“First you come into the game and you have no expectations. You just want the microphone to say what you want to say. But before long the pressure is on to actually sell records. Once you have that pressure on you, you have to come up with new and inventive ways to get there. So I had heard some BBD remixes produced by Wolf & Epic. And I really liked their take on it. Their sound had an energetic merge of hip-hop and R&B.
‘Poor Georgie’ was straight up storytelling. I just put every possible bad thing that could happen to someone in one song [laughs]. That was in itself humorous. With that song, I just wanted to paint a picture and have it hit people on all fronts. So if you don’t drink, well what about if you smoke? You don’t smoke, what about if you drink? This is what you stand to face if you do harmful things to your body.
When I was dancing in my video for ‘When In Love,’ I was just ready to try something different. I wasn’t really concerned about any backlash. I did what I wanted to do. I think that’s the problem with the record business today. Beyond A&R people finding unheard of producers and bringing people to the table like Rick Brown did for me by bringing in the Neptunes for my album, I think the record labels are too involved in the process. Most of the real success that happens today is because the artist has a vision and they do what they want to do. The label has to let the artist do that in order for them to find their voice. I think Nicki has a vision. I think Lil Wayne had a vision when he released all of those mixtapes. Nobody was in his way telling him that wasn’t the way to do it.”