Adam Figman, senior editor at SLAM, sat down with Jadakiss to revisit the classic Allen Iverson Reebok commercials, which rappers can actually hoop, and how AI infused hip-hop with sports.
Before Chris Rock dropped “Top Five” this year, the saying was often a Jadakiss reference to “Top 5 Dead or Alive.” Well, luckily SLAM magazine was able to catch up to the Top 5 rapper and discuss one of basketball’s Top 5 guards, Allen Iverson.
SLAM: You starred in those iconic Reebok commercials with Allen Iverson. What do you remember from that experience?
Jadakiss: Oh yeah, that was great. Steve Stoute put a lot of them together. The good people over at Reebok called me—it wasn’t too watered down. Shout out to Trackmasters, they did the tracks. [Reebok] really let me do my thing. They told me about the sneaker, about the technology of the sneaker, and the rest was just my knowledge of AI. That was a good thing. We did two of them. The A5 and the A6.
SLAM: At that point AI was on top of the world.
Jadakiss: His whole swag was just: they loved him on the court, they loved him off the court. AI was like the hood legend that made it. He brought a lot of the hood to the NBA, just with the way he looked, with his tattoos, him being short, him having that killer crossover. That attracted a lot of could’ve-been-negative stuff, but it was just him. He made the people from where we’re from feel like you could make it. He was short, he had braids, he had tats, and he was bustin’ ass. All the other short dudes with braids and tats, that gave them a boost of energy. That opened the floodgates for the dribbling, shooting point guard.
SLAM: Have you played ball with any rappers that are particularly good?
Jadakiss: Mase used to be nice. Cam’ron was good. Chris Brown is nice. J. Cole is nice. Wale got game. R. Kelly got game. The Game got game. Trey Songz can play, too. I don’t get in as many celebrity games as I’d like to. Now that All-Star Weekend is gonna be in New York this year, I wanna get in the celebrity game this year, the big one that Kevin Hart’s been getting the MVP in the past two years. Let me get in there and get MVP.
For more of Figman’s Jadakiss interview, head HERE
–Jamaal Fisher (@jamaalfisher)