We’re back with another installment of HBO Sports: The Shop. This week we had Tiffany Haddish (Comedian/Actress), Patrick Mahomes (Superbowl MVP), Chadwick Boseman (Actor), Roddy Ricch (Rapper), Trae Young (NBA), Steve Stoute (Marketing Executive), and series regulars Paul Rivera and Maverick Carter.
Rapper Roddy Ricch is enjoying a number one song and album right now. The crew expressed a lot of interest around the rising star and his decision to be a rapper. Despite him being from Compton, Ricch said that being a rapper wasn’t always his dream. Steve Stoute pushed back a bit considering Compton is known for creating notable rappers. But Ricch made a decent comparison. While it’s easy for kids to see basketball players on the court, he didn’t walk around seeing rappers in his face. His dream to be a rapper evolved and landed him where he is today. Those rappers many people know weren’t in his neighborhood feeding his dream. Goes to show, dreams manifest in various ways for different people.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this entire conversation was how everyone around Ricch asked really good questions and Ricch seemed to miss what was being asked. The Shop generally does a good job of aiming to highlight people and feeding them great questions. It was a bit difficult to watch him fumble and stumble through questions that were meant to highlight his creative process, his talent, and give him a platform to celebrate this moment in his life. A generational disconnect was present, and fortunately, things turned around when Tiffany chimed in and saved the day.
As they discussed the creative process, Tiffany was able to share that she has dozens of notebooks with jokes in it at any given time. She consistently tries new jokes out as you’d expect. But, as they fail, even more times than none, she uses those failures as a means to create new jokes. “Comedy is a lot like music,” Tiffany shared. Referencing, the tempo, the rhythm, and the delivery. Unlike an artist in the studio, if you don’t get it right, then you’re left on stage to feel it. You have to sit in it, play with the words, make a noise, adjust your stance, it’s a full-on experience. I really enjoy it when creatives are able to share not only their journey but draw unique parallels so we can all see how the magic they produce, comes to us as supporters.
Carrying on with the creative process, Chadwick agreed that improv is an important piece of the creative process. He went through moments where he was able to improv in the mega-successful Black Panther film. And while LeBron wasn’t present this week, Steve did a great job asking follow-up questions in a way that not only pushed the conversation forward but brought value. I really enjoyed his question to Chadwick around added responsibility as a black person who is no longer viewed as just an actor, but ultimately a part of a movement that captured black excellence.
That’s what it’s about for a lot of black professionals. Steve shared his journey into a predominately white space, advertising. Maverick, brought in Patrick and referenced other black quarterbacks, who are getting their shine as quarterbacks and not just generic athletes. And what was unanimous among those who have rising star power was that they were able to recognize that as the shine, black people shine and there is an added responsibility.
Usually, an absent LeBron bothers me, but this time, things worked out pretty good. I am still holding out hope that there will be a moment where they honor and reflect on Kobe Bryant. I know that would be a good one! # 10 is also.