A popular phrasing for authenticity in hip-hop is to “keep it real” — to maintain your identity, no matter how much your surroundings change. For ESPN’s Jalen Rose and David Jacoby, “keeping it real” is the foundation of how they’ve built their ESPN2 show, Jalen and Jacoby, over the past seven years.
In a show of support from the Worldwide Leader in Sports, the duo is taking their talents from the 1 a.m. ET time slot to 2 p.m. ET. The duo, however, has very few concerns about what’s coming next.
“It’s a natural organic evolution of the show,” Jacoby told Uproxx Sports. “When we started the show, it was just an idea. I used to be in a control room pushing buttons. Me and Jalen would record and I would edit ourselves, and that was five years ago. It was very much a ‘pop-the-trunk’ production, we were just doing whatever we could and not even knowing what it’d result to.”
That “pop-the-trunk” mentality is fundamental in everything about the show. For example, the duo rarely has guests on, and partake in even fewer pre-show meetings in order to prep for a given episode. Making sure the show has spontaneity and improv comedy ensure the show remains true to its origins.
“We consider ourselves the boutique,” Rose says. “Almost like in music, when you go get a chance to hear somebody [perform] their album. We’re not necessarily going to consider ourselves mainstream, so I think our audience appreciated us to the point to where they’re part of the family. So they call in and get mad at me when I have too many topics on my line, they get on Jacoby about how he sits down when he uses the bathroom, he should be standing up. They’re a part of the family.”