I read the Steve Jobs book, and that kind of changed everything. I've been, like, an Apple geek my whole life and have always seen him as a hero. But reading the book, and learning about how he built the company, and maintaining that corporate culture and all that, I think that influenced me a lot.
I wanna put numbers on the board. And the thing that everybody doesn't get is that it just doesn't happen. It doesn't just fall out of the air and land on your lap; the only way to get it is to get it and put the work in.
When you sample something, you're using the crutch of borrowing chords and melodies from a song that's already great, that's already stood the test of time, that's already special. When you're trying to do it all from scratch, you're writing something brand new that has to stand on its own.
Some people will like it. Some people will hate it. Some people are indifferent. And you have to live with that as an artist. You wanna be appreciated, you wanna be liked, but you know, it's just not realistic for everyone.
I just kept telling myself that ultimately, the money that my grandparents had put away to go into my college fund, that they were investing for me to go to school and get this education, it had to be worth something.
I always thought that one day I would be somebody. I would be successful in music, and I would have fans that cared about my music. At the same time, I really feel like an ordinary guy; I have been an ordinary guy forever.
Anything back in New Orleans is definitely nostalgic. I really played my first shows of my life and learned to perform here. I learned how to work a stage and how to connect with a crowd. It all started here.
I was making all my own beats, and I really liked sampling stuff, like old '50s and '60s pop and soul and doo-wop records. I was chopping those up and putting loops and drums on them and just rapping over them.
When you're literally staring at the person right in front of you, you're connecting with them on a personal level. I even jump into the crowd sometimes and perform with them, sing into the mic with them and share the experience with them.
Music is one of the toughest industries, so I respect everybody who has travelled any distance, come far in this music business and achieved anything because it is so hard, and there are so many people out there these days.