Shit, I wasn’t using books then. I don’t need it now. The most I do now is read and it’s like if I’m reading and I hear something that’s real interesting to me I will impute that into the music.
Just take a mental note?
Most definitely. That’s how I come up with half of the shit I come up with.
Like Sex and the City might be in your next rhyme?
Yeah you see how I really love the billboard and her sense of fashion? I think she’s the flyest white bitch alive. Just to see her shoes and shit like that. As a matter of fact, I said her name in “Sweet Life.” It’s so many women that just glorify the shoes and the bags and then it’s just some women that’s sexy ’cause of the way they are and those accessories just complement them. So it’s dope when you’re a strong woman and the accessories can only complement you versus overwhelm you.
What topics do you like rapping about the most?
Just speaking shit into existence. I love speaking boss tales. I love tales which are similar to mine that’s coming from nothing and establishing yourself and giving yourself that opportunity just that light. It’s the same way I used to watch Michael Jordan. When you watch him score 60 points if you was a basketball player that had to inspire you. That had to make you want to shoot that many more free throws and run that many more sprints. Me coming up watching Big and watching Jay and watching the moves Diddy making right now and the longevity that they have, a lot of times people forget yeah they artists, yeah they big but they actually living their dream. They’re actually enjoying their life.
What’s Teflon Don like compared to your last albums?
Reflecting back on all the projects, I think I’ve found flaws or things that I would’ve done differently and the way things are looking right now, there’s really nothing I would change. This is really I feel like the best overall body of work I did. I feel as an artist you never really want to stop recording because you come up with new ideas everyday but for once I’m extremely confident in what I cooked up. Records like “Tears of Joy” featuring Cee-Lo. That’s the record that I’ve never done. That’s what makes that record stand out to me so much—the depth of emotion, the things I talk about just being a Black kid and different things that you face and I think where I detail it’s gon’ be cool for the listener for the first time you hear me rhyming that way. That’s one of the good examples of what I’ve tried differently on this album.
How do you think that you’ve improved as a rapper since your first album?
I think just seeing the world, seeing different things, experiencing different things, working with different artists, learning, picking up different methods, trying different things. I think it’s always about getting better no matter how dope you are, what you’ve accomplished. I still think you should wake up and try to enhance your game, step your shit up a little bit everyday. So that’s something that I live by. I think the music is reflected in that at this point and I put the bullshit to the side and really just concentrated on the beats and I think that’s what calls for the clarity.
What’s the bullshit?
You know, just a lot of different distractions, things that wasn’t pertaining to the money. Just player pollution.
The beef with 50?
Yeah, and it was a lot of other little things that was on the side that I just had to handle. We handled them and shit the sun’s shining.
Where are you at with that right now?
It’s not even an issue with me. I’m focused on so many other endeavors that’s in front of me and I gotta make sure I capitalize on this. I got a huge record at radio with “Super High.” And you know our street movement is extremely powerful right now and I’m finna follow up with the TKO with the album.
You mentioned that you work on enhancing your lyrics. How do you do that? How do try to get better? Do you listen to a lot of old records? Like, NBA players when they’re trying to gauge the other team they look at tapes.
I’m just a natural fan of music and I listen to the older shit. I like to go back to the essence when the music was really groundbreaking, shit was really powerful so I really like to go back to those Ice Cube eras, Public Enemy eras and I listen to “Night of the Living Bassheads” or Kill At Will or Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and them nigga’s approaches to they rhymes was always revolutionary damn near. So when it’s time for me to do my homework that’s what I study. I just really been believing in repetition. I been spending a lot more time in the studio working on shit and it’s just been turning out a lot better and coming to me a lot quicker.
What was the first rhyme that you wrote or tried to write?