Wednesday, April 16, 2014

An Interview with True God, Three7One Edition, Part Two

You know what time it is, so let's skip all the pleasantries. It will be a longer read than some of you probably expect, with a few intermissions. But, stick with it. It's a good read.

#TeamDAR.

SOTB: How have things been since we last interviewed? I see you've gotten, in so many words, back on your shit.

TG: Yeah, I'm always on my shit musically, but this time, it's a little different. I'm focused again. My energy is back up and despite having things go downhill for me a little bit, it's only a minor setback. They can expect the takeover to continue. A lot of times life gets in the way of what we do, but now? There's nothing stopping me but myself. So, back on my shit? Naw, I'm always on it. 

SOTB: Was recording the second part of Three7One difficult in any way?

TG: Recording the second part of Three7One wasn't difficult. I think writing it was a little challenging, but I had to do it. I wanted to delve deep into the narrative of the album, and really pull from my experiences to tell the most accurate story possible. I didn't want to hide anything or withhold information because my music has always been honest. When you start to create a song about sex addiction ("The Final Addiction") and looking at yourself in the mirror and really seeing that the man in the reflection doesn't seem like you, then you've broke new ground. When you write a song like "Art in Reality" where you're looking at your career thus far being on your fourth album, and really expressing your frustrations and letting them know what's in your soul, then you've done something worthwhile. The first half of the album, writing it came so easy, because I was still in that element of anger. Still in that element of pain. When you're removed from it, and you begin to move on from those experiences, as an artist, you begin to get in reflective mode, and that brings out the best in you, but it's also challenging because you want to put forth the absolute best music, while still sticking to the true story.



SOTB: Did anything come of the woman you spoke of in "When We Find Each Other?"

TG: There is no woman that was spoke of in the song, because she doesn't exist yet in my life (laughs). The song is basically about the woman that will be my queen in the future. I think when moving forward from "Soul Revival 2" and having songs like "Reset (New Pussy)", "Zuri's Song", "Lost Love" and "Piece of Me", it was almost like you only saw me on a negative vibe towards women, and that's honestly not me. My first few projects was an uplifting of love and my relationship, but when that relationship ends, you've got to let out what you feel. Soul Revival 2 for me was therapy in some form, but I went in with a mindset of sticking to the formula that made Soul Revival 1 successful, just with different emotions. When I started writing Three7One, I started thinking to myself, "there's no reason for me to stick to a formula here, just listen to the tracks, feel it out, and go from your soul", and that's how the "When We Find Each Other" song originated. It's a real thing man.





I want a relationship again. I'd love to be in love again. Having the right woman in your corner with you, and walking side by side through life with you is the most beautiful thing. Now, when we spoke before, I mentioned a female that I was dating at the time as the one I'd been looking for. I'll be honest: I was in complete denial and almost lying to everyone. I saw no potential in the future with that person, but because of the circumstances and the things associated with her, I think I just gravitated to that. She was a nice woman, and attractive, but her personality wasn't compatible with me. I knew this from the start, and initially, I was interested in a woman in North Carolina, but even that situation is confusing, so I was torn. You have two woman, attractive lightskins at that (laughs), and you're just weighing the options. I made a wrong decision, and I don't think either one of those options was the right woman for me. So, the search continues I guess. I'm not actively searching for anyone at the moment, but if something comes my way, then I'm not opposed to it.

Love is a beautiful thing and that's what the whole "When We Find Each Other" song is about. Finding love, despite being hesitant through bad experiences, and the blessing of it. My music is prophecy, so I know it's coming at some point. I feel like it's getting closer man, so whenever I find that beautiful woman, I'm going to treat her like the queen she is, and she'll treat me like the king I am. It's coming. 

SOTB: How are things with your daughter's mom?

TG: Things are good. Cordial. Peaceful for the most part. I don't have anything bad to say about her. I went on a rampage after we broke up, because I was going through it man. People who see from the outside, really don't understand. I apologized to her on some of the things that I said, but I stand by a good amount of them. When you watch everything you wanted to have fall apart, and then losing people who raised you, along with family members passing on and having the idea of your family being together killed, your reactions can't be looked at and judged. You're hurting. You've lost it all. I don't think she understood that going forward initially. It was all about "how could you say this about me, we've spent 8 years together and I pushed out your child", while I'm looking at her like "how the fuck could you do this? How aren't we able to even work this out? Why did everything have to be public?" I felt like she was doing all this to in someway hurt me the way she felt I had hurt her previously. It was a cycle, man. And, now after the smoke clears, we've managed to be cordial and peaceful. 

We've had a few decent conversations with each other, and I can tell you that I'm not officially over everything. I still love the thought of that woman. I say I still love the thought of her, because I don't really know who she is now, you know? I love the image of the woman who sat in the hospital and pushed out that beautiful baby girl. I love the thought of the woman who used to lay up under me and we talk for hours. But, is that the same woman that exists today? I don't know and I won't find out. We're not that close outside of talking about our daughter. I'm sure she's changed some, and becoming a Twitter Honey is the manifestation of that I guess. But, as long as my daughter is healthy, well taken care, and in great spirits, that's what matters. So, I would say things are good, but I'm sure we've annoyed each other at some points recently for various reasons. That's just something we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives because I'm always going to be invested in my daughter's life period. We'll see if things improve or change once I'm officially in North Carolina full time. 

SOTB: Speaking of North Carolina, are things going well for you in the wrestling business? The last time we did one of these, you mentioned you were branching out (and planning to get the fuck out of Baltimore).

TG: The wrestling business is...interesting. I am proud to live a dream, man. Being the starting point and VP of operations for WrestlingHeels is a great thing, I'm just not satisfied with a lot of things. Not being treated fairly, paid properly, and being unappreciated is not something I can really deal with, and I'm not one to kiss ass. That's the thing about the wrestling business too: it's a great thing for the workers and the wrestlers, but when you see behind the scenes, and observe, it's a terrible industry. 

I'm proud to call a lot of great wrestlers my friends, and doing commentary was a great highlight, as was hitting Rich Swann with a stunner in the middle of a PWX ring. Some people would kill to have these experiences, and I try not to take them for granted. My life is a movie anyway. But at the end of the day, my entertainment ain't free. These people need to know what I do and how vital I am to these brands, or else it's time for move to start up something of my own--which is basically happening now, with the new Wrestling/MMA/Boxing show and brand, "Eyes on The Ring." 

I'm still doing work for the other brands that I represent, but you can't let people take advantage of you, professionally or personally and that's what's been going on. The wrestling business breeds a lot of monsters, and you'll see people who seemed to be virtually good people start to get drunk with power and want the shine, want the fame. A lot of them are suffering from feelings of inadequacy in their personal life, so it translates over to what they do professionally. That's about as much as I can really say on it. I still plan on being a part of the wrestling business, but I refuse to kiss ass or become a habitual liar to get by in the business. If that means I don't make it to the top, then fine. My integrity is more important than advancing by being a fuck boy out here. 

I will be leaving Baltimore very soon, it just means I'll have to do it all on my own. Nothing worse than having someone for months say they will help you get down there, since they're residents and have "connections" and never follow through. That's a pet peeve of mine. We're adults, so if you say you're going to do something, do it. Don't lie or bullshit good people. That's a lesson learned from this business. I try to give folks the benefit of the doubt, but when you start to see folks true colors, then believe that. I had lost all of my love for the wrestling business over the last 2 months, but getting to be a fan again over Wrestlemania 30 weekend was something that refreshed me. I was reminded of why I did this in the first place, and what I have to offer this business. So, now it's just making something happen. I'm fully capable to make it happen without having someone who's using me to get ahead and taking all the credit for it. It's my time in this business. MY TIME. The Original Heel. 

SOTB: Has bearing your soul in music had any effect on your personal and professional dealings?

TG: My music doesn't have any effect on my professional dealings at all. My music almost endears those who know me professionally. They will hear the talent and go "wow, I didn't know your music was this amazing, I thought you'd be good, but this blows me away." Despite that, I don't think it makes them want to work with me even more professionally, just makes them a fan. 

Personally? My music has caused a few arguments or conversations with people who are referenced in it, but that's par for the course. I expect that to come because of my honesty. I'm unabashedly honest in my music and some people either hear it and identify and connect with me more, or they will feel some type of way and distance themselves because of a line or two, or a full verse. I take that risk, so to speak, every time I record, but I'm fully comfortable with that risk, because if you hear my music and that makes you want to attack me or even threaten to no longer be around for me, that just means you didn't belong there in the first place. 

SOTB: Do you feel your music is timeless? A lot of artists, they'll say they've created classics, but have only created classics for, say, that year or that time period.

TG: My music is timeless I'd say. I can't say every album of mine is completely timeless and any artist who says that is lying. I think there's certain songs on every album that will reign as timeless. I mean, you'll listen to Soul Revival 1, and songs like "No Time", "Must've Been Angels", and "Revelations" are just amazing. To this day you can listen to them and feel it in your soul. That's the mark of timeless music. I'd say my least memorable album is D.O.A., and I spoke on it actually with Three7One, on "Art in Reality." 

I don't listen to D.O.A. to be real with you. I think it's a good album, but I know I could have put more into it. Lyrically? It's probably my most-solid album, as far as rhyme schemes, multis, and etc, but the passion wasn't there. I was dealing with becoming a father and that's where my focus was. The music reflects that, on songs like "Flesh and Blood", "Z", and "Modern Day Woman", which are all timeless, as well as "Black Renaissance" and "Rain on Reign." But, the album as a whole just didn't hold up as well as my other three. Soul Revival 2, to me, is my best album overall out of my first three because the narrative, the soul-baring, the sequence of the album was nearly flawless. That album is a classic. And now? Three7One to me is beyond classic. I really look at this album and think it's an album that can stand the test of time. There's so much replay value in the music. I'm extending my creativity and my ability on this one. It's a concept album that paints pictures and stories. When you listen to this album in full, there's no doubt in my mind that a person will consider it to be classic and timeless. This album is something that when it's all said and done, you'll look back ten years from now and go "damn, True really gave us something special with this one here, damn, the storytelling, the narrative, the music, the sequencing, this is amazing." 

I'd say Soul Revival 1 was just a classic for the time period, while D.O.A. was reflective of the year and was a great album for that particular time, but when you get to Soul Revival 2 and Three7One, those two albums are absolute classics. These are records that will be loved and appreciated for years to come. Period.

SOTB: How's the team doing these days? I've admittedly fallen back on some personal shit--nothing to do with the team, of course--but how's the rest of the team these days?

TG: The team is doing well man. TEAMDAR is growing stronger and stronger, and the radio show helps us with that. Joe, Jelly, Muse, and then all the extended family for the team really helps the movement grow. I always had the dream that DAR could grow and be bigger and everything I do is a representation of TEAMDAR, and the same goes for the rest of the team. We're a close knit, crazy team (laughs), but we got love for each other and we appreciate each other's perspective. There's not much in-fighting, only clowning each other for a good laugh or two, but that's it man. I love the team. I'm blessed to have these folks in my circle and in my corner, same goes for you too, Speed. We've all been down as a team for a while and things are growing by the day. It's finally happening. TEAMDAR baby. 

SOTB: Has Twitter aided your goals any or do you use it more so to vent and keep people intrigued? 

TG: Twitter has definitely aided my goals. Twitter's been a hell of an experience for me, and it's just a simple ass social media app. I use it for everything now, which initially was never my goal. I started off using it just to promote my music and my brand. But, through using the app for more, I've gained a larger team, more fans, some people who've become actual real life friends, and also met a few females off there and got some pussy(laughs hard). It's helped grow TEAMDAR, got me into the wrestling business, allowed me a place to vent when I'm pissed, talk about things that I want in the future, and I just put my soul out there. No gimmicks or images, it's just me period. I am who I am, and despite Twitter being used by a large number of people to create an alternate reality, I just brought my reality to Twitter and things evolved from there. It's definitely got the longest life of an social media app and I don't see it dying it at all. It's possibly the best social network ever. It provides something for just about everyone. It's like a mini online forum, that updates quickly. In most forums, you have to read responses, then respond yourself, wait, and go back, but with Twitter, it's all right away. It's in the instant moment, which I enjoy. So, I keep people intrigued, interested, draw them in, while venting, promoting music, and having real discussion. A bit of a social experiment with the real me on there. It works. 

SOTB: Any final thoughts? Here, you can just vent on anything you haven't already touched on.

TG: Not much man. I just want to tell everyone to support Three7One and to keep supporting TEAMDAR. I hope you all check out "Eyes on The Ring" and become loyal listeners and prepare for more ventures, because TEAMDAR is finally winning. It's our time. Peace and Blessings. 

Dugee F. Buller - GDLU

I got this one in my inbox yesterday afternoon and got a chance to finally peep it a bit ago. It comes to you from SpeedontheBeat.com regular and all-around stand-up dude Dugee F. Buller. "GDLU (God Don't Like Ugly)" takes that adage you've probably heard your grandmother say and cranks out a memorable track. Produced by Ricky P, the track serves as a introduction to Dugee, if you were in the crowd that've missed last year's Moet and Mad Dog (review in link). If you've heard MaMD, then consider this your reintroduction. Buller, who's been cranking out a decent volume of tracks recently, is also slated to appear on my own Death of the King album, due out later this year. But, this ain't about me. In the words of Drumma Boy, "lissen to dis track."


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Revisiting "Heartbreaker" Two Years Later

Greetings, all.

So, in cleaning out my musical closet (no Marshall) over the past couple weeks in preparation to complete Death of the King, I came across "Heartbreaker." Yes, the song that almost ended my career musically and professionally featured a Speed on the Beat who was clearly on, well, a few (That's part of the problem of being bipolar and not properly medicated, which was my predicament. When you lose it, sometimes you lose it hard). The song, for those that don't remember (or have never heard it), spoke on my "relationship" with a young woman named Dezeray and how I viewed her as a "heartbreaker," among other "unsavory" terms. I probably also talked about some things that I probably shouldn't have. Two years later, I'm in my room, listening back to the song and began to think to myself.

"What if this wasn't really about Dezeray at all?"

Taken from the Soundcloud re-release of the song

I began asking around to some relatively close friends who knew me better than I knew myself sometimes. The main question was this: "am I really the heartbreaker?" One of them, who will remain nameless, she hit me with something I'd never really thought of. In addition to being known as "Heartbreak Jay" to some, she broke down the song even more. Even though, on the surface, "Heartbreaker" was about this whole clusterfuck of a situation with Dezeray, it was more so a projection of my own feelings. These feelings were placed onto someone, in a scapegoat-like manner, to escape some of the blame of me being a heartbreaker myself. The "heartbreak" in question, of course, is my failed (but later reconciled) relationship with Raquel that coincided with the release of the song and my first album RAQUEL RELOADED. She mentioned that "regardless of who you loved, who you cared about, even who you had sex with, it'd all be for naught. Because as long as there's a sliver of a chance of a reconciliation between you and Raquel, no one else would ultimately matter."

Essentially, I would be, should I decide to leave Raquel and see even an inkling of emotion towards her (or vice versa) destined to be a heartbreaker of sorts. A person who couldn't love anyone as much as they did me, unless their name was Raquel. This ultimately led to a lot of people falling for me, because of my nature, and ultimately hating me (because of, well, my nature). I'm not saying it's right, but these things happen. True told me something along these lines.

These sorts of things happen especially when you become "bound 2" someone (no Yeezus) and the bond still exists, even with the fuck shit. And it served as a gateway into another reason why I created this Songs For... Trilogy. Yes, it's therapy for me. And yes, I'm writing my story so others can learn from it. I'm even helping to pave a way for fellow "no-fi" connoisseurs. But, in some ways, the first album was meant to be that attempt to see past Raquel, my son's mother. At the end of the first album, my fears and failures eventually attempted to swallow me whole. This, of course, set up the second album, Songs For..., and its story of rebirth and redemption, even reconciliation with Raquel and trying to get things back in order. However, as these things go, the path was quite bumpy (which is spoken on in some ways in Death of the King's early songs).

How will the journey end? Well, it's still being written (and will be until, you know, I legitimately and actually--not just artistically--die). And, honestly, at the end of the Songs For... Trilogy, listeners are left with a bit of hope for the future of both Speed on the Beat the man and SOTB the "character." I can't spoil all the ending. But, there's less of a feeling...heartbreak this time around.

Death of the King releases on Sunday, August 17th.