A Long Convo With… The-Dream (Pg. 3)

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When it comes to this album’s producers, did you follow the same aphorism as Love vs. Money: If it aint broke, don’t fix it?
Exactly, I really believe in that mentality. It’s me, Tricky and Los. When I fuck with someone, I fuck with them. I don’t dib and dab. You wont catch me on too many records with a lot of other people, or a lot of other producers. I mainly use the people I use. And not only that, it’s just something we started together. So it’s only right that we finish it.

Many R&B artists are shooting for international-friendly pop records and working with a lot of overseas producers. Do you think staying in your lane holds you back from becoming a huge, internationally recognized artist?
Nah, I think my culture holds me back. I’ve written some of the biggest pop songs in the world over the last couple years. So it’s not about whether I can do it or not, it’s about whether someone receives me doing that. If you’re selling ice cream everybody wants, you don’t have to start selling hamburgers. But if some people want hamburgers, I’ll sell [mine] to Beyonce and Rihanna.

Word. What about a lyrical shift? Do you have a song about marriage?
Nope. Probably later on, but [my album] is a book and you can’t just throw anything into the book if it doesn’t fit. This is it’s own little cult.

Has your second marriage re-inspired you at all?
That doesn’t really change what my musical inspiration is because music is basically my first love. I’m inspired by music, because music is music and it doesn’t talk back.

What’s a usual night like between you and the wife?
Right now, it’s just working. I think when people come together truly you’re still supposed to have a plan. Unless you marry when you’re eight. But when people are developed in their life and you marry them, you become a part of whatever their particular thing is. So I’m doing the same things that I was doing, which is working my ass off to get to a particular point. That point is at 40, so it’s not time to stop now.

Yeah, it can be easy to fall off balance when you get married, with any relationship really.
 Right. You get lazy. Love is just a part of [life] and that’s what we forget. That’s just a percentage of what it is.

Did you and Christina have a conversation about making sure you both stayed on track?
 I think that’s something that happened in a small conversation and something that happens every so often. That’s undoubtedly what has to happen, because it doesn’t work the other way.

Does she use your last name?
Depends on what it’s for. More so she uses her own name.

Christina Milian-Nash could work I think right?
Yeah, but that aint hot.

[Laughs] I’ve spoken to a lot of artists and producers who are saying LA is the new music hotspot. Has ATL finally taken a backseat?
I’ll tell you why that could never happen. Even if [the music] is in LA, the sound is Atlanta. Taking it to LA, makes you lose it a little, but you have to be reminded everyday and it’s a very humbling effect. Cause I was in LA last year too and when I got back to Atlanta I was like ‘Oh okay.’ There is definitely something in the water there. Believe me, ATL’s not going anywhere. 

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