In the aftermath of the NBA's ugliest brawl Friday night (Nov.
19) during a televised game between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons,
Pacer Forward Ron Artest will eventually make his rap debut with an album released
through his record label Truwarier Records.
The CEO and founder of Truwarier Records and Queensbridge native
said his New York hometown has played a significant role in his musical aspirations.
"I think a lot of it is influenced from [Queensbridge].
Anybody from Queensbridge, although we try to go worldwide, global, everybody
brings that hardcore feeling from the hood," Artest told AllHipHop.com.
"And they try to make songs like or follow the leadership of like Nas [and]
Mobb Deep. Every now and then, I find myself trying to be like them."
Artest, 24, has recently been promoting his R&B group Allure,
whose album Chapter III comes out Tuesday (Nov. 23). The trio is famous
for their collaboration "All Cried Out" with R&B male group 112.
"We got Allure [on the label]. They got a song with Elephant
Man," Artest continued. "It's called "Uh-Oh" and that's
Earlier in the season, Artest had reportedly asked Pacer Head
Coach Rick Carlisle for time off due to a busy schedule that entailed promoting
his album and artists on his record label.
The request led to a two-game suspension, but Artest claimed
the reason for his appeal was fatigue and also to spend time with family. He
said he's more focused on other albums than his own, which will only be available
through the Truwarier Records website store.
Artest, a former St. John's University star player, was also
suspended for the remainder of the NBA season Sunday (Nov. 21) for his involvement
in a huge game scuffle, which resulted in injuries and several player suspensions.
Piston Forward Ben Wallace initiated the melee when he shoved
Artest after a foul. Afterwards, Artest was lying on the scorer's table, then
dashed into the stands and started throwing punches at fans after they flung
drinks at the player.
Artest, penalized for violent actions in the past, also punched
fans that came onto the court. Still, Artest has hopes of returning to game
action even though the NBA has been adamant in its suspension.
"You know things just escalated, as you can see. I think
I can make it back pretty shortly. Hopefully, I can make it back for this playoff
run," Artest said. "I said I was gonna get a championship this year
and we're not giving up."
While he's been heavily criticized in recent weeks, Artest also
said he cherished fans for their support.
"I really got to thank them for realizing that I wasn't
trying to make things bad. I was having a great game, 18 points first quarter,"
Artest said. "There was a real good game and things got out of hand. I
really appreciate young people noticing my game and everything."
Nationally syndicated radio host Rush Limbaugh recently commented
on the game debacle, blaming Hip-Hop.
"This is the hip-hop culture on parade. This is gang behavior
on parade minus the guns," Limbaugh said on his show Monday (Nov. 22).
"That's the culture that the NBA has become. That's what's happening here,
and part and parcel of this gang culture, this hip-hop culture, is: 'I'm not
going to tolerate being dissed. I'm not going to be disrespected.'"
But Artest simply brushed off those with negative commentary.
"Nothing much [to say to detractors]. Nothing to say."
Artest, whose rap name is Paqman, released two volumes of his
"Truwarier All-Stars Mixtape" earlier this year, featuring some of
hip-hop's finest. The mixtape was hosted by Q-York's Flavamat!kz with guest
appearances by 50 Cent, Nas, DJ Kay Slay, Crud Bruvas, Nature, Canibus and Knowa
Production included Q Banger, Alchemist, Brains Bond and Freestyle
Productions. The release date for Artest's album is yet to be announced, but
an audio of his exclusive single "We Party" is currently available
Truwarier originated from a nickname given to Artest by commentators
at the Rucker Parks Entertainment Basketball Classic for his "relentless
style of play."