Yesterday, Complex attended the first-ever Converse Band of Ballers tournament to check out musicians hooping it up at the St. Patrick's Youth Center in NYC. The celebration of the launch of the brand's Converse Weapon Evo sneaker was an amiable competition between Jim Jones, Asher Roth, A-Trak, Pac Div, Matt & Kim, and Diplo, among others.
Hosted by Hot 97's Miss Info and Peter Rosenberg with Cipha Sounds on the 1s and 2s, the event was a mix of laughs and competition, with The Jones Family coming out on top (Brrap! Brrap! Brrap!) as the winning team. In between games, we got a chance to speak with Capo and Asher about ballin' and performance-enhancing drugs. Check out our interviews and photos from the event below...
Photos by Lavonda Manning; Interviews by Andrew Rivera and Soo-Young Kim
Complex: We saw you come into the gym on a skateboard, what was the deal with that?
Jim Jones: You know, I like to have fun. I seen the kid outside on the skateboard. I told him, "Let me hold that for a second, I gotta make my grand entrance!" An entrance is always important no matter what it is—even if it's court!
Complex: You've done a lot of Twittering through the game and you've been calling it "easy." Has the competition been that lacking?
Jim Jones: We the underdogs. It feels easy though. We're underdogs but we going hard. Defense is our best offense, you know.
Complex: You got a little injured there. You're no Drake at all, but is that gonna affect your ability to dunk out here?
Jim Jones: I think I might have messed up the chances with this thigh injury. I was just trying to attempt one off the court just now and I was like, "Oh, it might be over for that dunk."
Complex: We noticed that you're very versatile. You played your game and then you took the coaches seat. What do you think it takes to be a good leader?
Jim Jones: To be a leader it takes poise. You gotta understand what's going on. There's a lot that goes with leadership but for the most part, the only way you can be a good leader is if you're a good soldier. So you know, I been through the rank to being a good soldier. I think I was the top of my class, so with that I took my experience in being a leader. So when you see me out there on the court, I'm helping the soldiers get money.
Complex: True. Who is the most famous person you've played ball against?
Jim Jones: Kevin Garnett might be the most famous person I've ever played ball against.
Complex: And you won right?
Jim Jones: Well it was an MTV thing. We lost by like 2 points. It was me and Cam against Kev and his man.
Complex: Nice, so you and Asher both support marijuana...
Jim Jones: [Laughs.]
Complex: ...and a lot of athletes use steroids. Is weed an enhancement drug for you at all?
Jim Jones: To me the haze is like Gatorade! I just took me a pull and I'm ready to play again. [Laughs.] You know what I mean? That's a whole different game. If they wanna play that game after the ball game, then let's play. May the best man stand.
Complex: [Laughs.] So even though you've been quoted as saying that Asher didn't give you money for the "I Love College" Remix and instead just called to say thanks, can we expect another collabo track?
Jim Jones: We're definitely going to work on another collabo. I'm in the midst of working on my album. So I'm gonna try to get him on my album, that would be dope.
Complex: Any information you can give us on the new album?
Jim Jones: Just that I'm going back home...home part 2.
Complex: How often do you play ball?
Asher Roth: I'm not a big baller, I do that hotshot game and maybe a little horse, but competitive basketball is a little much. There's some real ballers out there, I'm not one of them.
Complex: Who's the best rapper you've played ball against?
Asher Roth: Jim Jones.
Asher Roth: [Laughs.] Yeah. I normally don't really get to play basketball against other rappers. Unless you count my friends, they're rappers—sometimes.
Complex: If you could make a dream team with 3 other people, who would be in it?
Asher Roth: Kirk Hinrich, Jeff Hornacek, and Dan Majerle.
Asher Roth: 'Cause they're all white boy ballers that are nasty.
Complex: Do you view marijuana as an enhancement drug? Do you think they'll count you for cheating?
Asher Roth: They'll probably count me as cheating in a sense of, do I use it for medical? Not necessarily.
Complex: Does it make you a better player?
Asher Roth: As far as I'm concerned, the reformation of marijuana laws is something that I take seriously. I think it's something that can stimulate the economy. So yeah, I use it for recreation, and that's just me. But in a sense of a real political issue, even though I don't get into politics 'cause politics is synonymous with bullshit, there's some very real stuff with reformation of marijuana laws.
Complex: Fair enough. The Converse uniforms are pretty cool, but what's the most embarrassing piece of clothing you've ever worn?
Asher Roth: I don't really step out the house trying to make a fashion statement. I step out the house making sure I'm comfortable, so I mean fashion aficionados might make fun of some of the shit that I wear, but as long as I'm comfortable—like right now, people would bug out about thong sandals and socks.
Complex: Jimmy actually put on his Twitter that there was no way you were gonna pull anything off with your thong shoes.
Asher Roth: I'm good. I'm comfortable and that's all that matters.
Miss Info and A-Trak