We are proud to present a new exclusive interview with none other than the legendary Scoop Jackson. For those who are unfamiliar with Scoop, he is a well-known writer in the music and sports industries, most notably as former editor of XXL Magazine and SLAM Magazine and now currently writing at ESPN.com. We were at Bo Jackson's Elite Sports center in promotion of the Nike Trainer SC and Scoop was the moderator of the Q&A session, being an avid shoe collector himself. Naturally, we first discussed what the Nike Trainer SC meant to him and Scoop also helps to explain the shoe's significance. We then talked potential similarities between a hip hop artist and an NBA player that we may not expect, which led to some enlightening information from Scoop about Grant Hill. Finally, the conversation then snowballed into hip hop, where Scoop outlines his problems with hip hop today and conveys why hip hop is a little bit stagnant compared to what it once was. In his answers, Scoop also touches on producers like DJ Premier and brings up a couple of today's biggest names: Lil' Wayne and Lupe Fiasco. The end result is one of our more informative and thought-provoking interviews yet so we urge you to take a look for yourself above.
This was a particularly special interview for me. I was first introduced to Scoop as a longtime subscriber to SLAM Magazine where his provocative, in-depth feature articles stood out above the rest. His powerful structure and opinionated voice is always entertaining and thought-provoking. Needless to say, Scoop Jackson has been a big influence on me over the years as I have grown into writing myself. To be able to not only meet him, but also gain his perspective and insight on topics we have a shared passion for was quite memorable. Scoop was also cool enough to not only grace us with the interview but also chat with us afterwards, off camera, about hip hop. He further explained some of his ending points in our interview about how the culture of hip hop can only move forward through a collective and competitive effort, instead of searching to build up one 'savior of hip hop', so to speak.
I began to think of a parallel and arrived at how the NBA has recently moved forward in the past few years. After Michael Jordan retired, the media anointed one player after another as the 'next' Jordan (Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, etc.). As each player failed to reach such high and unrealistic comparisons, the NBA as a league was stuck in a lull, until the past couple of years when the quantity of star players has helped the NBA reach another high point in popularity, competitiveness, and excitement. With LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul (I can go on..) and rising stars like Kevin Durant and our own Derrick Rose, the NBA has reached a new golden era of talent that is beginning to transition the game into new heights. Drawing the parallel back to hip hop, perhaps instead of anointing a Lupe Fiasco or a Drake as the new 'savior of hip hop', we should be encouraging more of a competition in hip hop to help fuel a collective movement of artists trying to push the creative envelope for the development of music and humanity itself. Definitely some food for thought, what do you think?