An Interview with True God, Part Three

As promised, below is a followup interview with TeamDAR compatriot True God. In this interview (Ed. Note: Here are parts one and two), we'll discuss what's been going on in True's world in the past year-plus, his thoughts on music, and more. The always outspoken--sometimes controversial--True God delivers with some hard-hitting answers to some hard-hitting questions. In other words, just because we work together doesn't mean we pull punches. That's weaseling, and just plain fake.

Anyhow, let's begin.

::Tells True to get another picture. But, one that isn't "for the ladies," because I'm not about that life::

SpeedontheBeat: So, True, I'm going to ask this bluntly because I'm sure that a lot of your fans and followers have been wondering this in the almost year since DOA dropped--what in the fuck happened? 

True God: What the fuck happened? Life happened. Change happened. Fatherhood happened. Growth happened. Break-ups happened. When someone asks me, what happened, it's been basically nothing but life. I mean, there was The True God Collection mixtape I barely promoted, and the TeamDAR collaborative effort The End is Comingwhich released in December 2012. I've been active but I wanted to place emphasis on the next album, and give DOA time to simmer down. I can't keep integrating my artistry into today's fast food culture. It's mostly strategic. They will appreciate the next album more since it's not rushed.  

SOTB: Have your experiences made a new True God? Should we expect music completely different now?

TG: A new True God? Not new--just no longer shackled by some of the things that might have been perceived as holding me back. That's about it. The music is more personal however. Quite more emphasis on baring my soul in the art. But it's all in the realm of honesty, emotion, but not completely different. Just better.

SOTB: I see. Now that your daughter, one of the influences on DOA, is close to turning one, have you changed anything about the True God approach to life?

TG: I have in some ways. I think you have to be ignorant to not make changes once you become a parent. She's affected me in a lot of ways, which is obvious. I'm more brash and outspoken, which a lot of people wonder about and I understand their confusion. I think, we as adults, begin to censor ourselves once we have children, but I've become the exact opposite. I feel even more of a need to just be myself and speak what I want now that she's here. However, my temper and ration when handling tough situations is a bit different because one wrong move and I won't be around for her so I take that into consideration. I'm also blessed with more perspective and logic as well.    

SOTB: I see that you've a new wrestling show. What exactly happened in that situation, if you can talk about it?

TG: Well, it's growth. One thing that differs from the previous show now is that I am a co-founder/co-owner of this brand and an integral piece. As far as the brand goes, there's incentive to work hard and a lot more perks. The situation all started from a bit of a power struggle. People sometimes begin to feel themselves a bit much and start to believe they are what they say they are. In reality, recognizing who's important to your brand and being able to give them power as well is integral. Even in TEAMDAR, for me, I'm the figurehead/CEO, but I also know that there are people--you included, of course--who are all important pieces to this entire journey. You can't ignore these facts or downplay what brought you to the dance. 
The other radio show seemingly made that mistake and I'm not the "following" type. I need to be in a leadership position. We can all be bosses. I just need equal or somewhat equal power if we have a vision together if its a team thing. So, once that fell apart, and things changed, the new brand Wrestling Heels came about and we've been rolling ever since. It's amazing the stride we've made in 2 months (as of June 2013). I'm proud of the hard work our team exhibits. 

SOTB: Have you reevaluated your stance on "cooperating" with non-DAR-affiliated individuals?

TG: Yes and no. If I respect you and you've got some bread, then we can work. It's different. With the team and DAR, money isn't really a motive. It's family mixed with art. With a lot of these other guys, it's just business and music. So, I would work with you if you got the bread and I respect you. As far as "cooperating" with them outside of that? Probably not. The game is full of fake niggas. I rather not associate with them outside of a verse or two.   

SOTB: What is your stance on stripper rap? That is, music that is specifically crafted in a way that caters to adult entertainers to dance to--and music that celebrates strippers?

TG: Well...twerk music, stripper rap, etc., they all has a place in music. I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy seeing a phat ass shake off to some of the music out here, so in that regard I'm biased (laughs). However, on a daily, that type of music isn't getting blasted in my earbuds. I need music that feeds my soul and mind, as well as my ears on a regular. 
That form of entertainment isn't for everybody, but when used properly, it can be effective. Most of it is trash, but hey, Uncle Luke made tons of trash. Sir Mix-A -Lot has a classic song about big asses, but the song itself is trash. Young MC had a trash song, but it's a classic. That type of music invokes the necessary reaction from women and of course, men get to enjoy the benefits of that. So I can't complain(laughs).     

SOTB: Who are some artists that you're checking out these days? Why?

TG: know, there's not very many. I always check for the usuals like Nas, Wu, Jay (sometimes) and those guys, but I still love the underground cats like Blu, Jay Electronica (when he decides to show up), Phonte, and the like. However, outside of some J.Cole, Joey Bada$$, and BIG K.R.I.T, there ain't too many others I'm "checking" for, you know? The artists I mentioned here are mostly all lyricists and have an appreciation for the art form in a lot of ways. 
I've grown accustomed to hearing the new Wayne and Drake songs so much, so if they put out something, I might listen or check it out. Of course, cats like Nu The Mayor, Slash, Steve Omari, Mo The General, etc., are dope too, but those are the homies, you know? 
Outside of hip hop, I check for artists like Antoine Dunn and Luke James, who are both talented singers. Eric Benet is actually dope too. I heard Miguel's album and was actually pleasantly surprised. Its not a classic but its got some good moments on it. The underground is also full of talent, I just don't know their names (laughs) but I hear the music.  

SOTB: Piggybacking on the last question, and you know I have to ask this every time that we talk: what is your stance on hip-hop in general these days?

TG: I don't really have a stance on hip-hop. There's a lack of identity in hip-hop today, which causes me to not invest as much as energy into it as I used to. People get so hyped about the Kendrick Lamars, the Drakes, etc. When I see Kendrick, I think of Blu. Blu is just amazing as an artist, and not to take anything away from Kendrick, 'cause he's dope, but I feel like his spot should've went to Blu. A lot of cats don't even know Blu or how much of a genius he is. 
Then when you see Drake, and he's singing and rapping, I automatically think Phonte, who so many cats got they style from. Drake admitted it himself. So, its hard for me to be as happy-go-lucky about hip-hop today because the artists who people are head-over-heels for just seem like lesser versions of artists I've been fans of for a while myself. 
I can appreciate Kendrick's album, some of Drake's music, Cole's music and all the guys popping on the mainstream level, but I would love to see these underground cats get that type of look, you know? If you compare hip hop of today to 5 years ago, it probably seems better. Compare it to 10 years ago, and it doesn't compare. 15 years ago? No way. So, that's where we need to make some stride as far as longevity, artists with staying power and actual enlightening content. There's nothing wrong with the artists of today--most of them, at least. I just believe the fans have to be open-minded for their growth, if these artists choose to grow.          

SOTB: When can we expect a new True God album? I know you've got your hands full with a lot of different things.

TG: Well, if I can get this nigga Speed to make these beats, you can expect the album in the fall. Everybody who knows me, knows that the album is Soul Revival 2, which is my first and only sequel for Soul Revival. So, no Blueprint shit here. I was so firmly against ever doing a sequel, but with the personal changes and things I dealt with, the losses I've experienced, etc., I was in need of a sort of rebirth. This album presents that. I've taken my time with Soul Revival 2, [and have] gone through four different tracklists. But, the energy for this is so refreshing for me that I didn't want to rush it. The first Soul Revival took me months to write, plan and record. But, that's my first album--you really spend all your life working on that one. DOA was pretty quick. I recorded it through March 2012-May 2012 and wrote it all during that period. This is different. I've been writing this album since December 2012 and it seems that new experiences arise to alter the direction of the album and now I'm comfortable with the final direction. So, fall 2013, by the latest for sure, November, which marks the two-year anniversary of Soul Revival 1. Stay tuned for the official release date, cover--hint hint--and tracklisting. (Ed. Note: As you can probably tell, I'm working with True on production and cover art)

SOTB: Shots fired at the interviewer, I see (laughs). But, will we see any additional True God mixtapes?

TG: That's a good question. Maybe. I told myself that my third album would be my last piece of music I release, but as life changes, your inspiration grows. There could be more mixtapes, R&B albums, more True God albums, etc.... music is healing. Therapy. So I'm sure I will make another mixtape before the fourth album drops.     

SOTB: Are there any other things you've got your hands in that you want the world to know?

TG: Well, the presentation of Soul Revival 2 will be different. There's a few things I'm working on to ensure this is an event album and something that you're not used to with an album release. I'm still working on my autobiography. But, as life changes, so do the chapters. I'm working on doing a few movie shoots as well, mostly indie, and there's of course the radio shows and the revamping of my blog which is coming soon as well. 2013 and 2014 is the era of God (True God) and TEAMDAR and its only going to grow from here. Stay tuned. 

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