The overall goal of my music and movement is to change the world back to normal. I just feel like in every avenue of life, self-love should be applied, whether you’re making a decision that’s going to affect solely you or affect a lot of people, you should always have that sense of self-love when you’re going through these different avenues in life. Normal is the ability to be aware, to love yourself, to live in your purpose. So I’m just trying to create more awareness of examples and experiences that I went through to help the world become normal again. Or for the first time. I don’t know if people ever value self-love as much as they should. As much as we can. I’m just trying to be that voice for self-love, for being normal. It doesn't affect one subject in particular, just women or just men or just streets or just love. Normal comes in many different forms.
I learned self-love from my mom for sure because she always wanted to keep me out of the streets and she was showing me small examples of how to love yourself. She wanted me to stay far away from the streets because of the gangs. My father, my cousins, my uncles, they was all gang banging their whole life and they was gang banging my whole life. But she did her best to keep me away from it. And that’s an example of self-love and finding what's normal. When you decide that you don’t want to gang bang, that’s a very hard decision to make as a young man. Out here where I’m from, that’s deep. You gotta love yourself. There might be a young dude that might hear me one day and be like dang, I don’t feel like I gotta do this to fit in. So my mom doing that early on in my life helped me try to do that for myself as well.
Instead of getting caught up in the streets, I’m grateful to have found music as my passion early on. I joined theater in high school, I literally went into theater because I said I wanted better stage presence as an artist. I was also playing football. I had college offers to go to college and stuff like that, football scholarships. But all in that moment, I was already transforming myself into normal, living in my purpose.
Joining theater in high school definitely helped me learn the concept of normal because I learned to be open to people’s weirdness. Everybody’s weird. I feel like there’s no person on this earth that isn’t weird. Aliens aren’t weird. We’re the weird ones. They’re the normal ones. But everybody’s weird so it helped me understand how people go about their process of becoming great because we shared different weirdo moments. I had to realize that sometimes you’re gonna look like a weirdo in theater. Looking stupid was actually the best thing in theater. When you feel like you look stupid, oh, you’re singing too loud, your mouth is too wide open, that’s actually the best. So it helped me embrace my weirdness and find my normal.
I got offered a publishing deal the day after I graduated. We was talking the whole time, but I got the actual offer the day after I graduated. I signed it sometime in August. But I was about to be on my way to Chicago for a scholarship. I signed over there. But after I got my publishing deal, I just called the coach that recruited me and was like, “Yo, I got offered a publishing deal. I’m not playing football no more.” He was like, “Man, I support you.” He was a good coach. I told him, I broke it down just like this, I’m like, “Man, I don’t wanna be banging up my body just to make money. I love football, but I don’t wanna do that for the rest of my life. I wanna be 40,50 still making music, still doing what I wanna do.” And he was like, “I respect that. That’s a great, mature decision that you’re making.” And I had a little bread from the music already, so it was an easy decision. Let me get paid instead of going to pay to play football. It’s a free scholarship, but there’s still money that you have to pay to go away and live at college. It just wasn’t the move. I made the best decision. I don’t regret it.
I was doing theater and football all that stuff at the same time. Even though my body tells me to play football, I love this and sometimes I do wish I can play football, maybe touch the NFL field and actually be that person with my last name on the jersey. But I’m cool. I know my Mamba Mentality is telling me, "You have to be on that stage singing." I was already preparing myself for where I am today. And I’m already preparing myself for where I’m going to be in 10 years, where everybody gonna see me from this day. I’m already looking there. I’m already making moves right now that’s putting me in that place in 10 years. So I was already ahead of the game. I wanted it to be when I came out as an artist, it looked like an artist. It didn’t look like I was just starting. Oh, you’ve got a great voice, but you not comfortable on stage. Nah, I didn’t want that. I had kicked in the Mamba Mentality and boom. Here I am, just released my first album and already touring and sharing the stage with great artists.
The way Kobe Bryant attacked his craft was normal. The Mamba Mentality is normal. He gave it all he got. He loved himself so much that he wasn’t gonna let himself down in no moment of life. Even when he did a documentary, he went hard. Think about what I said earlier how aliens are normal. When you get to the level of alienation as a human, you’re normal. Because that means you don’t care about what nobody think. You don’t care about how fast or slow anyone else is moving. You don’t care about anyone’s time or purpose for that documentary, basketball game, speech. I seen that joke about Kobe that said we’ll never get to hear his Hall of Fame speech and then somebody responded saying but maybe we will because Kobe probably already had his speech prepared. That’s how normal he was, tapped into his purpose. He already knew he was going to be in the Hall of Fame. He probably did have his speech prepared. Literally. Ima actually go write my Grammy speech sometime soon. That’s the level I’m on the way to.
Normal is definitely subjective depending on each person’s purpose in life. Everything has a normality to it. You just got to find it. I got a song called “Misunderstood” on my “(normal)” EP. That song talks about how maybe the prostitute isn’t doing it for the wrong reasons. Maybe she’s doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, maybe just to get money to feed her family. Maybe the dude who just robbed you didn’t even really want to rob you. Maybe he just didn’t have no more diapers for his son and he just had to get out there and go do what he did. It don’t make what they doing right. It’s just everything has a normality to it. His normal is he has to rob. So we just gotta reinvent what that means to people and that’s why my album is called the new (normal).
The way I have found my normal is my spirituality. I pray like a lot of times in the day. I’ll say even a quick prayer like, “God, thank you, just thank you, God. Man, I’m grateful. Amen.” I have a feeling sometimes that’s very unexplainable. Even sometimes when I’m talking in interviews and stuff, I’ll have a moment where I just feel like I’m out of body, where I’m kind of just speaking what was already supposed to be spoken. It’s kind of like I’m not really thinking about what I’m saying. I can feel in that moment, like wow, I was supposed to say that. I don’t know. When those moments approach me, it’s like I don’t even control them. That’s all God who controls me to make that left and say this. Or make that left and sign the deal. Then like 10 years later reveal itself. It’s not even in my hands. It’s very instinctual and it’s very natural. It's normal. I guess I am in tune with my instincts, but at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m even controlling half of the things I do. I feel like I’m being led and I’m just following. Who I am following is God if anybody’s wondering who is he following? I’m following God whatever he got for me. And I want to be able to hear more for what he got for me. So keep going, keep going to the right direction, keep making the right moves for my life. Cause who knows? Football might not have been guaranteed. We would love to not get injured and love to do all these things, but these are the reality of the situations.
I want more people to hear what I have to say and hear the type of energy that I’m putting out to the world and join me on this journey. I’m a part of the choir that’s being preached to. So as well as I’m trying to give advice and give examples, I’m learning from my own advice and examples as well. I’m having my struggles with certain respect for myself, respect for other people, love for myself, love for other people. Just all the things that all humans go through, where they try to I guess be the best version of themselves. So I feel like that starts with self-love. I’m constantly going through my own battles and my own tug-of-wars with myself. I’m not perfect, I’m not speaking from a perfect standpoint. I’m just speaking from a process of wanting to heal and heal with others around the world.
People are scared to be normal because they are afraid of the unknown and want the quick fix for their problems. You want to be a superstar. You want to feel like you don’t feel broke. You wanna feel like you don’t have struggles. You wanna feel like you’re not insecure. You want these things to be perfect, but normal isn’t perfect. It’s just an attempt. It’s just the attempt to be aware, to love yourself. The attempt, literally, just the attempt. Just the effort to try to be normal in a situation. It takes thought. It takes effort to really think and say what should I really do right now? I’m about to spend this money at the club. I’m in a section, should I go impress everybody and make it seem like I got all this going on in my life where I can just buy these bottles in the club? Or, should I just kick back? The normal thing to do is just enjoy myself, maybe get a few drinks or two. That’s normal. Most people not gonna think that way. Even I’m not gonna think that. I’m trying to progress, I’m trying to influence progression and boom. I would’ve probably been thinking about how to get them bottles too if I was in the club. Sometimes you gotta have a little bit of extra fun.
Listen to my new album, the new (normal) below.