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Marc Lamont Hill

He knows the truth about Bill O’Reilly, loves his Yeezys and now he has a new show on VH1

Marc Lamont Hill was sitting in a café one day, taking advantage of downtime when the head of VH1 saw him. He stopped and stared, immediately realizing that Hill needed to be on the network. That glorious moment led to a contract signing the very next day.

At least that’s how Hill tells the story of how he landed his new gig at VH1.

“I’m kidding,” said Hill, 37. “I’ve had a longstanding relationship with the Viacom family — being host of BET News. VH1 was thinking of a show and I was thinking about a platform — it was like the perfect marriage.”

On an average day, Hill can be found in a full-on debate about everything from presidential politics to the very existence of racism on CNN, or juggling similar topics as a host on BET. He can have a bit more fun as host of VH1 Live.

It premieres July 17, and will focus on pop culture and current issues. “You know how you go to work all day and you want to hit the club Friday night, even if you’re not supposed to, or you’re too tired to go? That’s how I feel,” Hill said. “I’m doing my other jobs and I love the intellectual work I do in these spaces, but this VH1 show is my fun, my joy, where I get to show the other side of my personality.”

Outside of his many television appearances, Hill can be found hunting for the latest Yeezys, laughing at followers on Twitter, handling business on NBA2K, or getting “major key” advice from DJ Khaled on Snapchat.

Are you most about Twitter/Snap/FB or — what is your primary social tribe?

Twitter is home. I can be seen on Twitter splitting my time arguing politics, arguing basketball — which is my first love — or making fun of people.

What is the Twitter feed you’re currently obsessed with?

There are certain people’s feeds I love. I love to check Bomani Jones. He’s kind of a model for me of how to talk intelligently about sports and music and also how to really, really, really humiliate trolls. He’s a master at it … I follow Questlove. I follow Amber Rose, because she’s hilarious. On Instagram, I follow a range of people. On Snapchat, DJ Khaled is the business. I don’t know how dude sleeps. Chrissy Teigen is also amazing on any social media outlet. One of the funniest people I know.

What’s your frequently-used emoji?

Crying laughing. I find so much joy on social media. I’m not always crying laughing, but I’m always laughing.

What’s the one app you love that no one else loves?

I’m pretty basic with my apps. I wish I had something fresh, but I don’t.

What’s a game (phone, system, other) you play competitively?

I am, with all humility, the greatest NBA2K player you have ever spoken with. I have a challenge out in the world to The Game, to Bow Wow — me and Bow are supposed to play and bet some cash on it. You know how Michael Jackson was as a child? Or like little Stevie Wonder or Gabby Douglas, that’s how I am in video game basketball. I’m a prodigy, and I do it way too often.

You’re saying this with a straight face right now.

Totally straight face. I am the Michael Jordan of NBA2K — online or in person. At 3 in the morning, I’m beating some kid in South Korea. I’m whooping his a–. He’s like, ‘I gotta go to bed.’ I’m like, ‘No, you gonna get this work.’ It’s the fourth quarter [Laughs].

“I’m like the one black man who doesn’t wear Jordans just because everybody else does. But the Yeezys are like my Jordans, so I’m rocking them like crazy right now.”

What’s your favorite or most ridiculous meme right now?

I’m not gonna say because it’s really mean and I’ve been told to take it down. It’s not offensive, just mean [Laughs].

What’s the last show you binged through?

Orange Is the New Black, the most recent season.

What’s the last podcast you listened to?

The Combat Jack Show, the hip-hop legend. He interviews all the dopest hip-hop artists. Combat Jack is like one of my heroes on the journalism tip.

Current fashion obsession? Brand?

Sneakerhead stuff. I collect — I give away, in the summer, 40 pairs of sneakers because I wear them once or twice and I get rid of them. I am obsessed with all the Yeezys. I track them down on the internet, I find people who are selling them. I want all the pairs. I don’t wear Nikes too much. I’m like the one black man who doesn’t wear Jordans just because everybody else does. But the Yeezys are like my Jordans, so I’m rocking them like crazy right now.

I’m also going to start wearing three-piece suits. I feel like they make me look smart and serious. I’m going to walk around with a three-piece suit on, even when I’m playing NBA2K.

What is the last thing you Googled? Why?

I Googled Gerald Henderson stats. I’m a Sixers fan, and I was trying to see if we have a realistic chance of winning 25 games.

What question are you asked most by fans?

Recently it’s been, ‘Do you think this guy can really win the presidency?’ Everybody asks me that. They always want to know if [GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald] Trump can really be president. In general, people have always asked me, because of my time at Fox News, they ask me if Bill O’Reilly is like that in real life. At least twice a day, I’m asked that question.

And what are your responses to those?

Yes, Trump can be president, and no, Bill is not like that in real life. He’s actually quite nice.

Maya Jones is an associate editor at The Undefeated. She is a native New Orleanian who enjoys long walks down Frenchmen Street and romantic dates to Saints games.