360 Q&A: Stevie J of ‘Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta’ Speaks on Style, Sports, and Inventing the Bling-Bling Era
It’s almost impossible to not get caught up in the life and times of Steven Aaron Jordan — “Stevie J” to fans of reality TV, or those that can remember back to the Bad Boy Records “shiny suit” era.
He’s the leading man of VH1 Network in the same vain as Flavor Flav a decade before him, starring in a host of shows including last year’s Stevie J & Joseline: Go Hollywood with his new baby mama Joseline Hernandez, his solo series Leave It To Stevie that wrapped its first season last month, and of course his breakout role on Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, currently airing its sixth season. Throughout it all though — yes, tossed tables and fight-filled reunion specials included — the guy has always managed to stay fly in the process.
We caught up with Stevie J behind the scenes of his recent Fashion Gxd Magazine cover shoot to see where this grown man steez originates from. Our resulting Q&A gave us a look into the many sides of Stevie, mainly the fact that his comedic personality onscreen never shuts off, even when the cameras do. At the same time, he’s really just like the rest of us: keeps an eye on currents trends in style, loves Air Jordans, and even has an opinion on the always questionable style of Russell Westbrook.
Keep reading for our brief one-on-one with Stevie J for a different side to the man you may have seen on television:
DUNK360: How would you describe your personal day-to-day style?
Stevie J: I’m just ‘new’. I look at all the new styles, especially with the millennials, and I consider myself a hybrid mix. Like, I wear my pants tight, but I can still keep at least $30,000 to $40,000 in my pocket so it’s not that tight! We sexy around here [Laughs].
Guys from your era, like Jay Z for example, rep designers like Tom Ford, or rock their own the way Nas does with HSTRY. What are five brands that reflect your style the most?
I’m not really a fashion [guy] in the sense of [only rocking] Louis [Vuitton], Fendi, or Gucci — I got all of that. I have on a pair of $2,000 Gucci Chelsea Boots right now, but tomorrow I might have a pair of Goyard shoes on. It all depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.
“My sons wear their clothes like Russell Westbrook…they taught me not to do what they do and to do what I do. I keep it refined, fly, and gangsta as possible.”
— Stevie J
Let’s take it back real quick to ’90s fashion since you lived through that. Why do you think that era was so influential and continues to be today?
When you say “lived through ’90s fashion” and all the bling-bling, I started all that. I was running around crashing Phantoms in ’98 and leaving them on the highway — literally leaving Lamborghinis on the highway [Laughs]! It was just a different type of fashion back then — clothes were a little more baggier — but I believe the African man needs to wear his clothes fitted so the world can understand the body frame of us! They think I’m joking, but the ladies love the beefcake; they like to see that print. That’s what the ladies like — facts! [Laughs]
What have your kids taught you about the fashion trends going on right now?
My sons wear their clothes like Russell Westbrook, which is a little too tight for my taste buds. If anything, they taught me not to do what they do and to do what I do. I keep it refined, fly, and gangsta as possible.
Since your last name is Jordan, give me your top three sneakers of all time.
Hmm…Charles Barkelys, the Iversons, and then the Jordans.
Which Jordans though?
Which ones? I don’t know — I got five pairs of every one of them!
Another key aspect of your career that many people seem to forget is your role as a music producer. What’s your favorite song that you’ve had a hand in producing?
That would probably be “I’ll Be Missing You” by Puff Daddy featuring 112 and Faith Evans. [The song] is sentimental and just monumental for all of hip-hop. We lost The Notorious B.I.G. and I feel like that song will live forever along with his legacy.
Definitely. On the flip side, is there a song you didn’t have a hand in producing but would’ve loved to be a part of?
Yeah…”Notorious Thugs.” Actually, I produced that too so forget it [Laughs].
What’s on your plate this year in terms of music?
I just finished the King & I album with Faith Evans and Biggie that I got a few features on. Also, I’m working with Keyshia Cole, Teyana Taylor, on Kelly Price’s new album, my own project, a couple of new artists, and I got an artist signed to Epic that I manage named Candice Boyd. I’m just working and looking to add more Grammys to the mantle.
Let’s cap it off with a little sports talk. What’s one sport that you could probably play professionally?
I could play basketball for sure. My son is 19, plays for Rider University as a freshman, and he’s leading the team in scoring — he get it from his pops. I’m over 40 [years old] and I’m dunking, not even 6’0, so I’m nice!
Name one athlete in the history of all sports that you feel has the best style.
I’ll have to go with Russell Westbrook. He alright. Even though he wear his clothes a little too tight, he still fly with it [Laughs].
Images: Keenan Higgins/DUNK360