How are you Shawnna?I'm fine. You?
Great. Tell us about the new album. Where did the title Block Music come from?That's just like the heart of me - I came from the block.
So, should we expect a lot of uptempo feel-good-music on this one?Oh, definitely so. That's something that if you've got a hot ride, you just want to crank your system up and let the window be open and just play it from front to back.
Well, we do quite a bit of that down here in the south. Your last album was well received, but poorly promoted. Why was that?I don't like to place blame. Maybe it wasn't my time, and I really believe in God. And, God is good. So, for people to just give it the reviews that they did, that was motivation for me to go back in the studio and be ready for my time. And, lo' and behold, I was ready.
What's going to be different this time to make sure that it gets well promoted?Well, I don't know if it's something that has to be different. Every artist has to learn that you could put out a million songs but it's just that one song that people catch onto and finally pay attention to you. Then you're like "man I've been here all this time, and y'all didn't pay no attention to me." So, there's nothing that you really do different. Just don't change your attitude, stay yourself, and just stay grindin'. It's all about timing. Just keep your head up, don't let them see you frown, keep smiling and keep going.
Wow, speaking of "that one song," your single is blazing up the radio right now. That's all I hear these days. Did you expect it to be that big?[Laughs] Not at all, I didn't expect for "Gettin' Some" to do near what it did, as far as the Billboard charts, being #1 on countdowns, video picks...just the notoriety that I have from the song right now leaves me speechless. It's just that I'm going to have to stay focussed and on-point, because just as quick as they love you, they can hate you. I think I'm a good person, I think people really like me. So, I'll make sure that I connect with the people to where if it ever gets to the point where my music never gets promoted, it don't matter 'cause people still want it.
What artists are on this album?I kept it strictly in the family. I'm so proud of Disturbing Tha Peace for the fact that we've accomplished so many things. We've had up's together, we've had down's together. It's all eyes on us right now, so, I just wanna be a part of proving that we got it and we ain't goin' nowhere.
Beyond the DTP, what female rappers do you look up to? Give me three.Definitely Queen Latifah. Definitely...all of them but I looked up to Queen 'cause she's a pioneer. I look up to Foxy, because she's getting such a bad rap right now but she did so much for female rappers. She put us in a position that we were not in regardless if you don't like her attitude. And, me being in the industry, I feel her. She still built her stance up against all the obstacles and hatred that get thrown her way. Like, it's so male-dominated that you need to fall back on your women, and for women to turn on Foxy and Foxy still hold her head up to, that's somebody that I look up to.
RightAnd finally, I look up to Remy. That's my sister and I love her to death. She's going through the same thing that I'm going through, being the only female in an all-male team. You've got heavy-hitters at the forefront and just trying not to slip through the crack. We both have kids. Before us, the female rappers weren't mothers. They didn't have kids. The industry doesn't understand how to deal with us. We can't be gone forever all the time. I had Jeff Dixon of DTP tell me today that "you need to be thinking about just never being home" and I had this conflict with him that there's no such thing. I have two children, there's no such thing as never being home. Y'all gon' have to make adjustments to where the bus is kid-safe or you're buying additional tickets. There's no such thing as I'll never be home.
So, you take them on tour with you?I do, if it doesn't conflict with school. Not to get away from the question, that was Queen Latifah, Foxy Brown, and Remy Ma.
Nah, you brought up an interesting topic. Now, do they get to hear mom's songs at all?Oh yeah, they hear it, they seen 'em and I have to tell them "no, no, don't say those words." I don't want to make the mistakes my parents made, but we're only human, and we all learn. They tried to shelter me a lot, with my dad being in the industry and being able to make money and provide for me, they sheltered me a lot. And, when I was able to get into the world on my own, there was a lot of catching up I had to do. In a lot of ways, my understanding had to be shifted. I don't shelter them. I feel like if they get it from mom first, then they'll know how to deal with it.