Ballin' Out Podcast: JoJo on Her Loyalty to the Patriots & NBA Legend Gary Payton on Recording With Too $hort

Ballin' Out Podcast featuring:  Jojo and Gary Payton
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Ballin' Out Podcast featuring: Jojo and Gary Payton

After a brief hiatus, Ballin' Out makes its comeback with singer JoJo and NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton.

First up, JoJo, a Foxborough, Massachusetts, native, celebrated her third studio album Mad Love and recalled her memories of living close to New England Patriots HQ, Gillette Stadium. "I used to live in a duplex that you could walk through the woods and get to the stadium and I'd hear games going on," she said. She also discussed her experience singing the national anthem since she was 5 years old and nailing the performance during the Oct. 3 Monday Night Football game. "So many nerves," she admitted. 

When asked about her Super Bowl LI prediction, she rooted for her hometown squad, the Patriots (duh) and shares if she's ever hung out with the team's star quarterback, Tom Brady. JoJo also offered up her gym playlist, which includes a slew of East Coast hip-hop classics from Lil' Kim's Hardcore to Nas' Illmatic: "A lot of that stuff gets me amped."

Gary Payton then called up Billboard to promote his latest gig as Dew NBA ambassador, where the league and Mountain Dew partnered up for a nationwide 3x3 competition and musical showcase that will feature Tha Dogg Pound, Warren G and Russ in Los Angeles this weekend. The Seattle SuperSonics MVP even expressed his wish to have a basketball team in Seattle and reminisced on his sole rap record "Livin' Legal and Large" from the 1994 Epic Records compilation B-Ball's Best Kept Secret, which featured NBA players rocking the mic including Shaquille O'Neal, Jason Kidd and Payton. 

"That was so long ago in '93. They brought a lot of us that thought we had a lot of swagger and it was real fun for all of us to go in the studio and try to put a rap together," he said with a hearty laugh. "At that time, I was coming out of Oakland, California and ... a lot of the guys I was friends with was in the streets and I just felt like I made it and I was gettin' money legal and I was doin' it large."

Payton also revealed that he recruited a West Coast rap icon for an assist on his rhymes. "That was the first rap I had ever written and they gave us a guide and a producer. I had Too $hort help me out a little bit and it was real, real fun but it's hard," he explained. "That will remain my one song forever."

"The Glove" did praise a Ballin' Out alum for his bars, though. "I got some of my young guys, Damian Lillard who is really good at rapping right now and he's doing his thang out here, being the NBA star for the Portland Trail Blazers. His career is going off. He has an album coming out that's gonna be really great ... and I'm living through him right now." Payton also gushes about his son and basketball star, Gary Payton II, as well as the Memphis Grizzlies' Tony Allen. 

At the top of the pod, Natalie and Adelle also recap artists' reactions to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest, Cleveland Cavaliers' DJ Steph Floss trolling Drake following the Toronto Blue Jays' loss to the Cleveland Indians in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series and Waka Flocka Flame recruiting a wrestling legend as his running mate.

Bump Ballin' Out episode 12 below, and download it (along with all 11 previous episodes of Ballin' Out) on iTunes.