The Recording Process
“Unlike most artists, I’m a morning person when it comes to recording. My recording day can start as early as 9 a.m., and I’ll write what needs to be put down, and hopefully I’m leaving by 1 p.m.
“I’m not a studio junkie at all. I actually don’t like the studio because it sort of ruins my vibe. To me, it’s just [a place] to lay down vocals and get out of there. For whatever reason, I’m most creative and write best in the shower, and also when I’m driving. Even if I don’t have a starting point, it usually comes with the constant flow of water or the monotony of driving.”
The Cinematic Influence
“This album was based off the movie ‘Devil’s Advocate.’ Not theme-wise at all, but just in the feel of the album. ‘Devil’s Advocate’ is a very dark movie, but at the same time, visually, it’s beautiful. The album is based off of that because I speak about the harsh realities of street life but there’s a lot of glitz and glamour that comes along with that. If you just look at it at face value, you might think, ‘It sounds a bit like he’s glorifying [street life],’ but when you get tuned into the record, you realize that you get both sides of it.
“There’s a scene where one of Charlize Theron’s girlfriends — a beautiful woman — is trying on clothes, and as Charlize is looking at her, her face turns into a monster. That’s one of the scenes that really paints the picture of the beauty and the dark side of my album.”
“40 Acres”: “One of the more thoughtful records would be ’40 Acres,’ and it’s produced by The-Dream and Rico Beats. It really harps on things that have happened in my life in regards to family — my brother being my partner, my parents not being together — speaking on how those things altered my views on relationships and so on.
“One of the lyrics goes, ‘Unpolished, unapologetic, might’ve broke a heart or two, but gave an honest effort/ You see my nonchalant attitude is always f— it/ 35 years of marriage, and my mama left it/ You shouldn’t question if you ever stood a chance with him, the better question is, did you enjoy the dance with him?/ I’ll probably never pull your chair out, bitch, you know this money grew your hair out, switch/ All that s— I bought, you wear out, rich/ But I’m the only one I care ’bout.’
“A lot of people, and men in general, don’t recognize that their selfishness towards women in a relationship probably has to do with something that has happened in their life before. I like to harp on things like that because people speak about relationships like it’s always so blissful but, like I said, my album is also based in harsh realities.”
The Five-Word Description
Musicality: “There are a few things I feel that are lacking in rap, and musicality is one of them. The ‘superproducer’ damn near died this year.”
Cinematic: ” ‘Devil’s Advocate’ made everything seem so much easier in terms of making the record and knowing which direction to go in. There are a lot of records that I had to rewrite because it wasn’t ‘movie enough.’ I wrote ’40 acres’ three times.”
Uncompromised: “We didn’t compromise on anything on this record. I have my own standard for raps.”
Lyricism: “There’s just never a moment where the fundamentals of hip-hop are ever forsaken.”
Big: “I don’t think there’s any point on this album where I thought twice about anything I was about to say, regardless of who it might’ve touched or affected or annoyed.”
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