In the spirit of celebrating hip hop’s 50th anniversary, Boston Celtics shooting guard Jaylen Brown revealed that rap has been an essential part of his life and discussed how significant it is to champion Black media outlets.
Following the two-time NBA All-Star’s appearance at Pharrell Williams’ first fashion show for luxury brand Louis Vuitton in Paris back in June, the small forward flew to New Orleans to attend the annual ESSENCE Festival of Culture (EFOC). The overall theme and focus of this year’s event paid homage to hip hop’s 50th birthday. During his time there, Brown took a moment to talk to REVOLT for an exclusive interview and shared how the music genre has been major for him.
He disclosed that rap is a part of his everyday routine. Before giving an inside look at his musical palette, Brown expressed how grateful he is for every artist who contributed to making hip hop America’s most beloved genre.
“I appreciate everybody that’s contributed to the art form throughout time. Hip hop music in general has been a part of my life. It’s how I start my day; it’s how I get ready for my workouts, and it’s part of the reason I’ve been able to grow as an athlete. My taste, my love has evolved with hip hop, and I just want to give my appreciation first,” he said.
Brown talked about some of the artists he grew up listening to before he gave Tupac his flowers, naming him one of his favorite rappers. The semi-vegetarian admires the late “Changes” icon for not just releasing catchy music, but including valuable messages that hopefully became prevalent in the minds of all who listened to him.
“I grew up listening to [a mix] of things like 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Kendrick Lamar. And being from Atlanta, André 3000, Gucci Mane, T.I.,” he said. “One of my favorites is Tupac because he was an activist and also a man of the people, so growing up, his music would always hit different. One, his music always had a message in it, and two, it was also dope [and] influential, so I’m going to go with Tupac.”
Brown admitted that he takes pride in being from the South, especially since he grew up in one of the biggest hubs for hip hop.
“Atlanta influences everything. Atlanta has been a staple, a hub for not only music, but for Black people in general with artistry from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and on up. From like Ray Charles all the way up until whoever’s currently doing whatever right now,” the Georgia native told REVOLT. “My first concert was an Outkast concert in Piedmont Park when I turned 16, so that was my introduction to music… when I went to see them. André 3000 is one of my favorite rappers of all time, so yeah…the South got plenty to say.”
Encouraging people — most importantly, his community — in some way, shape, or form is something Brown hopes to do during his career and in general. This is one of the main reasons he enjoyed his time at EFOC. To witness a sea of Black people show up and show out to support Black businesses, get informed about various topics, have fun line dancing together, spend time with their families and show him love was like a big family reunion.
“It’s amazing. Black is beautiful. I love being around my culture, being around everybody who feels the same things you feel. So, being here and being able to share my journey, connect with people, have a good time, hear some good music, and eat some good food sounds like a good weekend to me,” the All-Star added.
He also opened up about uplifting Black media platforms like ESSENCE, REVOLT and others. After all, they’re valuable because they amplify the stories of African Americans to the masses. He was adamant about Black people backing ventures that push their narratives to the forefront because Black voices matter.
“A lot of the versions of stories we hear, they’re not curated to us. We always complain about [it], but we never support the media bases and the companies that are doing their thing,” he explained. “Shout to all the media companies out here trying to make an impact and trying to make our voices a lot louder, we should all support it.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.
On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.
The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.
“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.
After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.
Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University
On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).
In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.
In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!
Groovey Lew on hip hop style, Johnell Young's industry secrets, BGS salon's wig mastery and more | 'Black Girl Stuff'
Fashion King Groovey Lew on masterminding hip-hop’s most iconic looks. Actor Johnell Young reveals the secret to breaking into the entertainment industry. Celebrity hairstylist Dontay Savoy and got2B ambassador Tokyo Stylez are in the BGS Salon with the perfect wig install. Plus, comedian Lauren Knight performs.
On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!
Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'
On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!
Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'
On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.
For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!
REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.
The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.
This is the inspiring story of Karen Washington, a pioneering urban farmer who has been revolutionizing urban spaces by transforming them into vibrant community gardens and educational hubs. Sponsored by State Farm.