A Long Convo With... The-Dream (Pg. 2)
Would you be cool if Christina wanted to shoot a video like "Window Seat"?
I’d be like ‘Go ahead.’ It’s all artistic expression. If we lived in Africa, our asses would be out all the time. We’re conditioned people, so our minds are in such a crazy position. Someone told will.i.am on the radio, ‘Man you curse on your records. I can’t take my kids to your concert.’ And he was like, ‘What you talking ‘bout? Everybody curse.’ Which I thought was funny because, yeah you could bleep it out, but all you’re saying is you know it’s bad and you’re just trying to hide the word, when everyone knows what it is.
Yeah, it’s like when people say “itch” instead of “bitch” and think they have two different meanings. We’re the ones who give power to words and art.
Exactly. That’s insinuating the same thing. It’s the feeling after the word… the meaning [behind] what you’re saying.
True. Your own words are a lot more direct. It’s clear to everyone that you love love and sex. Have you ever wanted to be a sex symbol?
It depends on what the symbol of sex is because it fluctuates through time and history. The symbol that always holds up though is philosophy and words. Visually can do that too, like you can see a picture of Madonna and think she’s sex symbol because of that particular look, but that’s not the only way to become that. I feel like I have to be a sex symbol in a certain format because everybody is always asking me to make ‘Another one of them baby-making albums.’ It’s influencing [sex]. When you pick up my album, I don’t think anyone thinks anything besides, ‘Yeah we’re gonna fuck’ [laughs]. So in some type of way I must be a sex symbol. But I’m not getting my sit-up on or anything, I’m just putting it down.
A lot of female artists feel pressure to maintain the visual side though, is it like that for men too?
Yeah, it’s like that with a certain type of man. It depends on your appreciation for self and what people appreciate from you. I didn’t walk into this shit being appreciated for my abs. Even if I said ‘Fuck these lyrics’ and went to the gym everyday, I still wouldn’t be appreciated for that. You appreciate people for being comfortable with themselves. I would be too much if I was all cut up. Y’all wouldn’t want me. Think I talk shit now? [Sings] ‘There’s women swimming on my abs/Touching on my pecs/Licking on my muscles and ass cheek/Yeah’ [laughs] You don’t want that.
Not at all [laughs]. You’ve mentioned that your best song ever is “Fancy.” Do you think you topped it on this album?
Yeah, it’s a record called “Take Care Of Me,” and it’s talking about ‘If I fight for you, fight for me.’ Just about having someone’s back in relationships. I definitely think that record tops not only what’s on either one of my albums, but it may be the best song of the year.
Word? Sonically, is it in the same vein as “Fancy”?
Nah, not at all. It’s more urban rock. It does have a variation of crescendo in the record though like “Fancy.” You definitely get that as I tell the story (plays record).
Did you have a vocal coach for this album?
Have you ever had a vocal coach?
Never. It’s more so of what I call camouflage.
What do you mean?
Just being ignorant because nobody likes when you do something great, so I under-sing most of the time… 95% of the time.
Wow. What about with you saying Love King may be your last album, you amped the under-singing?
Yeah, I’m just selling [my voice] a little bit more.