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NBA Star Javale McGee Explains His Country Music Pivot

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Javale McGee might be a beast on the basketball court, but he’s also a beast in the studio. 

Currently playing for the Sacramento Kings, McGee boasts a fruitful career in the NBA, a 3x-NBA champion as well as an Olympic gold medalist. But let’s not forget he’s a credited musician, too. 

Producing under the moniker Pierre, the Michigan-bred recording artist also makes music. In 2018, he landed a placement co-producing Justin Bieber’s “Available” on Changes alongside Poo Bear and Sasha Sirota. That same year, he released his own self-titled debut album.

Now, McGee is excited as ever to unveil his newest single titled “Cowboy,” featuring KOH and Audio Chateau. The record serves as his first venture into the country space, directly in line with his new scripted Audible podcast series called Finding Pierre. Clocking in at six episodes, this scripted series centers around the main character Pierre, which is the fictional persona of McGee himself.

AllHipHop spoke with Javale McGee about this exciting new collaboration, as well as his new favorite car: the Cybertruck.

How were your games this weekend?

I mean, they can be better. We lost, so that’s not good. But still an opportunity to get in the playoffs and make it rain, so that’s the good news.

How is it being a vet with such a young and up and coming team?

It’s amazing, just being able to influence the guys the right way.  Use my vocal leadership to try to get everybody to embrace the moment and the passion of the game, so we can go as far as possible in these playoffs. It’s pretty cool. 

How did the Finding Pierre podcast come about?

Me and Jared have been talking to each other, have been good friends for a while now. Probably five or six years. He was very adamant on doing something with me, but we didn’t know what. We went to the studio: I had a couple of beats, he had a couple of beats. We were just making music and having fun. The whole Finding Pierre idea came up and we executed it. It came out amazing. 

Who came up with the idea for Finding Pierre?

We both collaboratively came up with it, but he had more of a hand in executing it and putting the pieces together. I feel like we did a great job at that.

What is your favorite part about this fictional character? 

The way it ties into real world events that were happening at the time, because I really did go to the Olympics. There’s an episode where I’m going to the Olympics, he’s trying to find me his favorite “producer” and he doesn’t notice me. He doesn’t realize why this producer’s in Tokyo. I had to go to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics. It was cool that some things were fictional and some things were accurate at the same time, even though this is a fictional story. 

What was the highlight from the Olympics?

Just being in Tokyo and winning. That’s the highest highlight you could have, winning the Gold. Only problem was it was COVID, so we didn’t get to really explore Japan, which I heard is one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. I didn’t experience that, that’s the only thing I really was disappointed about.

Talk about the single “Cowboy” and the making of that. Is this your first country leaning record?

It absolutely is, it’s definitely my first country song I’ve done. I initially was just doing it as a reference, because I write songs all the time. When you write songs, you’re a reference for the artist. But we loved the way it sounded, my voice sounded well in that country tone. We decided to keep it and it came out pretty well. 

What was that studio session like and were you with the features on the track? 

I wasn’t with the other artists, it was just me and Jared. We were just doing songs. We did multiple songs. We did Hip-Hop songs, country songs. We might have even done an EDM song. I don’t remember if we did that, but we did a lot of songs that session. He picked a couple of them and that was one that made the soundtrack. 

Where did the name Pierre come from? I know that’s what you produce under.

Truthfully, originally, I just thought the name sounded cool and I liked it. I looked at myself and thought: I think I could pass as a Pierre. But the cool story is I was out to dinner with my friend one time at the bar, at the restaurant in LA called Crustaceans. I was hanging out with my friend, then a girl was at the bar also. She asked me a question, then she asked me where my name was, and that was the end of the conversation. 

But then I looked over and she was Googling my name. After that, I said if someone asked me what my name was and they don’t know my name, I’ma tell them my name is Pierre. Just so we can start with a clean slate, so I’m not already put in the preconceived notions of “Oh he’s a basketball player, so I need to try to act like this around him or do this around him” type energy.

First of all, how did she get caught letting you see her Google your name?

I’m 7 foot so I can see all those things and around things.

Obviously, you’re a NBA player, musician, father. How do you find time to do it all?

It’s not easy, but it’s also a lot not as hard as people make it seem. You find time for what you love, and I love all those things. Everything has its time. Unfortunately, music has been on the backburner for a while now just because I’ve been really focused on my family and focused on basketball. But the music can definitely pick up this summer.

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A post shared by Javale Pierre {3X} McGee (@javalemcgee)

How’s that Cybertruck treating you?

It’s amazing, the best car I’ve ever driven in my life. It’s crazy. 


The technology that doesn’t make sense to me. Until I figure out how this technology is possible for this car to go as fast as it’s going, to accelerate as fast as it is without it being turned on, without an engine. Just the old school ways we’ve been told that speed and power is supposed to come to you. It’s literally a giant iPhone. It’s a giant RC, remote control car. It doesn’t make sense. I’ve always loved Teslas, but I didn’t think I looked right in the Model 3 or Model S. Because of how large I am I guess, but I’ve always loved them. Now that the Cybertruck came out, it’s definitely my favorite car.

That’s a lot of attention on those streets!

Yeah. Everybody, that’s all they can do is look at it and gawk over it. It’s pretty cool.

They designated March 9th Javale McGee day in Reno, Nevada. How did that feel and how full circle was that moment?

Aw man, it was amazing. It’s even more amazing just because some people anticipate things like “this is the goal. I’m going to be this and I’m going to be that.” I never anticipated any of this, so it’s all been a pleasant surprise. At the same time, I know the hard work I’ve put in over the years. Even before I got to college or got to the NBA, so it’s well-deserving. At the same time, it’s still a surprise and it’s definitely a humbling experience.

Shirley Ju

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