Dime Q&A: Hip-Hop Star Kid Ink Talks Kobe Bryant & Jay-Z’s Greatest Basketball Punchline

05.09.13 6 years ago
Everyone needs a little help, right? Michael had Scottie. Kobe had Shaq. Michael Jackson had The Jackson 5. LeBron needed D-Wade. Virtually everybody needs a helping hand to withstand the rigorous tremors on the road of life. But thus far in his young career, Kid Ink has established himself as a reputable independent artist with little to no help. The eclectic musician has earned himself a XXL Freshman cover back in 2012 and watched his debut album Up & Away catapult itself to Billboard’s Top 20 upon its first week of release. The young LeBron, as he refers to himself in this interview, has joined forces with RCA in hopes of steamrolling the competition.

With an exuberant amount of success thus far, his past endeavors have emboldened him to be ready and prepared for stardom. In his interview with Dime, Kid Ink tells why he can’t stand the Lakers, his love for the Heat, being the young LeBron for his team Alumni, hooking up with Meek Mill and Wale for his single “Bad Ass” and more in this fun conversation.

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Dime: You’re from Cali. I pray to God you’re not a Lakers fan, man. (Laughs)
Kid Ink: Oh man. (Laughs) Nah man. I’ve been a Clippers fan since I got into basketball as far as supporting the home team. I’m also a Heat fan. Well really I was a Wade fan and a LeBron fan. So when they came together it was like a dream. (Laughs)

Dime: You said you’ve been a Clipper fan since day one. You mean to say you’ve been a fan since they were dealing with all the bullshit before CP3?
KI: (Laughs) The bullshit. I used to rout for the underdog to kill back in the day. I never really was a Kobe fan.

Dime: Damn. Was it more so because of his game or because of his attitude?
KI: Uh well you know attitude definitely has a lot to play with it as far as knowing the game. I definitely respect his game but you know he wasn’t the coolest of the coolest dudes. He had his slipups that I can’t really respect it but we all know about those you know?

Dime: So I know when you were watching the Lakers-Spurs series you were having a ball, chugging back some beers, over there laughing.
KI: Man it’s funny. All my buddies are die-hard Kobe-Lakers fans. But really I’ve been having a ball for like the past month. It was actually for a couple months really when they didn’t know if they were making the playoffs.

Dime: You were just having a blast over there.
KI: (Laughs) LeBron and D-Wade haven’t been doing a bad job either in making it worse (for my boys) you know? They’ve been going ham.

Dime: How far do you think the Heat can go this year? You think they’re going all the way again easily?
KI: Oh I think it’s all the way again including with all of these injuries man. (Laughs) That definitely just saved them and gave them the pass. I feel like they’re going all the way definitely for sure.

Dime: It’s crazy how LeBron could get another ring just like that while KD is still fighting for one.
KI: Yeah it was a heartbreaker for him. But he’s working though. He definitely owned that last series.

Dime: Definitely. You know what I always found interesting with hoops and rap is how they’re so tied together and synonymous with one another. In what aspects do you feel that rap and basketball go together?
KI: Well I mean asides from athletes listening to music before their games and everything, you know it’s the way we serve as their motivation to pump them up. It definitely comes to play on that aspect. I feel like all rappers have hoop dreams and all basketball players be having studio dreams. (Laughs) It usually be that way. I noticed that. We’re definitely fans of each other strongly. Lately I think it’s definitely been relatable a lot. Athletes and players are from the streets and the hood and come up from a lot of these same places these hip-hop artists be or come from. When we the hip-hop artists talk about what we talk about, the athletes definitely relate. It feels just as good you know when an artist or athlete makes it out the hood and you see them living their dreams.

Dime: I hear you. From a rapper’s standpoint, how does it feel when you see one of your favorite ballplayers jump in the studio and drop some verses? Do you encourage ballplayers to pick up the mic and do what you do best?
KI: I think it’s fun sometimes. But you know what? I don’t know man. The only person who really pulled it off was Shaq. You know he had the platinum albums and everything. (Laughs) If you can do both man and be great at both, I can’t really hate. I could respect that. But when you’re not doing your job on the court but you’re in the studio, I can’t really respect that. You know what I’m saying? You gotta put 100 percent into both even though it’s really not that easy to do.

Dime: So I’m assuming it’s safe to say you weren’t the one to buy the Ron Artest album?
KI: Man I had that single but I didn’t get that Ron Artest. He didn’t have the right features on there. (Laughs)

Keep reading to hear who Kid Ink compares himself to in the NBA…

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