Did you use to question it?
I mean it used to be frustrating because you try to accommodate the people you are working for or the people that you are working with. You try to accommodate the audience and you try to makes subtle changes and nuances and you try to push more of your personality that is just a small percentage of you and it doesn’t quite work. Then you just accept who you are and you don’t give a damn and real things come together.
When was the moment you said I got to speak in my voice and make the music I want to make?
The day after A.D.I.D.A.S. dropped as a single in 2003. I never wanted that song to drop as a single and the day after I saw what a record company would make you do, I was off the post I said fit .
According to a tweet I saw from your twitter, it doesn’t seem that Frank Ocean coming out didn’t make an impact to you one way or another.
It wasn’t in reference to Frank Ocean. It was in reference to black women. Black women tend to be overly celebratory about things that directly or could directly affect them in a harmful way. I watch black women on twitter malign heterosexual black men who they view as promiscuous. I watch them malign them every day, yet it’s harder for a woman to give HIV to a man than it is for a man to give it to a woman. I watch the same women celebrate bisexuality in a black man. I don’t judge bisexuality or homosexuality; to each his own. I grew up under wonderful gay uncles who are the reason why I went to Morehouse, the reason why I have certain fashion sensibilities. They are the ones that gave me culture because my dad and stepdad were just manly kind of men. Artistically and culturally I am who I am because of my gay uncles.
That being said we have to admit that when engaging in anal sex; it carries a higher risk for something. So I am just amazed when I see black women who just castigate their heterosexual partners to dirt level, celebrate gay and bisexual in a way that is almost exclusive of how their distrustful they are of black women. They look down on black women and say that ‘I’m not a whore,’ but all these other whores are. In how they look down on heterosexual men who are traditionally their partners, but they celebrate somehow another group of man that supposedly will never betray them and seek their heterosexual partner.
I support Frank Ocean’s freedom to be who he is. I congratulate Frank Ocean. I feel that my gay uncles would be ashamed of me to be anything else. With that said, I’m not ever going to let black women who don’t let us off the hook, off the hook. I’m not going to let sisters who are the highest growing population of HIV cases off the hook either. There is some sick s*it in our community we got to get our head around. That’s a problem.
I was referring to a tweet I was referring to the day Frank Ocean came out and you tweeted was something like Luther Vandross was one of my favorite R&B artists … I don’t care. Are you saying that there is a certain type of black woman that likes to put bisexuality or homosexuality on a pedestal?
No that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is on Twitter, bisexuality and homosexuality being celebrated by the same women who were disparaging their heterosexual counterparts and their mates. In terms of like he’s gay and singing, if you look at high school, all the kids that were in AV were techs and they were music nerds. So when I get in the music business those guys are that run the boards. Most of the kids that were in theater, some of them were gay. So I’m not surprised by that culture. I was introduced to the arts by my gay uncles; like they’re point of interest is there so I’m not surprised if any singer or rapper is gay honestly. I just want their music to be good. It mattered to me that Luther Vandross sang about love honestly. It doesn’t matter who he was singing to. When I listened to his song I apply to it who I want to apply to it. When I listen to his songs I think about my woman.
On your song ‘Don’t Die’ you speak about your dad being a cop. Does he give you an inside perspective about law enforcement?
I don’t even think I have to. Just go to twitter and ask anyone have they ever been wrongly accused by a cop or given a bad ticket or beat up and just see the answers you get. The first time I got my ass beat by a cop I was 13 years old. I mean are you a black male yes? Have you been stopped, pulled over, bull sh*t searched? Yeah I have seen the gambit of it.
Because of your rapping about politics, the street, law enforcement and the drug game, do you feel rap stations are scared to play your material?
Somebody who worked in radio in Atlanta once told me that they don’t want to play you because they afraid of what you going to say the day after you get a hit. I’m going to say the same s*it the day before I had the hit. I’m not going to change. I’m not chasing radio, I’m chasing the audience.
What are your thoughts on the president over the last 4 years?
I am really hoping that on a federal level he decriminalizes marijuana not only so people can smoke, but so they can be industry. I know he is going to win. He is going to be a two-term president. I don’t have any questions about that. I just hope he does right by the people that believe in him.