Where do you see the state of fashion 10 years from now? What labels do you see thriving?
The future is the Future. I see my brand Freebandz apparel growing into a full-fledged fashion label as well as brands that I keep in my closet right now. Brands like En Noir, Hood By Air, Public School, etc. that have been on a steady rise over the past couple of years. These brands will be household fashion labels by then as they represent the future and the youth.
Many artists use mixtapes as a way to curb music piracy. What do you see as an artist’s next great weapon in the fight against illegal downloading?
I see artists partnering up with music downloading and streaming apps like iTunes or Spotify more and more. I think the mixtape culture will continue, but the means of distributing them will change. iTunes will start to share mixtapes in the hip-hop category, but you will be able to download them for free. This can potentially sell more music for artists as well because once you are in the iTunes store, you start browsing for other music from that particular artist.
What can listeners expect from Honest?
An incredible body of work. I put everything into this record and worked with some of the best, most creative artists in the industry to build it out. Honest will be my best project yet. I’m just excited for the world to hear it.
You’ve been quoted as saying “I don’t really let people in to my world. You’ve gotta save something for yourself. You can’t just let everybody know everything about you.” Coming up in the so-called “Facebook Generation,” how do you balance wanting to stay connected with your fans while still maintaining a personal life?
You gotta stay true to the art. If you stay true to the art, everything else will fall in line. If you put out a great body of work, your fans will connect with it automatically. I don’t need to respond to every post on social media, but if I post new music that’s how my fans will connect. With my personal life, I’ve always kept that private. I’ve never had too much trouble separating the two.
Artists like Jay Z and Eminem put out records in 2013 at 40 years old and up. What do you see your music being like in 10 years when you’re nearing 40?
Phenomenal. I think Jay and Eminem have continued to put out great material over the years. It’s hard to say since everyone compares their current records with their past records, but even if those past records didn’t exist I think fans would think these current albums are incredible. My music will evolve with the time, but still maintain quality.
Photography: Patrick O’Brien Smith
Styling: Elizabeth Birkett-Gibbs