I'm making music for other people to listen to for pleasure. And hopefully, later on maybe they'll listen to it and go, That bass line, boy, did you hear the way those drums interacted with that?
Every day is a lesson in focus for me, and not buying into the world's concept of what you have to be. I really try every day to be individual and not just in my style or my look or my music, but in my approach to life.
My mother has all my awards, because if I walked downstairs every day and saw all my achievements it would be so easy to become complacent.
My concept of successful living is escaping the matrix, as we've talked about. It has very little to do with what people think success is. I actually feel successful right now, even though I don't have an album out, or a video or a song on the radio, because I'm trying to be obedient to His will.
I didn't have that intense ambition to be a musician or an actress. I just enjoyed it. And by enjoying it, because I loved it, it enabled me to get better at what I was doing, because there was a love behind it.
I find, even though it's raining, I just go outside. I look outside and I'm just so blessed to see it and to experience it, because for such a long time I was just indoors.
I rarely listen to the music for the sheer pleasure. I'm listening for the tool, I'm listening for the instrument, I'm listening for the art.
Once you compromise yourself in one way, you compromise yourself in another way. And you've just opened the door to compromise, mediocrity, settling.
In my travels all over the world, I have come to realize that what distinguishes one child from another is not ability, but access. Access to education, access to opportunity, access to love.
My parents had a love for music. There were so many records, so much music constantly being played. My mother played piano, my father sang, and we were always surrounded in music.
Every time that God navigates my ship, there's nothing cerebral going on. There's very little thought. It's almost as if I have the directions. Every time I try to do it myself, I'm conjuring up my own concoction and trying.
The work is constant. There's a time for rest, but I don't believe in getting comfortable just because everyone says you've arrived.
See fantasy is what people want, but reality is what they need. And I just retired from the fantasy part.
As long as I remember that the glory is His and not my own. When I confuse that, I get in trouble. We think that we glorify ourselves, and the object is to glorify God first, and in doing that you become glorified, you get glorified.
I consider myself a crayon... I may not be your favorite color but one day you'll need me to complete your picture.
I get out, I get out of all your boxes. I get out, you can't hold me in these chains. I'll get out. Father free me from this bondage. Knowin' my condition is the reason I must change.
It's funny -- more people talk about my 'babe-dom' now than they did before I had a child. Whatever. I guess I'm a role model in hot pants now. That's cool!
In my life the most influential people are people who are sort of brought to me, as opposed to people I seek out.
As artists, we have an opportunity to help the public evolve, raise consciousness and awareness, teach, heal, enlighten and inspire in ways the democratic process may not be able to touch. So we keep it moving.
If I never won a Grammy, I would be satisfied, if in fact I could help people. I don't say that because it sounds like something cool to say.
You improve yourself and light up the corner that you live on. You may not touch a gazillion lives, but you can light up your own space, light up your home.
Our podium is the music. It's really important that we stay focused, because things become misconstrued in the media.
It could all be so simple, but you'd rather make it hard, loving you is like a battle, and we both end up with scars.
A friend once said, and I found to be true,That everyday people, they lie to God too,So what makes you think, that they won't lie to you.
I don't buy into that whole concept of success that I have this mountain with this moat around it and then I get into my big car and drive to my destination and never see people. That's not my concept of success.
I don't want to be religious, I want to be spiritual. Anybody can be religious. Some people jog religiously. You don't want to be that, you want to be spiritual. You want to have a relationship with God as opposed to doing what everyone else does.
I was very confused. I didn't understand the difference between rebellion against God and rebellion against the system that's not God.
I'm trying to be a loving and caring mother, a loving and caring wife-to-be, a loving and caring daughter, a loving and caring friend, a responsible person. And every day is another opportunity for me to be successful at that.
Who you going to tell when the repercussions spin, showing off your ass because you think it's a trend.
I tried to manipulate and control people and I harbored resentment. I wanted to be forgiven but I wouldn't forgive others.
God said, All right, I'm gonna show you. I made you what you are. God takes care of me. I'm just the one who delivers the message.
A lot of us are too busy focusing on what we think people want to hear, as opposed to just saying what's in our hearts.
There are a lot of young black girls who I meet in my travels who don't have a lot of self-esteem. So if I communicate to them that they're beautiful, no white person should find fault in that. It doesn't mean that young white girls aren't beautiful, because they are just as beautiful.
Let me break it down for you again,
You know I only say it because I'm truly genuine:
Don't be a hard rock when you really are a gem.
I have a couple of all-time favorites: Donny Hathaway and Roberta Flack, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
With The Fugees initially, and even with 'Miseducation', it was very hip-hop -- always a singing over beats. I don't think people have really heard me sing out. So if I do record again, perhaps it will have an expanded context. Where people can hear a bit more.
I love being able to reach people directly, but in an ideal scenario, I would not have to rush the release of new music… but the message is still there.
Now don't you understand man universal law
What you throw out comes back to you, star
Never underestimate those who you scar
Cause karma, karma, karma comes back to you hard.
Being young and female in America, you watch a lot of T.V., and you grow up on false images of what love truly is. We think the man with the best rap will protect and save us, about it's not usually that way. Then you learn love is something deeper and purer in form.
Our first album was a stupid mistake by the record company. They tried to sell us as an alternative act. A big mistake!
With the things that I love, I tried to put a couple seeds, a bunch of seeds in the ground and see what sprung up. Sometimes it was acting and sometimes it was music. But whatever it was I continued to plant.
If the entire week is a battlefield, reading the Bible is sort of like that parachute with the box of reserves that come in the middle of the war: food and water and the toothbrush and toilet paper.
I try not to have a day pass where I don't read something from the Bible. It's like my sustenance to me.
Let me be patient, let me be kind, make me unselfish, without being blind, though I may suffer, I'll envy it not and endure what comes cause he is all that I got.
I have hour spurts when I feel fine and I can walk normal and stuff, other hours, I'm wobbling. I feel like there's somebody behind me kicking my legs out from underneath me. The whole tumor symptom thing is crazy. It's unpredictable. It really messes with your life.
When I was working, and when I was making substantial amounts of money, I always filed and paid my taxes. This only stopped, when it was necessary to withdraw from society, in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of myself and my family.
Over-commercialization and its resulting restrictions and limitations can be very damaging and distorting to the inherent nature of the individual. I did not deliberately abandon my fans, nor did I deliberately abandon any responsibilities.
I wrote these words for everyone who struggles in their youth.
Who won't accept deception instead of what is truth.
It seems we lose the game, before we even start to play.
Who made these rules? We're so confused. Easily led astray.
The sweetest thing I've ever known was like the kiss on the collarbone, the soft caress of happiness, the way you walk, your style of dress, I wish I didn't get so weak, oh baby just to hear you speak, makes me argue just to see how much your in love with me.
I know you don't wanna hear my opinion,
There come many paths and you must choose one.
And if you don't change then the rain soon come.
See, you might win some, but you just lost one.
Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually.
Let's love ourselves, then we can't fail,
To make a better situation.
Tomorrow, our seeds will grow,
All we need is dedication!
In my family, there was not an abundance of wealth, but there was an abundance of love. So there was always humor, and there was joy and there was comfort and there was this environment just to have a good time.
For a while, the genre seemed to be just about sex and crime. Rappers are storytellers; the stories don't need to be true!
I am up there onstage alone with that guitar. I don't have to consider no one else and whether they are comfortable. I need very little.
When I have a creative insight, there is a high. I think back in the day, I made music as much as I did because it made me feel so good. I think you could argue that there is a creative addiction -- but, you know, the healthy kind.
I keep letting you back in. How can I explain myself? As painful as this thing has been, I just can't be with no one else.
Everything is everything
What is meant to be, will be
After winter, must come spring
Change, it comes eventually.
I tried to manipulate and control people, and I harbored resentment. I wanted to be forgiven, but I wouldn't forgive others.
The danger I faced was not accepted as reasonable grounds for deferring my tax payments, as authorities, who despite being told all of this, still chose to pursue action against me, as opposed to finding an alternative solution.
I wouldn't even hold my kids sometimes because I didn't want them to spit up on me when I was dressed for an awards show.
I think what people are attracted to about me, if anything, is my passion. People got exposed to my passion through music and song first.
I don't need anybody to market or promote me. If people don't want to hear this music, then it's not for them. You cannot please everybody.
When you're young and everything dramatic is exciting, you start to believe that hype that, in order to be an artist, you have to suffer. I've graduated from that school.
I had to confront my fears and master my every demonic thought about inferiority, insecurity, or the fear of being black, young, and gifted in this Western culture.
We have to make sure the music and the message and the words and all the elements come through in our songs and every time we appear in public.
To those supporters who were told that I abandoned them, that is untrue. I abandoned greed, corruption, and compromise, never you, and never the artistic gifts and abilities that sustained me.
That strong mother doesn't tell her cub, Son, stay weak so the wolves can get you. She says, Toughen up, this is reality we are living in.
Nobody's going to force me to do something against my will. What do I owe anybody that I should submit my will to them?
Hip-Hop isn't just music, it is also a spiritual movement of the blacks! You can't just call Hip-Hop a trend!