After penning hits for Eminem & Rihanna, Dr. Dre, and Lupe Fiasco, the Grammy-nominated singer is focused on her new album, Invisible, and playing “Would You Rather….”

This feature appears in Complex's October/November 2011 issue.

I’d rather touch someone with my music than entertain them. To be able to reach someone on a level that they don’t get to necessarily feel every day is the ultimate form of success. It’s not about the checks and the fame or any of that.

I’d rather live in a small town than a big city. I like to have room to breathe and think. I especially love nature. I don’t have a favorite place, but I like mountains and oceanside towns.

I’d rather have the power of time travel than omnipresence. If I was omnipresent, I don’t think I would feel any ambition. If I could time travel, I wouldn’t go back to a time in my own life to change anything. But there are a lot of eras that I wish I would’ve seen. I’d go back to World War II and experience that.

I’d rather struggle through odd jobs than give up on myself. I edited porn for a time. It’s not that I wanted to edit porn, it’s that it was the best paying job and I was broke. I also toured with other groups in backup positions. Now when I’m on tour, I never treat my band members or the crew with disrespect because I know what the job requires.

I’d rather control my own destiny than believe in fate. The choices you make lead to the places you put yourself. Believing in your gut instinct and doing things that are scary can lead to new opportunities.

I’d rather die than quit making music. When I started getting back into the music industry, I was like, “I gotta make this work or I’m gonna die.” Now, if I give this 100% of my energy and it doesn’t work out, then I’ll be able to move on. I write my own video treatments a lot of the time and do stuff that goes along with photo shoots and website building. So the creative world is where I live regardless of music.

(Hair) Matthew Yates. (Makeup) Stephanie Flor. Dress by Diesel; Shoes by Walter Steiger; Hat by Victor Osbourne; Earrings by H&M; Jewelry by Chris Habana