good. I'm out here on the road getting it.
Charm has been out for about a month now. Are you happy with how it's
have to be thankful, but you always have to push for more.
getting the right promotion on this one?
Yeah. I really
can't complain about anything. They put me out in a major way and I'm
Charm the record you wanted it to be when you started making it?
I just wanted it to have balance. If I did have a regret on my second
album, Deliverance, I would say it was the balance. It was critically-acclaimed,
but it had a lot of radio-friendly songs. This time I wanted my album
to have more of a balance.
the hardest part about finding that balance?
records without straying too far away from who you are.
you get the idea for Ms New Booty?
I was in
a strip club with Mr. Collipark and it just came.
have fun shooting that video?
It was a
blast. It was amazing. The Ying Yang Twins are the best guys in the world.
We had a lot of fun.
surprised at the negative reactions you've gotten from certain groups
for Ms. New Booty?
Yeah. I think
it's pretty comical. I think if you're worried about this song, you have
way too much time on your hands.
like that's the first song if its kind.
you think your song is targeted?
I don't know.
I ain't going to speculate. People do all sorts of crazy things for all
sorts of crazy different reasons.
have said a lot worse.
It's a loose argument.
even pay attention to what they're saying about the song?
to shrug it off. People are going to talk good. People are going to talk
bad. Let them talk. When they stop talking is when you have something
to worry about.
happy with where you are in the game right now?
I grew up idolizing Big Boi and for him to be the driving force behind
my destiny right now is a great feeling.
you want to sign with Big Boi?
cool with the Dungeon Family for five or six years. It was just natural.
I had to go do business with the homie.
the transition like going from Timbaland to Big Boi?
difference between Timbaland and Big Boi is that Timbaland is a producer
first and an artist second. Big Boi is an artist first, producer second.
Timbaland was a little more hands-on where Big would just yay or nay the
songs, telling me what he liked or didn't like. There are pluses and minuses
to both of them.
Timbaland was on The Charm, I'm assuming you're still cool.
super-cool. We obviously don't talk every day like we once did, but we're
surprised you made the switch?
He saw it
coming with all the problems he was having at Interscope at the time.
the best lesson you've learned working with Timbaland?
a ton of stuff. One thing I learned is that at the end of the day, your
voice has to be just another instrument in the music.
no question Big Boi is different from Timbaland. What's your relationship
with Big Boi?
one of the most flavorful, flamboyant people in the world. He plays the
big brother role. He gives me advice on everything.
called "country" something you embrace or shy away from?
harping on it. At this point, every time I open my mouth, people know
I'm country. I'm not harping on it anymore. I'm proud to be where I am
today and I'm proud of where I've come from. Now let's focus on the music
instead of the story behind the music.
Ugly a gift or a curse?
It was a
gift. The $5-million dollars I made off that song is a gift.
ever bother you that some people still haven't gotten past Ugly and expect
songs like that from you?
get the respect you deserve when you come to the East Coast?
I'd say in
the last two or three years it's definitely gotten better compared to
earlier in my career. The South's running this shit right now. I'm appreciative
of where I'm at in the world right now, but it won't last forever.
the best way for someone in the South who doesn't have labels, major radio,
or press outlets?
independent grind. That's what it's always been. I think that's what allows
us to sustain our movement a little longer. Everything is so independent-based.
Everybody knows how to grind on their own without a major label.
need a major label right now?
a major label. Major labels specialize in taking things to the next level
once you provide the foundation. You definitely need a major label for
the MTV's and the bigger outlets. As far as your foundation, you can't
depend on a major label anymore because that's just not what they do.
do you have for young rappers?
Be original. There's something unique about every person that's been born.
There's something unique about you that no one else in the world has.
Great artists have the ability to say whatever's unique about them.
you like living in Atlanta?
It's as progressive
as a city as you'll find in America. It's nice to have such a wonderful,
cosmopolitan place. Growing up, I lived an hour from Atlanta. Wherever
you may be from, you have your big city. Atlanta was always that to me.
printed you saying the n-word. How did you feel about?
It was an
unfortunate situation. I have a lot of respect for the guy as a writer.
I don't know how the mistake was made. I'm glad we got it cleared up.
are a lot of white people who say the word and a lot who don't. Where
do you stand on the issue?
I can't tell
any grown man how to speak, but as far as I go, it's not something I say.
you going to Iraq?
that trip got cancelled. We were planning on it. We're going to be on
tour with Juvenile for the whole month of May.
have any plans to get over there?
been over there once, but I definitely want to get back.
it performing for the troops?
You see the numbers on CNN, but you don't really feel the impact or the
reality of the situation. When you get over there and you realize that
for every number is a name and a face and family back home, it gives you
a whole new sense of appreciation.
you want to say to all the troops?
asses home, safely, in one piece. Please God.
you have to do from here on out to make The Charm successful?
thing I have been doing. Shaking hands and kissing babies. I'm a man of
the people. I'm not Hollywood.
talking to you, it's obvious that you're humble. A lot of artists that
don't even reach your level don't have that humility.
even a conscious effort. It's who I am. I don't deal with no bullshit.
next for you?
to get another album out in 2006.
you want the next album to sound?
I got a few
songs already recorded. You'll just have to wait and see.
you want to say to everyone?