You saw VIBE's April/May cover story with Trey Songz. Now, check out outtakes from our feature story with the hardest crooner in R&B.
Do you think you have the best voice out of all the young singers out right now?
It’s so many different ways you can judge a singer. Some singers specialize in runs. Some singers have great tone. Like, Luther Vandross had a beautiful tone and he could sing whatever you want him to and it was amazing. Michael Jackson, the different inflections he did. I love Tank’s voice. If you ask me, Tank’s one of the best singers. So many people are blessed with the ability to sing but it’s a difference [between] singing and putting records together and performing and bringing those records to life… To call someone the best singer, I don’t think that’s a fair assessment, but I think I sing very well. I strive to be better more so than anything.
As far as performing, other singers incorporate dancing—Chris, Ne-Yo, Usher. Is that something you’ve ever thought about doing?
I think if I was one of those artists, I probably wouldn’t be on [the Blueprint 3] tour. I mean, kudos to everybody that dances and sings ’cause that’s phenomenal and very hard to do. I admire that. That’s not really me, though. I’ll give you a little something here [and] there but I don’t know when in the history books it said because you sing you have to dance. If you’re not comfortable doing it, you shouldn’t do it because people can see that.
I saw the “Yo Side of the Bed” video you co-directed. It’s serious. Hearing that song, a war story is not something you would think about for a video treatment. How did you come up with that?
I was on a Website [about] army wives. This guy was writing about how his wife went off to war and he jokes about cooking and taking care of the kids but there’s really no one to talk to about it. He can talk to his friends about it but not too much before it seems as though he’s less of a man. His pride is thrown, in some cases. I just wanted an outlet for those men, as well as our troops. Because a lot of the times when we’re out here, we’re living our lives, we forget that they’re out risking their lives. Could you imagine if there was war here in America? So it’s definitely a tribute I wanted to pay to them and just let them know that I care for what they’re doing.
Who are your friends now? You have a little brother, right?
Yeah, my little brother, that’s my homie. I got two little brothers. Both of them are 15.
No, one my mother’s, one my father’s and, you know, naturally I’m closer to one than the other ’cause we grew up together… I don’t really have too many friends. I have associates. Even with people I’m really cool with, I understand what the relationship is.
You mean, what you can get out of it.
Not only what you can get out of it but what the person is trying to get from you. Once you know what somebody wants from you and you already know what you want from them, you know how to work that relationship. You know what it is, you don’t have any false expectations, you don’t allow yourself to get ganked, especially in this business because it’s easy to want to have friends. A lot of times in this world you live in a world of your own.
It seems like being on UStream is your connection into another world. The world of your fans. It’s kinda like you’re not alone when you’re on there.