Ron Artest Talks Fitness, Rap Career

(AllHipHop News) The days of being a controversial bad boy are over for Ron Artest.

The NBA all-star, who garnered negative attention after an on-court fight on November 19, 2004, is moving forward towards more positive endeavors while reflecting on his past mind state.

“When I got to the NBA, I always made a conscious effort to never change and kept my hood mentality,” Artest reveals in the March issue of Men’s Fitness. “It was erratic to a lot of people from the outside. So I had to find a way to stay true and not be so erratic. People know I’m a good person, so they take me for what I am now. I just want them to see somebody that they can always relate to. That’s real important.”

Artest’s role in the fight resulted in a lengthy suspension and approximately $7 million in salary lost. Five years later, Artest joined his current team, the Los Angeles Lakers as a small forward/shooting guard.

With a renewed focus on being the best on and off the basketball court, the athlete’s energy is put on bettering his body. According to the Lakers forward, being mindful of what he puts into his body now is a far cry from the foods he ate out of necessity.

“I grew up not having a lot of money, so I ate no-frills brand fried chicken,” Artest said. “Everything was no-frills brand oils, butter, lots of salts—the cheapest way to make it. Luckily I ran a lot.”

Artest’s youthful motivation to stay fit carried over into his adult life and work on the court. The sports figure is adamant about working out regularly as he confessed to pushing himself to the limit whenever he exercises.

Like many visitors to the gym, Artest utilizes music to help make his workouts more fun. So much so that he has created a rap song about working out, a move he does not regret.

“I’m an athlete, and I rap," said Artest, who officially entered the world of rap with the 2006 release of his debut album, My World. "People ask me ‘Why [did] you make a song like that?' Because that’s what I do. I workout.”

The March issue of Men’s Fitness featuring Ron Artest hits newsstands on Monday (January 25).