While Charles Barkley’s comments about race and his visit to Craig Sager were trending on the internet last week, what may have gotten lost in translation was his love for hip hop music.
While appearing on Scoop B Radio last week, the Round Mound of Rebound, turned basketball analyst chatted about his love for hip hop group Public Enemy and Nas.”I always listened to rap music before games,” he told me while reflecting on his 16-year NBA career.
Check Out Charles & Scoop B On Scoop B Radio
“Because I wanted to, you know, start getting excited, get my juices flowing. Listened to Tupac most of the time, Biggie, Kool Moe D, and things like that. I always rode to the game by myself because I didn’t wanna be bothered, but I’d have the music blaring. I’d start the day off at practice kind of relaxing, sit in the sauna, think about the game. Think bout my game plan against, how the team is gonna play me, who I’m playing against. And always sit in the steam room for four to five minutes, stretching. Eat lunch, take a nap, just letting my body calm down. Then you wanna awake it up, so I would always go to the game by myself, cause you wanna be ready when you get there.”
While the musical acts that Chuck mentioned still hold weight today, you’d be surprised at what track is blasting in Barkley’s car and on his earbuds today. “I think the most underrated group of all time is Public Enemy,” he said.
“Their stuff is still relevant, I love them. And right now I’m probably in my Nas phase, currently. I listen to Nas every morning when I wake up, “Hate Me Now.” Cause to be successful, you develop a lot of enemies, and you can never let the enemies weigh you down. It’s interesting, no matter how hard you work or how successful you are, the more success you have, the people you have who don’t like you. And I always think about that every morning. I say, “I’m being successful just just stick it up your ass. You can hate on me. That’s interesting though, that was probably the weirdest thing that I had to learn when I became successful, how many people dislike the fact that you’re successful, and a lot of them are your friends and your family, a lot of them are, you know? And I’ve said this before, there’s a lot of animosity in the back community toward other successful blacks. We tell black kids to go to school. If you do good in school, then you try to ‘act white’ and if you speak correctly, then you try to ‘act white.’ We should tell more black kids that you should do good in school, you should speak correctly and I’m not afraid to say it, I’ve said it many times. One of the biggest problems with black people is other black people hating on them.”
Nas and Puff Daddy’s Hate Me Now
Barkley has also been pretty outspoken about the upcoming Presidential election, so much so that he gave his anecdote on the disparity between rich and poor and how if a group of people stick together, they could actually build something.
“I talk about this political process,” he said. “Everybody talks about white and black. But what America should really be talking about is economics. There’s racism, there always has been, there always will be, but one of the things we fall for is rich people do a really good job of making poor people hate each other. If the poor people would get together; white, black and hispanic and realize they’re all in the same shitty schools, they’re all in the same shitty neighborhoods and stop fighting with each other, they could make a difference. But the people who got all the money, do a really good job of making poor people fight with each other.”