Fabolous talks NBA plays, after-school programs

Wed, May 18

Fabolous stopped by ESPN's studios Wednesday to appear on "First Take" to talk about the best plays in the NBA postseason.

"I used to be a pretty good player back in the day," said the New York hip-hop star, who acts like he's ancient even though he's only 33 years old. "But I don't play basketball too much anymore. I need to practice. I've been pretty busy lately."

I'd think so. Fabolous (real name is John David Jackson) has been releasing hits pretty much every year since 2001. This spring, his hit "You Be Killin' 'Em" has been a staple in clubs nationwide.

"I look at where I've come from and realize that I'm lucky to make it out," said Fabolous, who was born and raised in Brooklyn. "I was a mischievous kid and I understand the whole reasoning of youth today because I didn't have much to do in the afternoon after school."

But as a high school senior, Fabolous began rapping, and DJ Clue invited him on his radio show on WQHT Hot 97 in NYC, and he was signed to Desert Storm Records.

So, to give back to the community, Fabolous became national ambassador for the After-School All-Stars, a program helping 81,000 children in 450 schools find something to do instead of getting into trouble.

"I went out to a school recently and saw the students learning crafts, debate and etiquette," Fabolous said. "I'm a music ambassador, and two of these young kids came up and rapped for me. I've been blessed to be in this position."

And basketball?

"Well, recently, I was playing ball with DJ Clue and I busted my lip, and I had to appear on MTV later that day -- with a busted lip," Fabolous said. "So that's why I have to watch playing basketball."