O.J. Simpson on It Is What It Is Credit: Come Talk 2 Me on YouTube

Hip-hop stars Cam’Ron and Ma$e host 2023’s biggest breakout sports talk show It Is What It Is. There, they host the infamous former NFL MVP O.J. Simpson most weeks to talk pro and college football.

While the decision turned heads and may seem puzzling to some in the sports media world, to Cam’Ron, it was pretty straightforward.

After bringing on Mase as a partner and cohost on IIWII and signing a partnership deal with Underdog Fantasy, Mase suggested Simpson as a weekly guest. Cam liked the idea, so he reached out to contacts in the music industry before Lionel Richie ultimately connected him with the Juice.

As for the ethics and optics of bringing on a man once charged with double murder, Cam isn’t worried.

“Look, if he was guilty we wouldn’t have him on the show,” Cam told Complex in an interview for the website’s sports media personality rankings series. “Y’all want to keep convicting an innocent man. He’s innocent. If it was somebody else whiter, y’all would say, ‘He’s innocent.'”

Many might be shocked to see Cam go to bat for Simpson in 2023. But you also have to appreciate Cam being honest about his controversial choice. You can’t exactly hire one of the sports’ most infamous people and avoid questions about it.

Beyond the Simpson recruitment story, Cam also revealed in the Complex interview that Mase was not his original Plan A to cohost IIWII.

“Initially, I wanted Jadakiss to be my co-host,” Cam told Zion Olojede. “He kept saying he’s gonna come, and it’s not his fault but he’s busy as well. But that was my plan to do this show with me and Kiss.”

Instead, Cam’s lifelong friend and sometimes enemy Mase became his partner in crime. Now, Mase’s deadpan is vital to the show.


About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.