Most know reality star/super producer Stevie J as the self-proclaimed “good guy” on VH1’s hit show Love & Hip Hop Atlanta.
What you probably don’t know is that his resume also includes multiple GRAMMY’s, nearly 100 million albums sold and elite status as a high school point guard.
Admit it, you’re mostly shocked by the latter feat.
“Yeah I did my thing back in high school,” Stevie J said. “I was the guy who would set everybody up to get off. I think I’ve still got it a little bit, but I passed the torch to my son, Stevie Jordan II, he was the Player of the Year in Philadelphia this year as a junior so the genes are strong.”
I caught up with Stevie J to chop-it-up about everything from his new movie That Time of the Month to how McDonald’s helped him get his nickname to why the Cavs would reign supreme in this year’s NBA Finals.
Jason Jordan: I always like to hear about the sports backgrounds and experiences of all of my guests on the Celeb Chop-Up; where are you from and what sports did you try coming up?
Stevie J: I was born and raised in Buffalo and Rochester and played basketball at Ben Franklin High School.
JJ: Were you nice or were just ‘eh’?
SJ: (Laughs) Oh I was nice now! I was nice in high school! I averaged about 12 points a game; I wasn’t the best scorer, but I passed the torch to my son, Stevie Jordan II, he was the Player of the Year in Philadelphia this year as a junior so the genes are strong.
JJ: Does he play AAU?
SJ: Yes, he plays for the Philly Pride. I’m really proud of him he’s a great student and he’s already got a lot of Division I offers. He’s truly a student athlete.
JJ: Very nice; I’ll be on the lookout. Tell me, what was your shining moment on the court back then?
SJ: I’d probably have to go back to JV days; one game everybody fouled out and I had to up my scoring a little and I ended up with about 40 points. I didn’t have too many of those games though, I was more the guy who got everybody else involved.
JJ: Who is going to win the 2015 NBA title?
SJ: I’ve got the Cavs winning it no doubt. I’m a LeBron James fan and I like what he’s done with the team. I’ve got nothing against Steph Curry he’s the man, but LeBron and the guys are gonna win this thing.
JJ: Here comes the random in 3, 2, 1… What is your biggest pet peeve?
SJ: (Laughs) Ah man, hair on my deodorant! I hate that man. I use Donna Karan deodorant and I just don’t like seeing hair in it. I’m just a neat freak; I don’t like any kind of dirt. I’m just way too clean.
JJ: What competition based reality show would you absolutely win?
SJ: Anything that involved music. I challenge any producer musically and vocally; I’d definitely win that.
JJ: Who would win a UFC Tournament involving only male reality stars?
SJ: (Laughs) Oh man me! Hands down. I mean c’mon! I workout every day; I’m 190 pounds all muscle. That’s easy.
JJ: Which fast food restaurant has the best fries?
SJ: Oh wow, I’m gonna say Five Guys.
JJ: Everyone plays Paper, Rock, Scissors; which object have you found that you get the most wins with?
SJ: (Laughs) The rock! For sure.
JJ: What do yellow traffic lights mean to you?
SJ: To stop! You just never know what other cars are gonna do, and I would never want anything to happen to my family or myself. I always err on the side of caution.
JJ: Worst pre-fame job?
SJ: Oh man I worked at McDonald’s and Hampton Inn, but, to be honest, that wasn’t that bad because it taught me the value of hard work, going to work at 6 a.m. and getting off at 10 p.m. McDonald’s is actually where I got my name “Stevie J” from.
JJ: Do tell.
SJ: My manager always wanted me to work on the rush hour because I was so fast on the grill and she’d always run back there and say, “Come on Stevie J we need more fries and burgers!” I ended up really liking it and it stuck.
JJ: What movie absolutely deserves a sequel?
SJ: I definitely would like to see another Above the Rim!
JJ: What’s the most overused slang word or phrase out right now?
JJ: Oh my God definitely “turn-up!” That and “on my grind!” Time for those to go. If you really think about it when people say they’re on the grind that’s actually not a good thing because the act of grinding is just going around and around in a circle. Are you really winning if you’re grinding? It’s similar to vortex, which pulls you down. But, ya know, in our culture we just jump on the bandwagon and say things that sound cool but you’ve gotta really break things down to find out what they really mean or you’ll sound dumb. Grinding is not winning.
JJ: That’s deep! Here’s the scenario: You tap a car in a parking lot and no one’s around; do you leave a note or do you move to a different row?
SJ: (Laughs) Oh man look I’m big on what you do comes back around to you. I’d definitely get out and check to see if there was any damage and, if there was, I’d leave my number and pay for the repairs. It’s an insurance situation; it’s no real money. C’mon man, I’m the good guy! (Laughs)
JJ: What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?
SJ: (Laughs) Oh man I’m gonna go with the shortbread ones!
JJ: You’ve unfortunately found yourself in the Witness Protection Program, what’s your cover name going to be?
SJ: (Laughs) Oh wow this IS a random one… Good question though! I’m gonna say Seymour Watson!
JJ: Nice! No one in Nebraska where you’ll be posted up will be looking for Seymour Watson.
SJ: (Laughs) Exactly!
JJ: If you would 100 percent get away with it which crime would you commit?
SJ: (Laughs) Although I don’t commit crimes I’m gonna answer your question and say I’d go to the U.S. Mint and make sure that all the poor people get $100,000. I want them to know what it feels like to really live well. There are a lot of people in our society who don’t experience that life. I would love to see that!
JJ: What sitcom intro song do you know every word to?
SJ: Oh wow, I’m gonna go with Good Times!
JJ: What random fact can you just reel off to me right now?
SJ: That I have 90 million records sold and three GRAMMY’s. Another random fact is that I dated Eve and I wrote her song Blow Your Mind, which won her a GRAMMY.
JJ: Impressive. Twitter or Instagram?
SJ: Instagram; I’m more visual.
JJ: Talk or text?
SJ: I like to talk. I text, but they’re really short; like one word.
JJ: Do you clear out your inbox or are you a message hoarder?
SJ: Oh I keep all messages because I have no reason to erase any messages. I have nothing to hide.
JJ: Best fortune cookie message you’ve ever gotten in your life?
SJ: It said: “Work smarter not harder.”
JJ: Blindfolded can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
SJ: Absolutely. Coca Cola isn’t as sweet. I’m a Coca Cola connoisseur.
JJ: OK, we’ve got Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, we’ve got the music; talk about what fans can expect going forward from you.
SJ: Thanks my man, I had a ball! I’m actually executive producing and starring in my first movie called That Time of the Month. It’s a romantic comedy and Joseline is in the movie. I’ve also got a spinoff show coming called Stevie J and Joseline Take L.A. and I’m back in the studio working with Puff on his album; he’s a Hitman and Kanye West is now a Hitman as well. I’m doing multiple projects so I’m in a good space. I turned the reality show into a situation where people acknowledge me as a musician and as a producer again so I’m extremely grateful.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY