The NBA’s version of the first day of school, aka Media Day, took place at the San Antonio Spurs practice facility earlier this week with a lighthearted tone in the air. Tim Duncan made fun of Tony Parker’s summer goggles, Tony cracked on a TV sports reporter’s hair, and members of the media took turns tossing out their lamest Eddy Curry fat jokes as they stood around waiting for the next interview scrum. Thanks to Spurs Director of Basketball Communications Tom James, the Current was able to catch up with Stak5, aka Stephen Jackson, about his upcoming album Jack of All Trades, the music of DeJuan Blair, and the looming NBA season.
What was the genesis of the track “Fall Out?”
I have a producer in Atlanta who’s a good friend of mine. His name is Grade A and he made the beat and the hook for the song. It came with a concept because when I’m on the court I play till I can’t play no more, till I’m ready to pass out, till I can’t breathe. Off the court I enjoy my life. I spread my blessings with my friends and we have a good time, so ball until I fall out means that I’m a live my life to the fullest and that’s me in a nutshell. When the song came out it was easy for me to write to it because that’s me.
What was it that first drew you to music and hip-hop in particular?
I started off loving music by singing in the church choir when I was growing up. As the time passed growing up in Texas, being raised on DJ Screw music we always free-styled and we always wanted to rap in the car; everywhere we went, we always free-styled. About thirteen years ago a rapper out of Houston named Paul Wall and the Grit Boys gave me an opportunity to record my first song and once I did that I just fell in love with it.
How influential were UGK and the Geto Boys for you?
UGK especially; Pimp C and Bun B raised me. Probably my first rap song I ever heard was by them. My first concert I seen was them. Being from Port Arthur, they put my city on the map. They made me feel good about being from Port Arthur. So I created all my music, my hip-hop love, to Pimp C and Bun B. Rest in peace Pimp and shout out to Bun B. I owe it all to them.
What was it like to finally work with Bun B and a legend like Scarface?
It was special. The thing with Scarface, it just kind of happened. He had just got out of jail and we just happened to be in the same studio and the respect was mutual. A lot of people go their whole rap careers without being able to work with Scarface so it was a blessing for me. Bun B, that’s like my older brother. He supports me with my basketball. I’ve always supported him. Now that he see me doing music he just embraced it. I’m another guy representing our home town so we support each other.
What do you think makes a great emcee?
Being real with yourself, not following a trend, not trying to be somebody you’re not, and not trying to do what everybody else doing by staying in your own lane. Whatever you rapping about make sure you’re living it and that make’s a real emcee.
What can folks expect from the debut album?
My life in a nutshell. I got songs talking about me ballin’. I got songs paying homage to my Mom, my sister, and brother giving me the support I needed to be here. I got songs dedicated to my friends back home who I grew up with, who I still hang with, about being trill. Like Bun always say, trill is not about how much money you got, how many cars, about how many houses, it’s not about any of that. Trill means being yourself, being true to the people to who you’ve been knowing your whole life and being true to everybody around you and never changing; always being the same person you were before you had anything and that’s me. I’m trill.
Any thoughts on Tony’s music?
I think Tony was doing it just to see if he could try it. It’s different because I love what I do. This is a passion for me. I put the time in. I’m in the studio till nine in the morning almost every night working. I think it’s something that I love to do and something I want to do after basketball. I think it was just something he was trying at the time.
Have you heard any of DeJuan’s music?
DeJuan has some nice music. I’ve seen a couple of videos which was pretty good. I didn’t know he could really sing like that. He’s definitely a good singer. I’m surprised. I think guys just need to have the confidence and believe in their music to put it out like I’m doing.
Can you talk about the upcoming project you’re on featuring NBA players?
It’s called Full Court Press. Shawn Marion, Josh Smith, Baron Davis, a lot of guys are on it. It’s actually real hip-hop artists and basketball players doing songs together. I did a song with Bun B and I also did the intro with Yelawolf so it was exciting. I did so good on the song with Bun B they asked me to do another song. It’s gonna be a real good album. A lot of NBA guys didn’t write their own rhymes but it’s good to see that they were able to rap and put it together.
Do you have any plans for a show here in San Antonio?
I definitely do. My album Jack of All Trades comes out October 30th. Hopefully I’ll have a show somewhere around that time to debut my album. I plan on doing shows just like I did last year, all season long. Wherever I’m at I’m willing to do a show so if people looking for a show hit Hot Rod at @HotRodStainless on Twitter or you can find his info and my other manager’s info on the bottom of all my mix-tapes which are on livemixtapes.com.
How does it feel to back in San Antonio starting off a new season?
Like I always say, I came in this game a winner. I want to continue to be a winner. This is the place where winning is everything so that’s why I love San Antonio. Everybody’s dedicated to playing their role and to being champions at the end of the season and that’s why I love being here.
Are you a Spur for life?
Shout out to San Anto artist Rigoberto Luna for his homage to a Free Darko classic. Somewhere San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro is looking over his shoulder. — M. Solis