.
And, as is the custom with “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” he talked about all kinds of music stuff during his time on the show. Here he is talking about how they don’t make songs like they used to after playing the O-Jays’ “Forever Mine.”
RA: Yeah, the O’Jays; another feel-good group. That’s my mom and me, growing up, Sunday mornings — church, breakfast and blasting loud oldies.
It’s like a lot of love involved in it, you know, talking to a female. I think it’s real important. Those songs, they don’t make those no more, because now they make songs, they refer to a female as a “B” or as a “chick” or as a “ho”. Some of the songs today are okay, but for the most part, it’s not “a girl I love” — and that’s what you get when you listen to O’Jays.
Or how he’s not a romantic because he had his heart broken at 13 and now he’s a man.
JB: Ron, do you consider yourself a romantic?
RA: No, I’m definitely not romantic. That’s the bad thing — I don’t try, actually. You know what, I’ve been with my wife for 17 years. And the girlfriend I had right before her, when I was 12, kind of broke my heart. I never actually kissed this girl, I had this girl and I never kissed her, so I broke up with her when I was 12 and then I met my wife when I was 14, so I never really gave myself to anybody 100% — not even my wife.
JB: The romance was over at 12.
RA: It was over at 13. Never again. I’m a man. I can’t feel that way no more.
And here’s how Mobb Deep made him want to play professional basketball.
RA: My cousin lived right next door to Havoc. Havoc was the producer, Prodigy was the rapper, but they both rapped. Havoc did all the beats. He had a brother named Killa B. His brother shot himself in the head right across the hall from my auntie’s door. And then my auntie, her sons, which are my cousins they were all — everybody’s selling drugs and Havoc is in there making beats, making beats. So they came out with this song and everybody around New York loves it.
RA: I was young and I’m like, ‘wow I don’t want to be in the streets, I don’t want to be doing what my cousins is doing, I want to make it in basketball’, but these guys inspired me to keep pushing, to be positive, to make it in basketball. To this day, when you put “Survival Of The Fittest” on in the club, people remember that sound. They remember what it was back in the ’90s. But I can’t listen to this before a game…because I might get a technical foul or something.
There is so much good stuff in this interview that I can guarantee you that it will be worth the 11-and-a-half minutes of your life. Besides these gems, you’ll get explanations for why he can’t listen to rap before a game and why he prefers a 90-year-old song about a woman who misses her husband.
It’s really awesome, and it’s quite possibly the most sedate you’ll ever hear Ron Artest. Highly, highly recommended as Ron Artest remains the best.
(via Passion of the Weiss)