photo credit: Power 106
Ben Baller checks in with The Cruz Show at the Power 106 studios to talk about the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson’s legacy, whether or not he’s playing R. Kelly music, Jussie Smollett, his serious beef with LeBron James and much more.
To say that Baller is a veteran in the culture is probably and understatement. The once popular DJ, now jeweler and cannabis entrepreneur, Ben Baller made moments that any real hip-hop head would marvel at the nostalgic antedotes that he shares with the morning crew. Getting his start in the industry and connecting with the likes of Dr. Dre, the late 2Pac, Jay –Z and many mega star rappers of the 90’s, Ben got his start during his work at Priority Records through Dre. Speaking on his quick come up at the label that once held Dr. Dre as a signee, Baller says, “I went to the label that signed him. I was at Priority Records. So, I was at Priority and I started in the, in like, I was above the mailroom but like, people were still talking sh*t. In two years I became the Vice President of the company.”
Ahead of his retirement from cutting some of the most expensive diamond pieces for not only rappers and athletes, Ben’s client list also includes rich Sultans and public figures whose money reaches across generations. But before his venture into the jewelry business, Ben shares that he was the staple DJ for LA nightlife in the 90s.
The club I DJ’d was called Granville. And, many celebrities will tell you. Because, Thursday nights was Granville, Tuesday nights was Peanuts. That was legendary When Jay Z said “ Bubblin at Dubblins”, that was the night I DJ’d, you know what I mean? So, when you think of Granville, that was the 1990’s Studio 54 one hundred percent. You know, every week there was someone there. We sneaking Kobe [Bryant] in the club, he wasn’t even 21 yet. Pac is in there. Chris Farely was in the club a week before he OD’d.
Ben Baller even shared his experience working with Micahel Jackson on custom pieces and basically says that MJ was a BALLER during the 90’s with his NeverLand Ranch.
The first time I met him was at a cafe in Brentwood and I couldn’t believe this was this place. I get my food, I go and sit down, boom, I see Michael. We talk for like five minutes and he’s just not really trying to talk. No idea what the f*ck he’s going through and I’m just excited. So we started to make this piece. The first piece is a 40 carat diamond belt buckle. And it had his MJ crest and his unicorn and sh*t or whatever.
Baller goes on to express his stance on Jackson’s allegations, explains his on going beef with LeBron James and Luke Walton, shares his thoughts on R. Kelly, and much more.
Peep the full Ben Baller x The Cruz Show interview below!