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All Music / Entertainment Jalen Rose: A Man of Many Comments

Jalen Rose: A Man of Many Comments

words by Kate sZatmari photos by Kate sZatmari

Former NBA player, and one of the top ten commentators for ESPN, took some time out with Mami to make comments on fashion, music and politics!

It has often been said that European fashion is more trendy and sophisticated than North American fashion. Do you agree?

The opportunity to be trendy or edgy really comes from the opportunity to have different looks and showcase different faces of your look. In North America a lot of times we’re forced to dress based on our economics. We don’t  have the room or freedom to take chances with the looks we’re trying to portray, because we’re practically following a “shopping book”. You have to buy this specific shirt to wear with these specific pants, or wear this suit with these specific ties. The European fashion trend is something that we’ve always embraced. A “trend” can be anything from a pattern, a cut on a shirt, a knot on a tie or the style of a blazer. We often look overseas for these trends to reach outside our box.

You listen to various genres of music including rap. Do you believe it has become too commercial where artists are no longer as concerned with the creativity of lyrics as the pioneers were?

Commercialization is a problem that formed within society and trickled down to music. Our society has made everything, as Lupe Fiasco describes it “dumbed down”. Everything is an abbreviation, everything is an acronym. People want to catch on and grasp everything easily rather than get really tuned into the music and appreciate it more, once they fully understand it. Unfortunately where there’s money, prestige, and fame involved, it puts artists into the position where they will do what they actually can in order to achieve those, and not necessarily preserve the art form.

There have been a lot of discussions in regards to Barack Obama’s reforming of the US healthcare system. A lot of American’s are confused and believe it is a blueprint of the Canadian “universal healthcare plan”. In reality, it’s just expanding the current coverage and lowering costs. What are your thoughts?

First and foremost I appreciate Barack Obama because he’s upfront, genuine, and tries to be a man of the people. He is a president with personality, a president with a pulse, as I like to say. I lived in Canada when playing for the Raptors, therefore I fully understand their meaning of “universal healthcare” which I know works well for them. Obama is trying to pass a bill that alters our existing system that works well for us. Unfortunately, a lot of nay-sayers have tried to scare some people into believing it’s going to be a passing of a bill they will not be able to pay for, and scare some people into believing a favor is being done for them that they will have to pay for in the future. In truth, it’s giving everyone the opportunity to have healthcare if they choose to. To understand better, there are three different groups we can view. The first group is composed of people who make over $75 000 per year in income, who for some reason choose not to pay for healthcare. Group two consists of people who, through unfortunate past health circumstances, are not able to get a healthcare plan or if they can the fees are outrageous. And finally, group three are people who have fallen through the economic cracks, and either have lost or can no longer afford a healthcare plan. At the end of the day, I believe healthcare is a humanitarian issue. It’s not a bill, it’s good will! It is not fair that some people can get the best treatment due to thousands of dollars at their disposal and others cannot due to their lack of income or due to uncontrollable circumstances. This is what our president is trying to address and deal with, creating a chance, creating a balance.

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