Entrigue Magazine December 2014 October 2014 (Case Cover) - Page 29

MB: That was it? He just listened to two songs? MB: Within thirty minutes? C: Two was all I had at the time. One of them was ‘Don’t Be Afraid’, which Faith Evans wrote for me for my demo and honestly I don’t remember what the other one was but he signed me off of ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. C: Yes within thirty minutes and I’m not going to tell you who I lost them too because to this day it pisses me off. I lost best R&B vocal performance and I lost best Rap/R&B duet. MB: Wow, that’s good. I read that when you were growing up it was hard for your family to accept your career choice because of a religious belief? MB: Do you think there was something you could have done better or do you think it was a bunch of …. C: Yes. They were Jehovah Witnesses and that’s how we grew up. So they really didn’t support that. MB: Thus far in your career which one of your songs would you say is your favorite? C: I don’t think I have a favorite and I say that because it’s like picking your favorite kid. Now I have different ones that take me to different places and they mean different things to me, Like ‘A Song for Skye’, a song I wrote for my daughter Skye, on the ‘Open Letter’ album. I remember she was 4 months old at the time, actually about a week before that I was in the studio with Steven Wonder’s daughter, Aisha Morris, and ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ came on and I saw Aisha’s reaction and I thought dam I should make a song for my daughter so when she is as old as Aisha is now which was close to thirty then, I would like my daughter to have the same reaction. I need for my daughter to understand how daddy feels about her. MB: So that song is basically surrounded around your daughter. C: Yes, her name is Skye and she was 4 month old and what happened was, she was laying on the bed and there was a track that I had for about six months but I couldn’t think of anything for it. So as she was laying there, the song just came to me. MB: What was the experience like, moving from New York to Atlanta. I mean was the love the same because being from up North you know those Southerners don’t really be feeling us. C: No it was cool actually. At the time when I came down here, I just got nominated for two Grammys, my song was number one for six weeks. I felt I would get my respect off of what I have done not based on where I’m from. MB: So how many nominations do you have? C: I had two within that first year I was down here and I lost two of them within thirty minutes. Photo by Christian Lantry C: No it was politics. I can tell you that straight up. MB: While you were away from the music industry, what was your main focus being that music was your first love. C: It was but during that time it wasn’t. During that time the business of music made me not love music. So during that time I really didn’t care about the music part anymore. MB: So basically the politics and the griminess of the music business. C: Yes, I just couldn’t deal with it anymore. MB: A lot of artists say that once they get signed, that’s when a lot of things start and when your headache starts. C: You know why? It’s because you get into it because you love the music, but once the politics kick in, it could make you not love the music anymore. It’s more business than it is music and I got to that point. One of my good friends Charlie Wilson, he told me back in 2004 maybe 2005, he told me don’t let them steal your joy. You got into it because you love the music, and if you decide to get back into it, it should be for the love of the music. MB: Was that the same time as the incident. C: No, the incident happened around 2002. February 5, 2002, and at that time I had just signed a new record deal with Def Jam, and I was about to start working on the new album. The incident happened but twenty days later I recorded the first song. Even when I did that, I didn’t love it. There’s a difference between doing it because that’s what you do and doing it because you love it. MB: That’s amazing. If you feel comfortable with telling it, for those that don’t know, can you tell us about the incident? C: Sure. My cousin had a gun, and we were at the house and my kids were on their way over there so I was like well I need to move it. I picked it up and it went off and it shot me right in the throat. Entrigue Magazine | October 2014 29