Game recognize game, real recognize real and ESPN recognize USDA. That’s the only way to explain Jay Bilas, a college basketball analyst for the Worldwide Leader, and his infatuation with another Jay, Mr. Jenkins, better known to most as Young Jeezy. Bilas has taken to quoting Jizzle on the regular via Twitter [sample: I’m tired, I feel wired but, yet, I’m still inspired. To find somebody else for the job, tell me I’m fired. I gotta go to work.] and earlier this week he upped his standom to the next level: he referenced the Snowman during a live broadcast. “And as the urban philosopher, Young Jeezy says, you better call you’re crew, you’re gonna need some help,” Bilas said on air as a Missouri player sank a three pointer over a Villanova defender. Here, Bilas connects with XXL and breaks down his love for Jeezy. Let’s get it! —Jayson Rodriguez (@jayhovawitness)
XXL: Earlier this year, you surprised everyone when you went on a Twitter spree quoting Young Jeezy lyrics, what’s the story behind that?
Jay Bilas: This all kind of started when we were doing College GameDay earlier this year. We were at Michigan State and we had taken to doing player interviews the day of the game and we had Draymond Green on the floor with us. And I think it was Reece Davis who asked when you have your headphones on pre-game what are you listening to? He said, I listen to Jeezy. So, Hurbert Davis and I started joking. Hurbert asked if it was on my iPod and I said, Damn straight, it’s the first thing. I knew who Jeezy was but I wasn’t an avid listener. But I started listening and I liked it. I ended up getting a question on Twitter and someone asked me about my favorite rappers and I said Sugarhill Gang and Young Jeezy. I started listening to Sugarhill Gang when I was in high school. Then and now I knew all the words. It was a serious answer. And then someone said no way does Bilas know Young Jeezy. And I started quoting Thug Motivation  and it’s been fun. I enjoy the back and forth. It’s been neat banter on Twitter.
I noticed people try to get at you by saying you’re boring when you don’t tweet about Jeezy now.
[Laughs.] The funny part is…I honestly still don’t know how to use Twitter the right way, like I usualy just respond to the stuff I can have fun with. I don’t respond to any compliments. The fun part is responding to someone that’s giving you a hard time. With me and my friends, we don’t sit around the table complimenting each other, we slam each other. So that stuff doesn’t bother me, I like it. I hope I give as good as I get. So that stuff has been the fun part. I like responding in a good natured way. This is all tongue firmly planted in cheek.
On the flip side, people think you got hacked because of all the Jeezy quotes.
That was funny. I got a kick out of that. That fueled it even more for me. The first few times I was doing this. I was going off the songs I knew and listened to the most, whether it was “Go Getta” or something like that. But it actually expanded the stuff I was listening to so I could respond with different lyrics. I actually started to listen to some Rick Ross now, too. I just have to be careful to what I listen to when my kids are in the car.
What about Jeezy’s music drew you in?
I don’t pretend to know the nuances in the music. My tastes are diverse. It’s like with wine, I can’t tell you much about it, but I do know what I like. I like that he’s rhythmic and it sticks with you. That, to me, is a measure of something that matches your tastes. If it stays in your head after you turn if off, I tend to think that’s the best stuff. I’m not trying to memorize lines but some will stick to you. And also, it’s hard hitting.
When you said you have to be careful, I thought you were referring to Jeezy and Ross not liking each other. You were aware of their…rift?
I did know that. But, in my car, everybody is friends. So there’s no particular concern with that.
Have you gotten a spike in followers?
I haven’t really noticed. Friends of mine brought it up, and you get people saying they got a laugh out of it. But I haven’t noticed anything beyond that.
When are we gonna see Jay Bilas make a cameo in a Young Jeezy video?
[Laughs]. People ask me when TM:103 is coming out. I just think the whole thing is great. And I’ve had a blast with it.