Looking back at your first two albums, do you think the rhymes were wack?
I ain’t gonna front. I heard some of my previous songs and I would just laugh, like, “damn.” I done came a long way. It’s crazy how people really fuck with them songs, how they were successful. It’s crazy just to see my growth. It’s amazing.
Do you think the dance genre of hip-hop is starting to die out? Is that why you’re trying to go the more lyrical lane?
I can always pull a dance song off and swag that bitch real quick in any club. Because at the end of the day, niggas gon’ always dance. I don’t give a fuck how gangster you is, how fine the girl is, how ugly she is, she gon’ be in the club shakin’ her ass. And the young niggas gon’ be in the club two stepping, trying to get on her. They’ve been dancing since the slave days. You couldn’t be lyrical in the slave days—niggas ain’t know words! But niggas was dancing, though.
So the album’s called The DeAndre Way. Why’d you dump the Soulja Boy title you rode with for the first two?
Well, the album—this is my whole life. This is the DeAndre way. For all the people outside looking in, you want to know the real story, you want to know how it’s going down, come take a listen. I’ma get real with them. Go government on ‘em.
“People try to downplay me and hate, but as far as causing physical harm, I don’t think it’s that serious. People might not like my music, but that’s as far as they take it.”
Word is you have a record with Trey Songz.
Yeah, we just added Chris Brown on there, that’s going to be a hit. That’s going to be an R&B smash. It’s called “Hey Cutie.” My whole vision is I’m looking at the game and there ain’t no groups. I was like, “Yo, put Chris on the record and let’s do a group for this single and make all the ladies go crazy.”
What’s the name of the group?
Ah, man, I don’t even know yet. We gotta make one up.
What subject matter do you tackle on the album?
I got a song called “Born” that I go real ham on. I talk about since the day I was born, I been labeled as a nigga. I was born into this lifestyle, born to be judged. I just really go into detail about that. Every person I played that for felt it. I came straight from the heart and I kept it real.
Do you see yourself still rapping at age 40?