So for you it’s more about your peers?
My albums have always been about that. Love/Hate started off being that. I wasn’t trying to become this Dream figure that’s an artist that’s dancing on stage. I’m not going to be that type of artist because I’ll never be. I’m an artist because of how I do things, not because I’m trying to be one.
So with that being said, I make sure I get what I’m supposed to get. That’s all I want. I know exactly what I’m supposed to get. I know when a label fails. I know when they don’t do certain things. I know when I go into a store and nobody knows the album is out that that’s marketing’s fault. I know the business.
Beyond that, if you still didn’t get it that means that I didn’t market for you to get it in the first place. You’re not my target.
So how do you feel about the performance of Love King?
I feel great about the fact that from the critic’s standpoint it was critically acclaimed. Which puts pressure back on the label again. That speaks to what I was talking about, like when people are saying “I didn’t know there was a third album out.”
Then you have a problem. I’d rather you know it and just didn’t get it versus “You got an album out?” People still hit me, like, “Yo, this is the first time I’ve heard ‘Sex Intelligent.’”
You said you’re awarded this kind of freedom because you’re a songwriter first. So why are you an artist? You’ve got money coming in from all these different lanes. You could be in the office all chill.
Me, Tricky, and Los Da Mystro did something in 2007 that moved the needle. Music sounds like it sounds because of those records that we made, and it still does. We still affect how music sounds so we have an obligation to do it.
It’s about music. Quite frankly, at the end of the day, I couldn’t say this 10 years ago but I can say it now: It’s 2012. Me, Tricky, and Los Da Mystro did something in 2007 that moved the needle. Music sounds like it sounds because of those records that we made, and it still does. We still affect how music sounds so we have an obligation to do it.
It’s not trying to be funny or no type of way, but being dope and trying to be dope are two different things. It’s hard to say I’m dope, but I am. It’s not an arrogant thing, it’s just I know what I do, I know how far my blessings go, and I know what my limitations are. I wouldn’t try to go play basketball because I’m not dope at it. I’m just not dope. It wouldn’t be a good day, nobody would get paid.
Music shit, however, I’m just really, really good at it. I’m not even close to how good I could probably be. I don’t even have any idea. So I do it because I know I can do it. I would go crazy if I didn’t do it.
What story are you telling with your next album? On your previous albums you were the guy who’s been wronged. Last year with all the controversy with the Christina Milian break-up and all this other shit, it made people go, “Yo, he might be the guy fucking up relationships. Not the girl.” Who will you be on IV?
Okay, so, let me get this right… I’m usually the wronged person?
For the most part your songs follow the same story arc: You’re a great guy offering these great things to a woman, and one way or another, your lady decides to screw things up.
Okay, got you. I’ve never lied on a record. I’ve never had a line that said it wasn’t what it was. I have this record on this album coming up called “Tendencies.” The first line goes, “You want to tell them how badly I hurt you, I know, you want to tell them how I mistreated your love.” And I think the next line is me telling how harsh I am, how self-centered I am. So all of these things are about me.
So you’re not perfect.
Oh, not at all. But I’m not saying it because of anything. I’m saying because nobody’s perfect. I’m saying it not because there’s an incident or there should be an incident. These things are in place already. But I’ll go ahead and throw it out there. There is nothing completely normal about me.
I don’t do anything normal. Somebody who sits around and writes a billion songs a year is not normal. My life isn’t normal, I wasn’t a normal kid. I didn’t do normal sh*t.
I don’t do anything normal. Somebody who sits around and writes a billion songs a year is not normal. My life isn’t normal, I wasn’t a normal kid. I didn’t do normal shit. And I don’t want normal things. So when somebody’s judging on that plane saying this is about blah blah blah that’s cool. But, that’s not right. And that’s me considering that you know nobody’s normal. We’re all off.
But in the song I really talk about myself a lot and it’s just being totally honest and it’s not being honest like, “Oh, let me now tell you about this.” It’s like “Oh, I thought you knew this but let me remind you that I’m the crazy motherfucker that will fall in love and do all these things for you. But if you cross me right here, I will fuck your shit up.”
Any other singles from IV that you’re particularly excited about?
“Tendencies” is great. I have too many records, probably over 2000 records that are just songs sitting there. I don’t have time to wait for the album cycle or what the number is. Now that I can stop worrying about the cycle, I can stop worrying about what I put in the market.
It’s just about the demand and being able to take up that space. You’re not going to out-write me, if we can have a writing contest on who can put shit out. It’s not going to happen.