Q+A: Stephen Jackson

by Rodney David King / @mehkavelli

Stephen Jackson has been overlooked since entering the League in 2000, remembered largely for his part in the infamous Indiana-Detroit brawl at The Palace of Auburn hills. Since then, Jack has evolved into a more mature player on and off the court over the years, earning respect from players and coaches alike.

After some great years in Golden State and Charlotte, Jackson is now a Milwaukee Buck playing alongside fellow Oak Hill alum Brandon Jennings. When he spoke with SLAMonline earlier this week, the last thing he wanted to talk about was his basketball exploits. He’s ready for the world to get to know his alter ego, Stack 5. With the lockout currently hanging over the heads of players and the owners, Stephen isn’t wasting his time checking twitter for status updates. He’s been in the studio prepping the world for his upcoming mixtape, What’s A Lockout?

Featuring contributions from Bun B and others, What’s A Lockout? introduces us to Jackson’s rapper side. Still in the studio working on his debut, Stack 5 took time out his recording duties to talk with SLAMonline about his new mixtape, his thoughts on the NBA lockout and why he will not be the next Shaq.

SLAM: What have you been doing since the lockout started?

Stephen Jackson: I’ve been enjoying myself during the lockout. I’ve got the opportunity to do something that I wanted to do for years. I’ve been rapping for years and this lockout just gave me the time and opportunity to go head and put this out there. So I’ve been taking advantage of that.

SLAM: How did you get into rapping?

SJ: Sports and music go hand and hand in a way. Growing up in Port Arthur, TX, I grew up listening to UGK. Their music was a big part of my life. They were my inspiration. I’ve been rapping at least 9-10 years or so. With the lockout, it was the opportunity that I really needed. Instead of just rapping to myself, I wanted to show people that I could do this.

SLAM: Who are some of the artists you listen to?

SJ: UGK, Snoop Dogg, Scarface and the Geto Boys, Camp Lo, Fabolous, The Lox. My favorite rappers right now I would say would be UGK, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross.

SLAM: So what are you working on right now?

SJ: I’m working on this mixtape right now. It should be dropping in two weeks. It’s called What’s A Lockout? I got features from Bun B, Z-Ro, Alley Boy. I’m still working on it. By the time it’s done, it’s going to be a movie bro.

SLAM: Do you feel like fans of basketball and hip-hop won’t take you serious as an emcee? You know we’ve seen plenty of ballers from AI to Shaq try to take over hip-hop.

SJ: I can’t worry about that. Anybody who knows me, knows that I’ve been misunderstood my whole basketball career. I love the hate! It’s nothing but my motivation. People can think I’m doing this because I got money. I’m doing it because I can. I guarantee that I will be the first NBA player to really do this. I mean Shaq did it, but I got the streets behind me so it’s going to be a totally different outcome.

SLAM: Let’s talk about basketball for a minute. What do you think will be the outcome of the lockout?

SJ: I honestly think that we’re going to play in December around Christmas. I don’t think they really want to disappoint the fans more than they have already. Christmas is a time when a lot of people depend on basketball, not just us. Hopefully it’s done, but at the end of the day I’m a loyal guy and I’m gonna stay down with the people I’m down with. Whatever the decision the Players Association makes, I’m down.

SLAM: When the League starts back up again, will you keep rhyming or will you put it to the side until the season is over?

SJ: I’m not going to stop. We all know that basketball is the reason why me and my family can live like we live and the bills get paid. Basketball is the number one, but the music don’t stop. I got good people around me in place to run things when I’m not around. At this point, I’m not the one running the label. I’m just an artist on the label.

Stack 5 a.k.a. Stephen Jackson’s mixtape “What’s A Lockout?” hits the Internet soon on S.S.E. (Secret Society Entertainment).