Did you feel that Distant Relatives re-energized you, creatively? It felt that way.
I can only imagine you building with the Marleys in the studio and where those conversations would lead.
Yeah. It was all of that. It was the conversations. It was the music that we were choosing to get on. Those things opened me up. I wanted to be on music that was good. It took me to a different place, and it freed me up. It freed me up from the bullshit out there. It kept my shit real. That’s how I approach everything now.
I don’t waste any more time with entertaining you with a verse. I just want to keep the shit real. We’re all in the entertainment business, and you have tons of entertainers, and I’m in that game, but what I’m saying at this point is that I’m at a point where everything is going to be really close to my life. It’s going to be a lot closer to my life—not just rhyming acrobatics.
I don’t waste any more time with entertaining you with a verse. I just want to keep the shit real. We’re all in the entertainment business, and you have tons of entertainers, and I’m in that game, but what I’m saying at this point is that I’m at a point where everything is going to be really close to my life. It’s going to be a lot closer to my life—not just rhyming acrobatics. It’s just a lot closer to me and how I feel.
That record you did about Kelis...It’s funny, because one of the questions that I was going to ask was what made you fall in love with Kelis, and what made you want to marry her, and you kind of answered it on that record. How hard was that break-up, and what was the feeling when she had your first son, and you were already separated?
Well, there was a point where we were trying to hold onto a relationship that was finished, and she was pregnant, and she was in the studio while we were recording Distant Relatives every once in a while, and he would move when the music would come on.
That was a great feeling for me, just to have that feeling of family. So when it ended, that was around the time the record was being done. It was done. So the record kind of helped me focus on something else other than myself during that time.
There were times when it didn’t bother me, and there were times when it bothered me a lot. There were times when I was thinking to myself, “Damn. I had this shit all planned out, and now I’ve failed.” With this relationship, we failed.
That was hard on me, because you don’t like to fail at anything. So just accepting that I failed at this relationship—and it was really public—was really...it messed me up. You start to feel like that person was cold; How could that person be so cold? And I’m sure she felt the same way about me; How could he be so cold? It was ugly.
So being on records with sounds that were beautiful, I think the music on Distant Relatives had some really nice therapeutic sounds, and some great topics. It was mixture of rap and reggae. It just gave me a better feeling about the future. It made me really happy about being able to continue to do what I do and do new stuff. That helped my whole life out, man.
You did a lot of touring with that, too.
Yeah. The Jamaican culture, their whole thing is peaceful. So the way that Damian rocks, how he talks, what he is—it’s all real. It’s all relative, and it’s insightful. Just being around that gave me a different side of life. That opened me up to a different spirituality, and I was so engulfed in what I was experiencing touring with Damian that it subsided the divorce thing. I was having a great time.
I remember when we talked in Miami, you said you had actually gone to Chichen Itza—the pyramids in Mexico—and you obviously just went to Egypt, not too long ago.
My son just went to Egypt. I was in Egypt about four or five years ago.
Do you study ancient civilizations? Is it something that you read about? Your information on it is vast.
Yeah. I always have.
Just accepting that I failed at this relationship—and it was really public—was really...it messed me up. You start to feel like that person was cold; How could that person be so cold? And I’m sure she felt the same way about me; How could he be so cold? It was ugly.
Who introduced you to that?
Both of them?
Yeah. Those were the books that were in my crib. Those books were in my crib, the book of the dead.
Do you see the world changing the way they talk about it with 2012 and the calendar?
I’ll just say that those people weren’t primitive. Those people were more advanced than we are, and if they left something behind for us to read up on, we should read up on it. I don’t think all things repeat themselves all the time. I believe there’s changes in the universe. Do I believe the world is going to end right now? Not really, no. I don’t. I feel like things are going to end, but I think that we’ve got a lot more life to live, the human race.
That video with Damian, where everyone’s kind of marching like an exodus, I saw it as a metaphor, like a state of consciousness.