Yeah, Miss is [laughs]… She likes to be behind the scenes, I guess. Not everybody wants to be seen all the time. I’m actually kinda like that too, and I think that’s why we get along. We work when we have to work. If we don’t, we kinda just in the back somewhere.
What was the creative vibe for “Holding You Down” in particular when you were recording it?
For “Holding You Down,” I heard the break beat and they were like, ‘Write a song over this break beat.’ I could not think of nothing, and I was like, “Let’s just scratch it.” So we put it to the side and I was doing other stuff and then at the very end I was like, “Yo, let me hear that beat again.” And lyrics, melody and everything just sorta came. It was really organic. I didn’t try too hard and try to push something out ’cause if I did earlier and just wrote something just to appease everybody, it wouldn’t have been what it is now. It wouldn’t have been what it is now. It wouldn’t have been “Holding You Down.” It woulda been some other shit [laughs]. So that fact that I waited until something came just shows how I work and how we work.
Is there someone you’re singing about in particular?
No, no. I wouldn’t wanna be in the situation that I’m singing about. I have been and I know women who are in it, so that was the inspiration for writing it. I knew that it’s women out these jerks, but they love ‘em. You know, so when you love somebody, you love ‘em through whatever they problems are ‘cause you can’t help it.
With Mary J. Blige being on the remix, was it a conversation or did somebody called you?
Yeah, I got a call that Mary wanted to be on the song, and what was crazy was when [Me and Missy] were writing it, we were like, ‘Yo, Mary would think this was hot!’ [Laughs] And we were like, ‘If she could get on the remix, that would be crazy,’ but we never said anything. Then the phone call came that Mary suggested that she wanted to be on the album, and we were like, ‘Wow!’ It’s that sound though. It’s that feeling. Somebody like Mary understands and she gets it. She likes it.
Touring with her, do you get any chance to do one-on-ones or have conversations?
We haven’t yet. I mean, we talked a little bit during sound check. We were rehearing for a song that we were gonna do late on in her set, and we were actually talking about performances. My performance in particular, and she was giving me some advice on what I should do, and I appreciated her taking that time out ‘cause she doesn’t have to. And what’s crazy is she wants that close relationship with me, and I want it too, so it’s just about finding the time to just be able to just chill or whatever. It’s definitely love there. I love her. Not even just her music, I think that’s she’s a good person. She has a good heart.
What did she say about your performances?
She was just giving me advice about how to make the performance better and ceratin things that I had concerns about. She was like, ‘Don’t worry ‘bout that, just do this. Do you.’
You sing about heartbreak a lot, but you’ve said that this album shows more of your loving side.
To some degree. You have songs on there that are love songs, and I feel like I want to show a different side of relationships period because everything isn’t [about] head butting. Sometimes things can be good, and in a relationship, there are good and bad times, so I want to show the good time as well as those other times.
Do you sometimes feel like the songs about heartache are more compelling?