you doing man?
good man. Training camp's started. I'm back in the mix of things. I got
the album coming, the family's good, can't complain.
it feel to be back?
a long time. Now I finally have a chance to get back on the basketball
court and I get a chance to have fun now finally.
you been up to with Tru Warier lately?
right now is popping. Allure's album still has a chance to make a lot
of noise in the industry. B-12 is a hot R&B album. I'm working on
my record. I got Mike Jones on there, Nas, Daron from 112, we got beats
from Cool and Dre, Big Pokey's on the album, Nature's on the album, and
of course Ron Artest is on the album.
the rapping going?
A lot of
people say "oh he's an NBA player, he shouldn't be rapping"
or just saying that I can't rap and not wanting to give me a chance. I
don't really care what people think. I think my street credibility is
just as good as any entertainers in the music industry. I feel like I
got the "ok" to do whatever I want pretty much. Outside that,
we have a lot of good talent on this album anyway, Nas, Mike Jones, Nature,
I got beats from Havoc, the album is sounding hot.
you want to put the album out?
I got people
working the songs at radio. Once I get a couple of records on the radio,
the albums coming out right after. It could be January or February.
it like going from playing ball with the best players in the world to
rhyming with some of the best rappers in the world?
I haven't mastered basketball yet. People would say I do a lot of things
well, but I didn't have anything perfected. Now I have certain skills
perfected. And I've been doing music for six years and my music is getting
better, and I still want to get better. I take the same approach from
basketball into the music. I just want to compete. I want people to hear
my music and say they like that song where it doesn't even have to do
with Ron Artest. I make sure my hooks are catchy and my production is
at other basketball players that rapped. Shaq was cool, then there was
Iverson, and then Kobe. Do you feel like certain athletes have made it
hard for other athletes to be taken seriously in the music industry?
all right. Deion Sanders had that one joint "It Must Be the Money,"
and people were feeling that. Shaq had "Outstanding." Those
were the only two songs that really caught on. Shaq sold over a million
too. Iverson likes music, Kobe likes music. What's going to separate me
is that I'm not trying to be nobody but me, like Shaq. That's why Shaq
sold so much. I think with Iverson, he was so gangsta where he wouldn't
have made as much money selling music and people in the NBA didn't like
that. And with Kobe, a lot of people just don't like Kobe. Him being an
NBA player, I like his raps because I'm an NBA player. But on the other
end, you have to be able to compete and be more than an NBA player that
raps. I'm trying to be a hot rapper.
you balance your time between Tru Warier and the Pacers?
showed me a lot of love which is ill. After I play ball, I'll go to the
studio and promote my album. It's been pretty hard. I'm just trying to
get people used to what I'm doing because it's never going to stop. The
only way it's going to stop is if they put a stop plug in me. A lot of
people don't agree with it. I don't care. I'm still in the hood. Jay-Z
makes a lot of money, 50 Cent makes a lot of money, and Ron Artest makes
a lot of money, so why can't Ron Artest rap? They're making money and
still rapping. I'm in the hood more than a lot of people, rapper, non-rapper,
and other people. I feel like I have the "ok" and nobody can
question what I do.
you wanted to take time off last year to focus on the label, how do you
feel about that statement you made today?
I think that
was fucked up what I did to my team. I should never have said that I wanted
to take time off from my team to record. That was just wrong. On the other
hand, it's not like I'm playing my music in the locker room. I like to
listen to other music in the locker room. My teammates understand what
I'm trying to do.
closet MC's are there in the NBA?
lot of people that want to do it but they don't really know what to do.
You have to be yourself! Like with Nelly, when he came with that "Country
Grammar," he was himself. Eminem with "Hi, My Name is
was himself. Outkast is themselves. There might be somebody like an Outkast
in the NBA because people love music.
the best rapper in the NBA?
I'm not the
best rapper in the NBA. Elton Brand is better than me. Stephen Jackson
is better than me. Troy Hudson is nice. Troy Hudson has some fire. There's
a lot of people in the NBA that are nice and have the credibility to do
what they want because they gangsta and they got gangsta people, and the
bottom line is they love music. I think even if somebody from the suburbs
wanted to rap, they should be able to rap, White, Black, or Chinese. People
love music nowadays, and that's what it's about.
Nash album would be dope.
that shit gotta be fire. If you're going to come out with an album, that
joint gotta be hot. You can put out an album, some people are going to
like it, some won't. What I'm trying to do, I want people to like my joint
so I'm going in the booth trying to make hot songs.
the way you play ball similar to your approach to rapping?
different. When I'm in the booth, I hear the track and I say "I want
to make a hit." Sometimes I don't even want to make a hit, I just
want to make a song about the hood where you just have to listen to the
words. Sometimes I want to make a song that could play in the club all
day. Most of the songs I like to make, I'm trying to get them in the club.
I want them to be in the club every day. That's how I'm coming right now.
When you get the album, you get a chance to see what I've been through.
you think David Stern and the league thinks of your rapping?
As long as
it doesn't affect the NBA, they're cool about it. I'm not talking about
a lot of nice things on my album. I'm talking about stuff that I see and
that I still see because I'm in the ghetto. I can't leave the ghetto for
some reason. There's going to be some things on my album that the upper
class and rich folk won't like. They can take it how they want to take
it when they hear the album, but it's coming out.
think the music will be a distraction to you this season?
if you think about it, I've been doing music for six years. Sometimes
I'll be recording in the booth right before a game. I finished a whole
album and I'm in great shape. It's really not going to be a distraction
and my team, we have a bunch of strong-minded guys that couldn't care
less about the album. In my spare time after practice, I'll be hitting
take your studio on the road?
Yeah, I got
a little set-up where if I'm feeling the track, I can take the mic into
the closet and lay a gangsta-ass track and send it to my people in Queensbridge
to see what they think of it and if they feel it. Half the time I couldn't
care less what they think about it.
so much history coming out of Queensbridge, do you feel the responsibility
to help carry the torch?
I'm about to put Queensbridge on the map. It's not going to be no gangsta-ass
kill everybody album. What I'm going to do is open the door for the Tragedy's,
the Littles', the Mobbs
Queensbridge is about to blow up again. We
deserve to be on top. The only reason we're not on top is because we kept
it too gangsta. Now it's time to make a hit. Everybody's making money
selling these club songs and these fruity songs, we have to make some
real hits. Look at Interscope. That's a gangsta-ass record label. 2Pac
had some gangsta-ass songs and some club joints. It's time for Queensbridge
to make some club bangers.
like the media portrays you to be a crazy dude. Who is the real Ron Artest?
I just do
me. I play ball. I rap, and I try to make songs for the club. I have a
family, so if you hear me about being in the club getting it popping,
that's not true. I'm married with four children. I don't care what people
think about me. I'm in the hood every summer. I'm like the king of the
hood. Nobody does it how I do it. That's pretty much it man. I'm a regular
dude. I don't really try to wild out. They be calling me "thug this,
thug that" but you can't blame me. I grew up around gangstas and
killers. You can't blame me for who I grew up around.
have any regrets about how that Detroit incident went down?
little kid that was in the middle of everything. They kept showing him
on TV. And also all of the people that didn't want to be involved in the
situation. I feel sorry for those people. I don't feel sorry for the people
that started that trouble. They should get smacked in the face every time
somebody sees them. And I don't care about the people that blamed the
whole situation on me, whether they work for the NBA or not. Those people
can kiss my ass. Other than that, I wish I wasn't a part of that. But
if somebody else was a part of it, it probably would have turned out worse.
At least I was able to hold myself down during that. My teammates are
good people and it made them look bad, and I wasn't happy about that.
talked to Ben Wallace at all since the incident?
No. I never
spoke to Ben Wallace before or after. I don't know him like that. I like
how he plays defense.
time off from last year help or hurt you?
me man. I improved my song-writing. I got to get in the studio and just
make fire. The time really helped out. Plus I got a chance to rest my
body and I had the chance to get better in basketball too.
going to see a new Ron Artest this year on the court?
same one! Playing hard, fouling, playing all out of control, the same
#91 last year as a tribute to Rodman, do you feel like you're the bad
boy of the league right now?
Yeah. I think
whenever something is wrong, they need a scapegoat, and right now, I'm
that dude. It'll probably be someone else later. I love Rodman, that's
What are your plans for Allure right now?
they're free agents. I'm still kind of helping them. If nobody snatches
them up before I get back on my feet from that loss I took, I'm going
to snatch them back up and I'm going to put their album out in a year
and a half.
wrong with the Allure project?
thing that went wrong was when I got suspended, I had to fall back. There
was a lot of things on my mind. I was never ready to experience what I
was going through. I took the album off the shelf. I didn't give the album
a chance to see what it could do. If I get another chance to put out another
Allure album, it's going to succeed because they're hot. Anybody who heard
the album said it was hot, but it came out November 23rd and I got in
trouble November 19th. I didn't even get a chance to see how it would
you going to differently when you drop your album?
I wish I
would have had the music experience on the Allure album that I have for
my album. I'm only going to get better. My experience is only going to
be that much better when I drop the next album.
someone have to have in order to rock the Ron Artest jersey right?
have to be fly. I have the new kicks coming out. I'm signing off on them,
they're hot. G-Unit kicks are fly. The new Sean Jean joints are fly. You
have to have fly joints. If you want to totally be Ron Artest for the
day, you have to get my new sneakers, they're going to be on the website
in another month. They're called K1x, they ain't no basketball shoes because
I don't care about being a basketball player. They some shoes that you're
going to fly in. I've got some basketball shoes, but don't buy my basketball
shoes, buy the shoes that you can look good in. When you want to go to
the club with your white tee and Artest jersey and you want to look gangsta
for the night, you have to get my K1x and the Tru Warier jeans. You know
you're not going to get no gummy-bear apparel. That's going to make you
look right. You can get my visor or hat, and you're going to feel right.
You can feel right, you're going to feel untouchable.
'don't buy your basketball shoes'...
shoes is corny (to wear to club). If you can look good with your basketball
shoes, that's cool. My basketball shoes, you can wear them with jeans
or in the park with your family. You can wear them in the hood and no
one is going to joke on you, unlike some of the other shoes that's out
there that look mad phony and corny. My kicks are fly. You can cop my
shoes and go right to the court after that, or go out with your girl,
and you're going to have that flavor. Word.
has the worst shoes in the league?
I don't want
to bad-mouth anybody, because a lot of my friends wear those corny shoes.
But I don't know what's up with these basketball designers. I think Nike's
like "yo we'll pay y'all to design some weak shoes and we'll design
all the fire ones." Nike got fire, Jordan got fire. G-Unit got fire,
a couple other companies have fire. But some of these companies, how am
I going to wear your sneakers to the club? I can't rock Sean John jeans
with certain kicks out there. You've got to look right. With the Ron Artest
line coming out, you can wear that with pride man.
looking for new artists right now?
I would love
to have new artists, but I have to wait man, at least a couple of years,
unless I can get a big label deal. I'm definitely able to run a label.
Once I get a bigger staff, I'll be able to do more. I got some other artists
already on the label. I don't want to sign other artists because I won't
be able to do anything for them right now.
you want to say to everyone out there telling you to stop rapping?
I want to
tell them they can suck my cock, all of them. That's what they can do.
Kiss my ass and then when I see them, I'm going to smack them in the face,
bring them to the hood, punch them in the face, and they can kiss my ass.
you want to say to all your fans out there?
I want to
tell them to keep God first, and don't let nobody tell you different.
God is number one man. He's going to help you do good and bad. You're
going to have good times, and you'll have better times. That's real.