Hear the Conversation 20:37 – 11.8 mb mp3
“I was the youngest of five kids so I got beat up all the time,” jokes Mateen Cleaves. “And I always played sports with older kids, which I think helped me learn how to lead. But I think you mostly have to be a born leader, and I was fortunate to be born that way.”
The Dawgs talk about the lack of competitive fire they see in many of the young players they see today. And they discuss the parallels between athletics and the music industry.
“All athletes think they can rap, and all rappers think they can play sports,” jokes Cleaves. “But really the sports and music industries are one big community.”
And Cleaves talks about his transition into television work and how the teamwork involved in producing quality television is similar to the teamwork that leads athletic teams to championships.
Cleaves and the Dawgs talk about the difference between a “junior college work ethic and a Division 1 work ethic” and Mateen says he feels blessed and plans to thoroughly enjoy every day of his life.
Cleaves fills in the Dawgs on his work with Flint-born rapper John Connor and tells them that “he performs like we played: he leaves it all on the stage.”