Interview with Lyfe Jennings (02/22/2008)

Interview with Lyfe Jennings

You’ve seen quite a rise to recognition. What do you think is the reason for that?

I think it’s just beating the street. I think that I work hard. A lot of people may not be familiar, people may not even like the stuff at first time, but if you keep staring in their face and pretty soon some stuff just start to stick, you know?

You have a new album coming on April 15th. What should we expect from it?

It’s different. It’s more diverse than any other album that I done and it’s also less heavy as any album that I done. You know I definitely felt that the first 2 albums was telling my story. Definitely kinda heavy. Most of the stuff on the album was introspective stuff. You had to stop every song. I think this time it’s lighter stuff, ‘cause you know people wanna have fun too, so I kinda take that stuff too.

So there won’t be so much about your time in jail and offering a different perspective then?

I definitely [do] that core Lyfe Jennings’ stuff, that’s a part of me but I just don’t tend to go back there as much as I did first 2 albums.

Is that why you had more collaborations on this album?

Definitely, I don’t feel like I make music just for a certain genre of people. I think it’s for all genres. So I think that this album I attempt to introduce some of them people ‘cause they may be able to take somethin’ from it too, you know?

You’ve done work with everyone from LL Cool J to Young Buck. How does working with other artists impact you?

I think it make me stretch. Like working with somebody like Snoop Dogg you notice how crystal clear Snoop Dogg is. So if you wanna have clarity like that then you wanna look at cats like Wyclef, who is this crazy, crazy musician. So more people that you can take stuff from and stir it up in yourself…

The mentality of your music is more typical of Hip Hop than R&B. what are your thoughts on that?

I mean the truth is truth I just think that when you talk about the area of truth that I talk about it’s [closer] to Hip Hop because I talk about street stuff and baby mama drama. Then you get more R&B is more ‘I love you’ and less ‘be in love’. Stuff like that. So I’m definitely about that ‘cause I talk about stuff that’s relevant and that’s what I pay attention to, relevance.

How do you feel that you impact music in general?

Wow. I feel flattered. I think that I kinda set out to do that because I think that radio, the way it is now, unless you really doing somethi’ for lack of a better word dumb… well, I won’t say dumb. Trendy. You know whether it’s disposable or not disposable, ‘cause trendy is like that. The industry just grasp onto it but we should just grasp onto stuff that’s informative to our kids and to the other people that we love in our live too. So I’m flattered.

Do you feel like R&B music has gone a bit too pop and needs more of a reality check?

No, I’m not one of those guys that says what music should be and shouldn’t be. All I can say is that if you want somethin’ and then reality is more informative than I definitely have that for you. If that’s what you like than I can fill that void for you, you know?

You talk about doing classic work all the time. What do you think are the makings of classic music?

Me personally? I think that if you can sit at a piano and play it with one finger than I think those are the greatest hits because that’s just so simple. Those are the makings of a classic song to me.

So, simplicity is the key to making a classic?

Simplicity, yeah.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I just want everybody to know that album’s coming in April. It’s different kind of album but it’s still Lyfe Jennings. And to all the fans who supported me in the past, present and future, I’m still out here grindin’ and I’m just appreciative, you know? And when you’re successful after your first album that’s when they characterize you as success, so I gotta stick this one here.