What’s the vision and focus for the album you have coming out?
Just getting back to the basics of how I see life. Cuz you know, you can’t please everybody. That’s not even my aim. I like when people go against the shit that I do because it clarifies things for me. It lets me know that at the end of the day, everyone has a different outlook. I don’t care if everybody doesn’t understand where I’m going musically.
You have a title and release date?
No. I’m just trying to put it together. I don’t have a release date because I’m not sure if I’m really done with this album. I got a lot of music though, I got a lot of features, big features. I got a lot of production from big producers. But you know piecing together a body of work and making sure you deliver isn’t as easy as people think. But I have good problems because I got a lot of good records and some of them I love to the point I don’t want to complete this album without them and some of them will have to wait for another time.
Why do artists still try to make complete bodies of work when we are living in a singles-driven market?
Well, that’s why I don’t have a release date. You still want to be able to create a whole body of work because you’re still trying to cover a lot ground in your artistry. Some people don’t like to hear the single type record. They wanna hear the real because singles are created to attract a lot of people at one time. With that single, you have one shot to create something that’s appealing to the masses and it’s hard. I got homies that don’t want to hear the single that’s on the radio. They like, “Man, what the album gon sound like?”
How do you make that real music that people want to hear if you’re known as the “It’s Goin Down”/”Coffee Shop” guy?
I just do it because there are records that you hear and you say, “Oh, he got some sense. He ain’t just rhyming. He ain’t just saying some shit to make us do a dance. He’s just said some shut that made me think.” I think it’s really to each his own. I just do what’s on my heart at the time. I got some of those real records they were just never released. The substance and content of those records would definitely help people understand that I’m not just Mr. Its Goin Down.
Since the musical landscape had changed so much since your last album, where do you fit in?
I don’t fit in and that’s a great position to be in. I didn’t fit in when I first jumped out here. Fitting in to me means you have stuff that kinda feels like this and kinda feels like that. That’s fine for some, but that’s not me. As an artist, I’ve been able to take a hiatus as long as I have and still be confident enough to come back with some new music.
Before the world heard me, shit, nobody knew of me. I was just the cat with his own sound. And I was coming from a place like Atlanta. When I was coming in crunk was going out and snap was going out. At that point, I could’ve tried to fit in, but then I would’ve been out with crunk and snap. I did something totally different from that and was able to create my own lane. Do you think Kanye tries to fit in? Do you think Drake tried to fit in? The greatest artists of our time, as far as Hip-Hop is concerned, didn’t try to fit in. They created standards and other muthaf**kas fit in around them.
Who do you think will fit in around you when this album drops?
You gotta ask the fans about who will fit around me.
Like, look at Nicki Minaj doing “Looking Ass” when me and Hot Stylz had “Lookin Ass N*gga” first. Eminem and Nicki Minaj, within six months of each other, both released songs with “Lookin Ass” or “Lookin Ass N*gga.” These are iconic figures in the music industry.
If you look at a Juicy J right now. Juicy J got a lot of my flavor. He’s been around before me. I’m not saying he took my sound. He is just capitalizing off it. If you listen to the song he has with Miley Cyrus, he raps, “Js on my feet. Js on my feet. So get like me.” Who you think that came from? [begins rapping lyrics from “Patron”] “I just bought a zone/Js on my feet/I’m on that Patron/So get like me.”
I don’t sit around and try to take credit for that because, hell, I didn’t invent the wheel. I didn’t create Hip-Hop. So a lot of the shit I’ve done, I’ve had to pull from other sources that were before me.
Do you think people wanting the credit and their ego ruins the art of Hip-Hop?
Hell no! Hip-Hop is one of those types of sport. You got some people, like myself, who can sit back and have people come up to them and say, “Bruh, on the low, you know that muthaf**ka tried to come and take your sound?!” I say, “It’s cool because that’s what we do.” We recycle. That’s how we replenish by recycling the attributes that have already worked before.
Then you have those other artists who are like, “That’s all me! That’s my sound!” Because that’s a part of their whole thing. Every artist has their own perspective. When you hear an artist that’s boastful, some people like that. Then you have the humble and quiet fan who likes the boastful rapper because they wouldn’t normally talk like that. Or you have the normally boastful fan who really enjoys the humble rapper. That’s just life. So me, personally, I don’t have to fish for credit talking about I did this or that first. Who cares? Just keep making music. Keep being a trendsetter. When everybody thinks it’s time to go left, go right.
What do you want to be remembered for?
I just wanna be remembered for being a phenomenal person. When my time is over, I want people to say that I was a good person and that I loved life and he people around me. There was never a full moment around me and that the energy around me was real.
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