It’s no coincidence that NBA baller Stephen Jackson is so well connected in the rap game. Raised in Port Arthur, TX, home of rap’s legendary Underground Kings (UGK), Bun B and Pimp C, Jackson grew up in the heart of the Texas’ Hip-Hop movement. Now having worked with UGK, Scarface, Z-Ro, Alley Boy, Killa Kyleon, and after rapping over beats produced by Big K.R.I.T. and Cardo, Jackson is for real. Many believe he’s definitely to be taken more seriously than other ballers who have rapped – like Shaq. He has almost 100,000 views on his mixtape, and the project has only been out for a few weeks.
Known for shooting lights out and raining 3’s from behind the arc since 1997, Stack 5, as his friends and other rappers call him, has always been regarded as one of the most emotional and outspoken stars to step onto an NBA court. In fact, “trill” is a word that Milwaukee Bucks 6’8” forward Stephen Jackson takes very seriously, and he says that people have died over that where he’s from. Take a look at AllHipHop.com’s exclusive interview, as Jackson breaks down his plans for his new mixtape with DJ Scream called What’s A Lockout? He also explains his views on the NBA Lockout (literally just before it ended), and he lets us know what’s really “Trill:”
AllHipHop.com: What’s good, bro?
Stephen Jackson: Not much, what’s going on? Stack 5 in the building, ya dig?
AllHipHop.com: You always hitting them three’s, boi! [laughter]
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, man, but I’m bout to start rappin’ and start hittin’ these bars on mo’f**ckas.
AllHipHop.com: So you bout to start rapping now huh?
Stephen Jackson: I been rapping, I’m just now releasing the music.
AllHipHop.com: So, man, you’re from Port Arthur if I’m not mistaken, right?
Stephen Jackson: Oh yeah, please don’t get that mistaken. [laughter]
AllHipHop.com: [laughter] I got you. Talk to me about P.A. [Port Arthur] and how your music has been influenced by the city.
Stephen Jackson: P.A. is everything to me, it’s me, it’s how I talk, how I think, how I breath, how I act, everything. Our whole lifestyle is “trill.” You know what I’m saying? Port Arthur is where we were raised to be trill, and a lot of people out here saying the word and don’t know what it means. It came from the soil that I walked on and that I grew up on before the NBA and after the NBA. I been walking on these same cross streets. It means everything to me, man, and it’s all you are going to hear in me. Pimp C. Bun. Secret Society.
AllHipHop.com: Right… So do you have a lot of songs with them?
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, I got a whole bunch of Pimp C samples, and I got a song with Bun, and I guarantee that before I retire, me and Bun will have a million songs together.
AllHipHop.com: That’s what it is… So, man, you played on a lot of teams over the years. Can you go over some of the teams that you played for, and what your favorite city was?
Stephen Jackson: I played in New Jersey, San Antonio, Atlanta, Indian, Golden State, Charlotte, but I think the area that I liked the best was the Bay Area with Golden State. I had a good time in the Bay.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, y’all were running a lot in those years, putting up a lot of points.
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, we had a young team, and we all basically, at the same time, we were resilient, and basically had that chemistry and we just made it happen. We didn’t take “no” for an answer from nobody.
AllHipHop.com: Right, now what about this year? You are with the Bucks…they got a pretty solid squad, man.
Stephen Jackson: Mannnn…I don’t really know, man… I don’t know how that’s going to be. I ain’t really been thinking about that, man.
AllHipHop.com: How has it been with the lockout?
Stephen Jackson: What is that? Hold on….. [Stephen Jackson asks everyone in the room what a lockout is about…]
AllHipHop.com: [laughter] Honestly, Steve…. As a whole overall….
Stephen Jackson: I might be able to get someone to explain it to you, but honestly, I haven’t even been paying attention, and I know there was a deal that a lot of people didn’t agree upon. And, I kind of refrained from being on either side, and when they sit down and become adults and sit down, and come to an agreement, then I will come into the picture. Buy while they act like little girls, and some guys are hurting for money, and some guys backstabbing while we supposed to be together, I’m gonna stay out ‘til they become one, if I come in there and they on some fake sh*t, someone gonna get hurt.
AllHipHop.com: So, I want to know more about your label. What can you tell me about that?
Stephen Jackson: Well, the label is called Secret Society Entertainment. We been having it for a while now. We got Messiah; he been on damn near all my songs. I got Pepper Spray, I got Flamez. I definitely have formed a good relationship with my SYS family, with Twin, and also, I definitely got the relationship with Bun B and Scarface. Also, my brother Alley Boy in Duct Tape Entertainment, so I got a big family of people that’s working with me now, but it’s mainly me, Messiah, Peper Spray, and Flamez.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, so you working with Alley Boy and them, huh?
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, and it was easy for me and Twin to hook up with our business with Atlanta.
AllHipHop.com: There have been a lot of players that have tried to make the jump from NBA baller to rapper. How do you think you will set yourself apart, man?
Stephen Jackson: Well, by being real and by being me. Everyone knows me from when I came into the league. I never changed for money, I’ve always been me, and I always spoke my mind. I’m a real n*gga. Real recognize real. I never said anything that I didn’t back up. You know if I felt like a ref made a bad call, then I told them about it, and if I felt like I got fined wrongly, then I said something about it. I speak my mind. I’m in the streets everyday. It’s not too many NBA players out there like me. I’m gonna let my music do the talking, but I guarantee you will never hear another NBA player with music like this.
AllHipHop.com: I think it’s a general consensus that you and Rasheed Wallace have been the toughest players in the league over the past decade or so.
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, because regardless of your time in the league, they are going to forget about you. I tell people this all the time, and people love me after I tell them this. Basketball is what I do, it’s not who I am. You know what I mean? Walk with me…
AllHipHop.com: So this DJ Scream tape might be one of the most official projects that a athlete has dropped…
Stephen Jackson: You not gonna be able to compare me to anyone. I’m naming real life street rappers, I’m in the same traps as street hustlers…I didn’t just meet these guys. I’m not hustlin’, but I’m there. I feel comfortable there, and we homeboys anyway, and they ain’t dealing with me for money or a relationship with an NBA player. They know me as Stack 5.
AllHipHop.com: Remember Carlos Boozer’s song?
Stephen Jackson: That was trash. I wouldn’t even comment on no song like that. The people I’m around they gotta pay to be around. I leave my key in the car in these places. Half these NBA players is scared to be where I’m at.
AllHipHop.com: Why you think P.A. has been such a place for this talent? DJ B-Do has always talked about how much talent is in Houston and P.A.
Stephen Jackson: Jamal Charles, Danny Gore, the Babineux brothers in the NFL, and I’m the only basketball player. Ask them about me. They been knowing me since day one.
[Stephen Jackson at the 2011 A3C showcase co-sponsored by AllHipHop.com]
AllHipHop.com: DJ B-Do told us a lot about the talent out there.
Stephen Jackson: Yeah, with Pimp gone, it’s time for me to bring it back. You know what I’m saying? I’m gonna be the head of that monster, man. It’s a lot of talent out here. You talking about a city with eight projects, one high school, and one main street. So, now you see why we take it personal when people say Trill. We take it personal when people say “trill” not being from Port Arthur, because we seen a lot of people die from that word. That word means more to us than anybody not being from Port Arthur. It’s real hard to explain because it’s coming from this side, and with Pimp gone, it’s even more sensitive, ’cause we know what he did to put P.A. on the map, and we can’t let that die.
AllHipHop.com: That’s real, man. Pimp’s a legend. R.I.P. to the Pimp.