RESPECT.: What was the creative process like for this album?
BR: The creative process for me was really just about allowing every divine energy and moment to work through me. Don’t overthink nothing. Don’t be afraid to try anything, because at the end of the day, in them four walls called a studio that I’m working inside of, nobody ain’t got to hear shit if it ain’t cool, if it doesn’t sound right, if it don’t feel good. There’s no reason to not be comfortable enough in your own skin when you are in the privacy of those four walls, which is just you and your recording engineer. Maybe one or two ears that you really respect the opinions of, that also respect the creative process enough to not prematurely critique or give their opinion. Sometimes you need motherfuckers to not be in the room. “Everybody, get y’all ass out the studio, let me and the engineer just record.” Because you need to be able to not have people prematurely judge. Fortunately, I don’t have that problem, even when I’m recording with the few people that I might have in the room. You know, they respect my creative space and they wait until it’s finished. You’ve got some times when you gotta let the portrait get completed. You can’t really appreciate the portrait until the painting is done. Some artists continue to struggle. You just keep brushing. You know, you make the movie the way the movie need to be made. When it’s done and it’s ready to be presented to everybody, that’s when you look at the art and say, “A’ight, give me your opinion and your feedback of this portrait that I finished painting.” And that’s what the process has been, primarily. You know, just going in the studio and letting it happen the way it’s gonna happen and not overthinking shit, not forcing anything. Sometimes it comes when it’s supposed to come, and sometimes it takes a second to come. But I work on what is inspiring me at the moment, and that’s the process.
RESPECT.: You’re known to be creative visually and have shown real artistry throughout your years in hip-hop. Do you feel like creativity is missing in today’s rap?
BR: Nah, I don’t feel that way. There’s a lot of creative artists out here. It’s just done in a different creative way, and we gotta respect it and we gotta nurture it, and we also gotta grow it. And we have to be supportive of the evolution of these artists and be patient with them. These new artists come out and do things a little different; we don’t agree with them and we try to write them off. That shit ain’t cool. We gotta remember: They new! Give them two, three, four, five years to see what they evolve into before we start shitting on anybody. I mean, we shouldn’t be shitting on anybody, period, but I’m saying. We prematurely write people off. It’s not cool. We should actually be…as quick as we are to make a judgment call, we should be just as quick to support these artists, share their stories, share their experience, embrace them with grace, and give them the guidance that they need, as fellow artists who are in the position to give them a school — and especially if they want it and they’re looking for it from us. You know what I’m saying? And maybe we won’t have to talk so much shit about an artist if we do play more of a role in participating in how dope they can become. Word.