You’ve referred to yourself as one of the most misunderstood artists in the game right now. Why is that?
I don’t think I have to explain everything about myself but niggas know I’ve been through a lot of shit in the game and I have to be defensive when some shit transpires. Everything I say gets misunderstood and misquoted.
Do you not fit into the game today?
If I felt like I didn’t fit in my freestyle wouldn’t get on the radio and take over and be the No. 1 most requested song. I think they’re scared of that and they’re in fear of that. At the time when I was making my big buzz and being the No. 1 most requested on the radio, Paul Wall and all of them, who were grinding longer than I had been, they hadn’t made it yet. Now everybody had their time to go and I don’t understand why niggas wouldn’t share the light. I ain’t knockin’ nobody, I got love for everybody doin’ it I just want it to be understood I’m not trying to take bread off nobody else’s plate. I’m trying to eat with everybody else. I have the talent.
Did your falling out with Aztek affect you in a negative way?
Yeah. I think when the thing happened with Aztek, I took it the wrong way. Instead of being mad at the person I was supposed to be mad at, I was mad at the whole world. And plus I was just so young. I had come into the game so young and I was just a bullhead, man. That was a bullhead move on my part. That was somebody I let into my camp and I trusted him and he robbed me. Then I went haywire on everybody, even the people who were trying to help me. I look at that as my fault, but at the end of the day after years of searching, I finally caught him in a parking lot at a gym and beat him.
What would you do differently today if you were to redo that situation?
I would have just stayed myself because that situation with Aztek is what brought the spotlight to myself and at that time I wasn’t being myself so niggas didn’t really get to see Godwon. So the nigga they saw was being defensive and they didn’t get to see the person I really am. I think I’m just an average person and that’s why people like my music. I just spit that average shit in my music and I think that’s why so many niggas want to listen to it. It’s real rap.
Are you a more mature person today?
Yeah. I know for a full fact too that I’m making better music, man. Anybody who makes music and raps, they say they’re making music for themselves, but you’re doing it for others too. When they say it’s good you keep on making music. At first I was scared to do what was inside. And everybody hated me, man! Everybody hated me! I thought nobody was even listening. I think that’s when my best music has been coming out. I just let my art out. I just say what I want to say and if niggas like that, they can be my fan and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to. I have real fans. I don’t want any Ja Rule fans. I want the motherfucking Beatles fans. The Beatles can sell that shit out if they wanted to tour because they have that emotional connection with their music and that’s what I want.
You never bit the styles of popular Houston artists when Houston was really popping. Do you think fans respect you for that today?
I dabbled in it but I think the fans respect it. I’ve been the same person since day one. I think niggas get mad at me for that sometimes. I’ve been the same artist from day one and you can follow me and have that go-to dude. It’s like with Notorious B.I.G. He’d give you that shit that you can just love and hopefully that’s what I can bring to the game.
Your latest mixtape was released for free download. How did the project do for you?
The project was good. As far as getting a buzz, I got a whole bunch of shows. I did the biggest car show in Houston with 10 to 15,000 people. I did that. I’m still doing my thing. I got some stuff on the radio in Africa. I’m working the international market right now. It’s doing good as far as hype. I think I have something to bring to the world and not just musically, man. I really think that I have a message for the world. A lot of people make music to make music, but I make music for the art. I want niggas to listen to me, man. This is what I do. There’s no way I’m going to stop doing music. Ever since I was a little kid, this is what I’ve done. I don’t go nowhere and I don’t have a job. If music is doing good for me than I’m eating. And if it’s not then I’m starving. And I’m starving.
Are you working on a new Godwon album today?
Actually I have a new mixtape done that I’m about to release and I’m working on an album as well. I just started working on that right now. And hopefully both of those joints will be out soon. The mixtape will be out soon and the album will be out later than that. I have to work on a whole bunch of stuff for that right now.
How does being a Nigerian living in Houston affect your music?
I have an honest perspective on music. I was in Africa and I was listening to music and I could see the joy music brought. Nobody was around talking like the people in hip-hop records. There was something about you that really liked it in the spirit and here in America, that’s what I think I can bring to the table as well. A real artist will sing and dance and do what’s necessary to make the record hot. Even if a guy can sing in America, he might not do it because it doesn’t look cool. America loves to look “gangsta” and I don’t even think niggas know what that is. “Gangstas don’t dance.” Who the fuck told them that? Gangstas love to dance. Have you ever seen a gangsta movie? They’re going out and dancing with their wives. That’s what they love to do. Tookie Williams was breakdancing his ass off on American Gangster. That’s just how it is, man. I think Americans need to relax and be themselves. That's what I think. I’m not a perfect person, but from a bird’s eye view, that’s just what I see.
What do you have to do to get a major label look?
I think the major labels have been looking at me. I’ve never thought that I couldn’t get to the majors. I’ve sat with the majors. I think I have a reputation for having a bad attitude and for being an asshole. I know that’s my reputation. I think I’m an honest person and I think that’s a strength of mine in this game. And I’m a passionate person. They say I’m braggadocios and cocky and that’s not true at all. I’ve watched DMX and Kanye West and some of the stuff they do is all off their passion. It’s about when you’re in the movement. When you’re like me, you might say something that’s off the wall and people might think about that for months and you might not even think about that for a minute.
Have people been scared off by your attitude in the past?
I know I have and I can. My best friend will tell me all the time. Even the way I talk is intimidating. I talk in a different language and I have to. That’s just how we talk. I’m speaking in English. You might think we’re yelling but that’s just how we talk. My mother does it too. We’re not yelling.
Have fans ever judged you based on your background and ethnicity as opposed to your music?
Yeah. Niggas hear that and they think it’s wack but I don’t really take that as a crutch for myself. People say, “You’re this for an African.” I like that, man. What the hell do you mean “for an African”? (laughs) Every Black person you see probably has a pure blood relative that looks just like me. I don’t see that as a crutch. When I was locked up, I was having a heated debate with every Black person in the tank saying that they were not from Africa. They were mad! It’s just sad and it’s just sad, man. Niggas don’t even want to be African. Come on, man. It’s sad, man.
Do the negative stereotypes about people from Africa and the image of the African bootlegger ever bother you when it’s perpetuated in major singles and albums?
Yes, it bothers me because it’s not true. But it also doesn’t bother me because I believe that God is guiding me and he’s going to let me show people that there is beauty in Africa. That’s why I have to change my mentality of how I address people because I don’t want them to think I’m the only representation of Africa. I’ve been arrested and deported from this country. I’m just angry, man. And I’ve seen the way that they institutionalize you and rip you to shreds over bullshit evidence. I got two felony charges and I’m trying to save lives at the same time, man. If I had to jump off a plane and there wasn’t a parachute, it would be hard to save a nigga. But if I could say some words that could change some niggas’ lives, words that anybody could say, then I think my job is easy.
When I first came in the game, Brian, I thought I was just good and that I could get a deal. I believed that. But the more and more that I saw the world and I saw the simple things that were wrong with it, I just wanted to talk about the things that people were scared to talk about. That’s easy for me. I think that’s the gift that I was given. I think that God is leading me. Pardon my confidence. I don’t want to get too confident because He’ll punish me for that confidence too and that’s what’s been happening, man.
Can you ever be too honest for rap?
That’s crossed my mind a few times. One of my old managers, he managed DMX after I stopped dealing with him because we fell out. I feel like he saw something in common there. Scarface told me that he heard I was the realest nigga when we met. That’s the first thing he said to me! At first I didn’t feel like I’m too real for rap, but now I feel like I’m too real for rap. I can say anything and so many people are angry with me. So many people are mad at me! I don’t know what to do, man! If I don’t make music for people to shake their asses to, niggas get mad at me for that, and if I do make music people shake their asses to, niggas get mad at me for that! You can’t please everybody. But at the end of the day, this is what I do, man. I make music. I’m an artist.