How do you avoid what happened before?
You don't make the same mistakes. You just straight up, be honest. Assess but don't assess to the point that you miss out or you become judgmental. You rely on your synergy with others, you let that guide you and hopefully God helps too. Hopefully with a mind and wit to be able to and you will be able to navigate through it and figure it out.
So how do you go about criticizing things?
I put things up for judgment when I don't feel certain about it. The things I feel certain about, I trust that and I go with that usually.
For this album, what did you feel certain about?
It's hard to say because I'm just a participant in it. As we all are. We are all parts that make the sum. So, all you can be sure about is what you're bringing, and your tool chest.
What have you brought?
My talent, people call it? Shit. Whatever that thing is, that’s what we all bring.
The management is left to Kanye?
This is his compilation album. We all are a part of it, it's all our thing, but he made kind of the decision on it. I think we all make each other better. Everyone is going to push one another. It's good because it brings out the best in everybody.
How do you react to something someone else does?
If I hear something that's going incredibly left to the degree of damage, I'll speak on it and give my opinion. I'll be polite about it. I'm not somebody who will be like, “Yo that shit sucks.” But I'll just offer some opinions about it and people can deal with it or not.
What’s it like in the studio with all these guys?
The thing about the compilation, you're just a team of dope dudes. Like everybody is dope. Everybody is nice. It's just a great environment. You can bold print that. You take that experience with you. You stick to the music, you rely on the music, you can't go wrong. I've said it a million times.
You've seen it go wrong.
I've seen it go wrong because dudes don't want to play the notes sometimes. Sometimes the notes aren't on the sheet either. Sometimes there is a suggestion of a note and you've got to be able to hear that truth. I've seen it go wrong a lot. Whether my group, other groups.
Does that weigh heavy on your mind?
It's just a part of who I am. This was my calling so, it's just what we do as artists.
If you felt like someone wasn't playing the notes...
I'd say it. I'm not going to let somebody just do some dumb shit. Unless they really have their heart set on doing it, then they'll be another casualty that we all will see, that ghost.
That hasn't come up yet though has it?
No. This is the thing about it. That one thing with Kanye is he's a really smart guy, and he doesn't call it a group. He doesn't necessarily call it a label in a way. He doesn't necessarily call it family in a way. It's just a bunch of people who are alike. Even though they come from different place and different places and say different things, everybody’s drive is the same.
Everybody from Kanye to Pusha to Chainz, everybody to myself to Common, everyone has their foot like this. Mashed down to the floor. We on the Autobahn though. We ain't mashed down on the floor on 2nd Avenue running lights. Everbody's in they lane, in they space. Everyone is moving with passion.
Without that definition, you work to your best, it enables you to flourish more. It doesn't close you. Kanye's not a guy that likes to be pegged and cornered and categorized. He likes shit that's fresh, honest, and insightful.
We leave that for everyone else to say what it is. Y'all know what it is, you see it, you feel it, and you hear it. I won't make the mistake, just being what it is and following that energy and connecting with each other and feeling it.
What kind of communication do you have regularly?
The thing about the communication is sometimes it's not verbal. Sometimes it's quiet communication. It's feeling. Like I said before, you play the notes, sometimes the note isn’t on the paper. It's a suggestion, it's energy. We all move off of energy. Music is powerful. It doesn't necessarily need a phone call.
But when we all get together you feel the energy. You'll see when we all get together, you'll feel it. You'll feel energy because it's real. We ain't no joke when it comes to what we do. Each man. So you can feel the energy. It's really hard to describe, but it's a feeling.
How does G.O.O.D. stack up against MMG and YMCMB?
I think it's all good. It's great. What it shows is community. Neighborhoods living together. I think that's the main thing. Busta is a dear friend of mine. Rick and I build all the time. Rick speaks with 'Ye. 'Ye does records with Rick. Drake is working with Sean. Everybody interacts. There is no malice between anyone at all. We look at everybody else like they doing their thing.
It's great that we all out here showing people that we as black folk can be together and combine into something and do something to make music. Try to make great music. It's great to see as young black men. It's a great thing for kids to see too. Different crews making music and doing it together, you get to see how a community works, how a team works.
Nobody can do it by themselves. Nobody. We all need each other. I think we see it exercised this way, whether it be G.O.O.D., MMG, YMCMB. Because you get to literally play itself out that way. We need each other. So it's great. I think it's amazing.
What do you take from this experience?
The best is yet to come. I don't even know yet. It's been great so far so all I can do is attend and pray and put energy on it and move forward.
What would be success for you on this project?
First and foremost hopefully, it's underneath the good graces of the all mighty. Then it's for everybody. Then, hopefully I'll be able to take care of my family and be able to provide for them and be in a position where I can continue to create. Success for me is being able to move people in a positive direction, affect the world in a positive way through the music. That's success.