Hip-Hop Wired: How many NBA players do you know? How did you get associated with their culture?
Levi Maestro: Man! I got the first opportunity when EA Sports asked me to make a video for NBA Jam Session for Tyreke Evans. At the time, he was Rookie of the Year so that was a pretty good one. But it completely incidental when the [Minnesota] Timberwolves hit me up to make a video on the team. But I compromised and told them, "I'll make one on Kevin Love."
Oddly enough, we met three years prior when he had just been drafted. I hadn't cared about real sports since I was a little kid because I started skateboarding and that took over.
Kevin really liked my style after I made the video and he spends his offseasons here [in L.A.]. When the season was over, we started hanging out more and I met Blake Griffin through him because they have the same agent. I also met Russell Westbrook through Kevin and some of the other guys he hangs with. I did a quick video with Blake and he loved it and we built up the angles from there.
Covering basketball is a good fit because most of the lifestyle stuff in sports--no one does it any good. So I think these guys see what I do and I make them look like who they really are. Not like make them answer questions; it's just catching the dopeness of how they're living.