Life as a CEO & An Actor...
"I’m much happier when I’m creating than when I was the CEO of Uptown Records, delegating all these responsibilities, overseeing 30 employees. That was one of the first steps.
"I realized that when I quit there was no way I could do this and be happy. It’s a different type of art, being the CEO of any company. It’s certainly an art form to it. But it wasn’t my creative juice. So I left that.
"My whole life started becoming, 'Okay, What can I do?' [Some people said], 'Well man, give it up.' Hell no, I’m an artist. I can’t give it up. So the acting was an obvious thing, since I’ve been putting my chops in for years with that. And then being Jamaica, I’ve always had one foot in reggae, one foot in hip-hop.
"Also I had already been bitten by the acting bug and fell deeply in love with it. My love for acting isn’t just, 'Let me try this thing out.' It’s really I wanna align myself with the best. I don’t wanna be the biggest.
"I just wanna be the one that the biggest look at and say, 'He’s one of the best.' I try to attach myself to these classic materials and work with actors that are way better than me. Because that’s the way you learn the most."
Hev Dropping Knowledge...
"I’m gonna give you two great quotes. Miles Davis said, 'Sometimes it takes a long time to play like yourself.' The other great quote is: 'The truth is magnetic.' What I’m expecting from this album is nothing more than people will feel it. As long as they give it a chance. And that’s the problem sometimes that we run into because you would put someone in a box because they did that or did this.
"You guys don’t realize how much power you have in shaping what the future of the music is. And not just subscribing to what everyone’s doing. You figure out a way to make it, if you like it. If LL came out and sang opera, you’ve gotta give it a listen. You’ve gotta give it a listen because you control the media. Give it a real chance to let it affect you.
If you have passion, it’s gonna lead you right where you need to be. Just follow that little voice and those goosebumps and everything that happens along with it. Just follow it. Cause that is where your destiny lies. That is where the truth is. All I’m trying to do is follow my truth.
"When you create history you don’t know you’re doing it. I don’t care if somebody says, 'We’re gonna make history.' Bullshit. You don’t know you’re doing it. You don’t know that till later on. Ask anybody—the most important people that you admire, the books you read—they didn’t know. They were just going on passion and what they want to do, and following that thing.
"There’s something in you that leads all of us here. Everyone here is here for a reason. If you’re good at what you do, or great at what you do, it’s cause you’re passionate. Not because you wanna be the President of the United States or of the company. If that is your goal it probably won’t happen.
"But if you have passion, it’s gonna lead you right where you need to be. Just follow that little voice and those goosebumps and everything that happens along with it. Just follow it. Cause that is where your destiny lies. That is where the truth is. All I’m trying to do is follow my truth.
"I’m unafraid. I know when people hear this… I’m telling you, I’m gonna get a Grammy. I’ll put it on the record. I’m gonna get a Grammy. Or at least a nomination. I don’t want to seem too arrogant but I believe I will at least get a nomination for this album. [Ed Note—Vibes was, in fact, nominated for a Best Reggae Album Grammy that year.]
My biggest goal was to drink a 40-ounce and listen to Mr. Magic at midnight in the park just to hear 'Mr. Big Stuff.' When that happened I was like, 'I could die now. Cool. I’m done.'
"I believe people are gonna respond to the truth. I think it’s refreshing. I think people want something different. The ultimate goal as an artist is to just be honest. In hip-hop, it’s hard as hell to be honest. They don’t really let us do that. I remember when I was making the records I used to make. I would write about a friend’s situation. I would get bashed for it, back in the day. Now you can’t hear a hip-hop song without a melody, a chord.
"It’s not just me, it’s other people. You’ve gotta open up. When you control the future, everybody has to open up. With mostly everything that I’ve done in my career—even the groups that I’ve signed or worked with—it was just because I felt it.
"I didn‘t see the bigger picture. My career, I didn’t see the bigger picture. My biggest goal was to drink a 40-ounce and listen to Mr. Magic at midnight in the park just to hear 'Mr. Big Stuff.' When that happened I was like, 'I could die now. Cool. I’m done.'"