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Beats, Ball, and Batman: Chopping it Up With Rich and Gianni

Last Updated: September 29, 2022
In this week’s episode, we head into Rich Kleiman’s office as he and Gianni Harrell discuss Jeen-Yuhs, the impeccable vibes of Sundays at MSG, and the power of positivity in difficult times.

Click here to listen to the full episode.

This week, Boardroom’s “Out of Office” podcast comes complete with three essential lessons:

  1. An opinion can save a life
  2. A smile can go a long way
  3. Figure out a way to get to your happy place

In this episode, Rich Kleiman and Gianni Harrell head back into the Boardroom offices to cover a wide range of topics.

First up, Rich discusses what it’s like to live out your childhood dream, revisiting his version of a Sunday service: a Knicks-Sixers matinee at Madison Square Garden where the vibes were nothing short of impeccable. While a young Rich could only have dreamed of sitting courtside next to Spike Lee, it turns out that getting older has its perks.

The Sixers handily won with the help of a triple-double from their newest teammate, James Harden. And onlookers can’t deny how well he played, which Rich credits with a renewed sense of both confidence and levity. The recipe is a simple one, but its impact proved to be immediate.

This resonated for Rich from a professional standpoint, even if Harden may have had a tough exit from Brooklyn. “I think that you do anything better when you’re happier. I am always quick to tell anybody that I speak to about professional life is that the best part of all of this is that I love what I do,” he said.

But with Kevin Durant on the verge of returning to the hardwood, no one is counting out Barclays’ own.

The game came fresh off the All-Star break, during which several of the crew headed to Cleveland. Rich and Gianni hosted the first official Boardroom Brunch in partnership with Coinbase; the event was a huge success and blended good food, great beats, and incredible company.

Outside of basketball, Rich and G have been keeping themselves entertained with a deep slate of programming. Gianni has been binging Euphoria, which just wrapped its latest season Sunday, while Rich is trying to turn the youths on to The Gilded Age.

They also discussed Coodie & Chike’s multi-part Netflix documentary, Jeen-Yuhs. The compelling three-part series spotlights the rise of Kanye West as one of the best rappers and producers of all time. G is quick to point out that its power lies in the fact that “[the directors] don’t leave anything out.”

The doc displays how Kanye’s come-up has inspired the newest generation of performers. “It’s crazy,” Gianni reflected, “you realize that Kanye is Andy Warhol… he creates the blueprint that a lot of rappers have modeled themselves after.”

However, Rich notes that his drive is motivated in large part by a lingering “ghost of doubt.” He recounts how once at a party around 2011, he unwittingly added a flame to that fire.

Inspired by a little liquid courage, Rich approached Ye. “I was like, ‘Yo! I didn’t really like “H.A.M.” that much when it first came out, but I heard this stuff the other day [that Jay-Z played for me].’ And [Kanye] was like, ‘See, I didn’t really ask you what you think about anything!”

At that precise moment, a photographer captured the moment when Rich realized that his attempts at praise went woefully awry.

Lastly, Rich reflects on the current state of world affairs. With the horrible images coming in from Ukraine, it’s difficult not to get lost in the day-to-day of doomscrolling. However, he discusses the importance of maintaining a sense of positivity.

As the father to two young girls, he finds himself figuring out new ways to discuss what’s happening in a manner that meets them where they are. But also, it inspires him to create a positive environment around them – and himself.

“You have to figure out a way to get to your happy place.”

Never the type to end things on a down note, Rich and Gianni wrap the episode with a heated debate: Who is the real Batman?

Tune in to find out which actor’s Dark Knight reigns supreme.

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About The Author
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos is the Senior Director of Editorial Strategy at Boardroom. Before joining the team, her work appeared in ELLE. She previously served as the head of evaluation for a nonprofit where she became obsessed with systems and strategy and served as the curator of vibes and extinguisher of fires for the design thinking firm Stoked. She is constantly plotting a perfect tunnel ‘fit and a playlist for all occasions.