I didn’t realize that when Kanye started to get really famous, you didn’t want to be around that level of fame.
Right. It was a lot, and I knew it was going to be a lot for him. At the end of the day, I like walking down the street, going to the movie theater, and going to the mall. I’ve got a lot of famous friends, and I’m not really trying to live the life that they live. It’s not really fun for me.
One thing I heard you say was that Common had been working on his last few albums with producer-rappers, and you felt like working with somebody who was also producing for themselves hurt him because they weren’t inclined to give him their best stuff.
Yeah, that was my opinion. This is one of those opinions that could be interpreted however, but it really is how I feel. If I was an artist, there are times where I’m gonna say, “No, I wanna keep this for me.”
I’ve never peaked and still haven’t peaked. People don’t get tired of me. I don’t have people rooting against me because I’m there too much. It helps me a lot because it makes my efforts spread out.
There are times when I wanna say, "I don’t want to compete with this record on another person," or "This will help me in another way over here. I got to spread out my effort." I don’t have to do that, and it just makes for a better result sometimes.
Has being outspoken ever gotten you in trouble?
You can never be in trouble telling the truth. If you’re in trouble for telling the truth, then that’s not trouble. That’s just dealing with the truth. I’m never gonna view it as a problem to be honest. To answer that question, I haven’t gotten in that much trouble for telling the truth.
I am the guy that if you catch me saying something, I don’t do the, ‘Don’t tell anybody I said it.’ If I said it, I said it. I’m gonna stand right here and say it again to whoever—the end. What’s the trouble? Where’s the problem?
It seems like getting shout-outs on records has been key for you, as far as the level of fame and appreciation from fans who aren’t up on reading the credits. How has that affected your career?
I think it’s affected it great. I’ve never peaked and still haven’t peaked. People don’t get tired of me. I don’t have people rooting against me because I’m there too much. It helps me a lot because it makes my efforts spread out. Pretty soon, by the time you look up, all of these accolades and comments really came from a genuine review of events.
None of it was planned out; it all occurred organically. I’m cool with whatever it is happening because at the end of the day, no matter what you go through, you’re gonna come down. If you can’t handle coming down, then you lose.
I’m not trying to push myself higher. I’m cool with just where I’m at. You never know what anything brings. You got be able to mentally and spiritually handle that. That’s most important to me.