Was there a moment where you said, “I don’t have to tone it down anymore?” Was it one moment, or was it a gradual thing? I remember thinking, like on God’s Son, when your mom died, you opened up.
Yeah, definitely. That was my reconciliation with God. For a minute—as a young man, who questions everything about life—I thought, “If there’s a God, why are people suffering?” I was rebellious. Extremely rebellious.
When the God’s Son album came, that was me at the foot of the most high, just saying, 'I’m your child, and I need you, right now. You don’t need me. I need you,' like Muhammad Ali said. That’s what I was going through.
So when the God’s Son album came, that was me at the foot of the most-high, just saying, “I’m your child, and I need you, right now. You don’t need me. I need you,” like Muhammad Ali said. That’s what I was going through.
So songs like “Heaven (Was A Mile Away),” people weren’t really used to hearing hip-hop artists really have a hardcore record dealing with God and heaven. I’m not the first, I’m sure, but to me, that was a great song, dealing with heaven and all of that.
Yeah. It reminded me a little of Scarface.
He also...his spirituality is so profound.
Oh, man. Yeah.
He’s more a preacher than a rapper.
[Laughs] Yeah, exactly. So at that point, I started to feel like, “Yo, I don’t care no more,” but even then, I kept it a little toned. So it’s at this point here, with this album, as I’m finishing it, it’s about to be just free. Like, I’m saying what I’ve got to say, and that’s what it is.
It’s partly like a right you earn. You don’t have the same options when you’re coming up, because you’re still trying to establish yourself or whatever.
You know, they say you’re once a man and twice a child, because children and old people tell the truth.
Let me ask you this, when you said, “My intellect prevails from a hanging cross with nails/I reinforce the frail with lyrics that’s real/Word to Christ.” When I hear that, I hear that kind of God-body ...Like, you understand what words really are, what the magic of it is. You know, Christ was the word made flesh. Do you feel that, in your body of work, you’ve used the word properly? Is it a gift you’re given, and then you choose how you use it? Or is it like you’re not really making any decisions on that level?
Yeah, I’m not making those decisions. You just let go, and let it flow. Whatever comes out, that’s what comes out.
I just heard the song “Daughters.” I’m curious, what’s the most important thing that you want to teach your son, for example, about women?
Well, the thing about life is that you never know what words someone is going to hold onto. Like, he has to have his own life. My experience could be the wrong thing for his life and what’s ahead of him. A lot of older people are giving people the worst advice, based on the problems they had.
I think each generation should have it better than the last, and I think he’s born into a new world, where the information age is out of control, and no matter what I say... What I say is based off of what I’ve seen in the ‘80s, the ‘90s and my life currently. What he’s going to see, I’m going to need him to tell me what to do.
I just want [my son] to hear what I’ve got to say, and then make his own decisions. That’s the best thing he could do.
That’s what I’m looking forward to. He’s going to know what it is. Because if I’m here, we’ll talk. If not, he’s going to figure it out on his own. I think he’s going to pretty much look at... He’ll take his mother, he’ll take her words, he’ll take my words, and then there’s the truth. So whatever he feels, he’s just got to go with his heart, and just know that... Just be a man, in every occasion.
Okay. So the same would apply with like, money? In terms of the lessons that you feel like you must show him?
I just want him to hear what I’ve got to say, and then make his own decisions. That’s the best thing he could do.