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Today is:
Interview with Reuben "Big Rube" Harley of Mitchell & Ness
By Clayton Ruley

If your not from Philly and you know of the term "throwback" it is probably becuase of Reuben "Big Rube" Harley. Harley has brought the vintage sports jersey into the living rooms of millions by having your favorite celebrity rocking them wherever they go. But since this is a man who remembers where he came from and where he wants to go he took the time out to talk with the World Family about his job, his Big Rube Entertainment and what change means to him. Peep the face cause it aint going nowhere!

GC: What is your current position, title and duties at Mitchell & Ness?


BR: My position at Mitchell & Ness is Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development. It entails working on advertisements for magazines; promoting new products to fashion editors and giving direction for Mitchell & Ness's new active wear line.


GC: Business has jumped tremendously from the time you took over. What

was your vision for the company?


BR: My vision for the company was to take a small sporting goods business in Philly to worldwide allure. I love sport and fashion and I knew they both could come together because these jerseys were exclusive, the prices were expensive and they responded well in the market I love so well - Hip Hop.


GC: Who have you worked with local, nationally and internationally? Any favorites? How is it working with media stars?


BR: I have worked with the sports stars that I grew up loving such as Reggie Jackson, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Ozzie Smith and the list goes on and on. I've worked with celebrities like P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Fabolous, Bow Wow, Jadakiss, Faith Evans, Eve, Will Smith, Damon Dash, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey, etc.   It's been great because I found that they are just like you and me; they are just in the limelight.


Big Rube with Jadakiss and company

GC: What's good with Big Rube Entertainment? What are some of your current and future projects?


BR: Big Rube Entertainment is the company I started because of my love of music, sports and fashion and I wanted to combine all that under one umbrella such as a guy I admire: P. Diddy.   I wanted to give back to Philadelphia the experiences I've had the past 4 years traveling all over the world and giving quality events in this city.


GC: How is it occasionally working with 610 WIP's morning team and in

particular, Angelo Cataldi?


BR: It's good going on 610 because it shows my personality besides my business side I get to joke around with callers and meet different [people] in the streets from all walks of life that know of me and Mitchell & Ness. Angelo is real cool. He always loves having me and keeps he saying that I need my own show!


GC: I saw that Mitchell & Ness made some limited edition Deion Sanders Atlanta Falcons NFL jerseys. Any upcoming heat from Mitchell & Ness you think we should know of?

BR: The Deion Sanders jerseys are something I thought of 'cause he is an icon in sports today and the recent past and we had to introduce him to the collection in a big way with making 600 limited jerseys. We are thinking of doing a few more players in LE but nothing I can divulge at the moment but I'll keep everyone posted.


GC: Where are you from and if Philly, which part?


BR: I'm from West Philly: Ithan St. off of 56 th and Spruce Sts. I attended West Philly High. I played football and managed the basketball team; it was cool. There I was so popular that I knew I was going to be doing something that was going to [put me in] the public eye. I just didn't know this way was it. I thought I was going to be a star football player and it worked out just fine with hard work and determination.


GC: Being that Mitchell & Ness's jerseys and gear are expensive, what would you say to those people that put buying your jerseys over paying their gas or phone bills?


BR: It's ironic that you ask that because when I was buying these jerseys I put them on layaway and saved up for them.   It was worth having because I worked hard for it. It's bad when people put the Jones's in front of their responsibility meaning that they would rather have something to show on the outside than take care of the household.


Big Rube and WWE Superstar John "Word Life" Cena

GC: What do you think of "uploading change" ( slogan) or making change besides the cash?


BR: I love change because you get to influence people you never met or will meet because of changes you make for the better of your life and it motivates the people in less fortunate places especially Afro-Americans and Latinos from the hood.


GC: Does Big Rube believe in the power of community?


BR: No doubt! Without their help (mostly), I wouldn't be here.   I love my people from the hood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


GC: What do you say to those who want to follow their dreams and blaze a path like yourself?


BR: I say to that question never take no for an answer and use all the negative energy as your motivation to climb the ladder to the top and never ever forget were you come from and what it took to get there. My new clothing line is going to be called R HARLEY, after my name and the mission statement is LIVE YOUR DREAMS!!!!!!!!!!


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