This week’s episode of “Renaissance Man” is dedicated to people living in their mother’s basement. My guest once resided in his mother’s underground space, where in 2013 he started doing online comedy sketches. Now he has over 7.5 million Instagram followers, a bona fide stand-up and acting career, and a fanbase that includes Snoop Dogg, Chance the Rapper, and yours truly.
And my Motown brother Carlos “HaHa” Davis has some advice for big dreamers who’ve been in his situation before.
“The one thing I would tell them, which I cling to all the time, is never allow anyone to tell you what you can’t do,” he told me. “Because when I was there grinding for three and a half years, she was like, ‘It’s time you go get a job. “”
He insisted he was going to “jump”. But it didn’t happen right away.
“So I say, now don’t even let your mom tell you what you can’t do. I mean, obviously, we have to listen to our parents, but we can’t allow them to tell us what our dreams are.
Known as “Big Fella” (which inspired the name of his podcast, “F3LLAS”), he grew up in the gritty and criminal east side of Detroit, which he says helped him learn to hustle. But he is also immensely talented and motivated. Getting out of this area of town is a steep climb. Getting to Hollywood from there, well, is like climbing Mount Everest.
Martin Lawrence and Bernie Mac were the early influences in entertainment that made him want to be funny. “Don’t Be A Threat To The South Central By Drinking Your Juice In The Hood” was a masterpiece.
Then there was Andy Griffith. Yes, Andy Griffith.
“My mum watched a lot of ‘Matlock’, it was classic. I used to watch ‘Matlock’ all the time. It got to a point where I wanted to get out there and start investigating on my own. I was a huge ‘Matlock’ fan.
Instead of becoming an amateur detective, he became an amateur comedian. But around 2015, Snoop Dogg took notice, and his endorsement led to more followers and ultimately more money. In 2018, he was a massive internet star.
And then he started doing stand-up. But he was in a unique storyline in that he was already famous, so he was performing in big venues without the benefit of knowing the intricacies of stand-up. Or, in terms of hoops, it’s like getting into starting training without being able to train alone in the gym.
“So that was how I was thrown in front of 4,000 people and had to take my bumps on my chin and bomb in front of 4,000 or 5,000 people and then go back to comedy clubs and do my set properly. It took me three and a half years to become a real comedian. There’s a difference between being funny and being a comedian. I’m a comedian. And, of course, I was funny. Now I’m a comedian who’s funny “, he said, adding that “being funny is just that you get up there and you can riff. Being a complete comedian is to go up there and tell a story and allow the people to come into your world and laugh about it and believe it’s true.
Some hard truths about HaHa: He loves a Detroit Coney dog with all that in it, and he makes movies with legit, seasoned actors. He just signed on to star in the action comedy “Stealing Jokes” and he was in “The House Next Door: Meet the Blacks 2” with Mike Epps and Katt Williams, who gave him a little on-set hazing.
“At the end of the movie, he came to my trailer and said, ‘Brother, I’m a fan.’ And it was just awesome to see that,” he said of Williams.
It was also cool to see HaHa transform. He committed to a life of fitness and health, lost a ton of weight, and gained a lot of momentum in his career.
“The difference now is that I’m confident. The confidence level has gone to a whole new level because I’m a smaller guy. I am 5ft 6in and 201lbs, look like a meatball. It will not work. So I lost 50 lbs. When I look in the mirror now, I’m confident. I feel good. One of my goals is to become Michael B. Jordan. I also want to be seen as a sex symbol.
Don’t underestimate this man. His nickname might be HaHa, but he doesn’t laugh when he says those things. He will be “the sexiest man alive” according to People within five years.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan iconoclast Fab Five, which rocked college basketball in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA, before becoming a media personality. Rose is currently an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the bestselling author of “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a fashion designer, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership. Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.
New York Post