My new album Augustine’s Legacy is a nod to my father, but also a nod to my daughter. My dad would have been 60 this year. He passed away when I was a teenager. Then my daughter’s going to be one this year.
I was trying to figure out what am I going to call my album? This is my first time ever making a project I had no working title. So my wife, God bless her, went on Instagram and did the hashtag #AugustinesLegacy and I was like aw, that sounds amazing. Because we’re all leaving a legacy, right? When we pass someone’s going to say something positive about us or something negative about us. When we pass, what’s going to be said about us?
So I’m an extension of my dad’s legacy, right? Then my daughter’s an extension of my legacy. So that was kind of the theme around the album title, Augustine’s Legacy. The music, the art is the person that you see, me, is an extension of my father’s legacy and then now one of my family, my daughter’s now the extension of mine. It’s all kudos to my wife, Sophia. I just kinda took it and ran with it, filled in the gaps, this is what it means, this is how other people can take it because hey man when I go or as I get older and as I’m talking to other people who are younger than me, they’re taking what I’m saying, then they’re gonna be mimicking and learning from what I’m saying and sharing with other people. So before you know it 10, 20 years, 50 years from now, 100 years from now, when I’m gone, my thoughts, my ideas are still circulating in life because I left a positive legacy for people to follow it through.
The way my wife and I came together is part of that legacy that God is working in my life. I call my wife my miracle bride. In 2015 we broke up, or 2014 I don’t know, one of them years. The album before this one was my break-up album. Tons of sad songs about us breaking up. It was ugly, really bad. I didn’t see any future. So all those songs I was writing up everyone was like, "Yo, I can relate." "Yeah, man, she did this," or "He did that," like "Oh, my heart’s torn." Fast forward four years later, and now we are three years married, have a baby and we’re on the album cover together as a unit. So that’s like God saying to me, “Look at how I’m weaving everything and making a purpose into everything.” And I have to say back to Him, “Ok, only you could write this.”
In the beginning of the album process, the focus was my pop passing and stuff like that, content was very heavy on that, but now it’s kind of like seeing how God has brought Sophia and I full circle and being able to share that with the world for people who are like, "Will this ever happen?" And it might not happen. There was moments that we were looking at each other like, "Wait, aye, are we going to be together? Or not?" She was doing her thing, I was doing my thing. One day I was like, “Yo, I can’t live without you. Let’s go. Please?” I had to beg her. I had to write a song or two. And now I get to live out the lessons my father taught me about the importance of family with her.
My father was very big on not allowing anything to come between family. I actually just wrote a lyric the other day where my dad taught me that giving is the way you measure a man. It’s not about what the man can take, it’s about how much he can give. So little things like that, as a Christian, the goal in your life to the principles of the Bible. Now that I have a child, even though she’s 11 months old, I’m trying to teach her, no, you have to be respectful. You’ve got to honor people. Don’t talk to my wife like that. That’s my wife. That’s your mom, cool, but that’s my wife first. Little things like that where he would have little anecdotes about facing reality. You can’t change that. You’ve just got to face that, face it head on and you’ve got to do what you need to do. Little things like that and a lot more that’s more personal, but just that one to continue and build on. That’s my old man for you. He was a man of many things.
When I envisioned becoming a father, originally, I wanted a son first. Every man’s like, "I want a son, he can continue the name," blah, blah, blah. I think having a daughter just kind of softened me. It’s teaching me patience. It’s teaching me kindness and stuff like that. Just seeing her, being a father to a daughter has made me soft, it’s ridiculous. I can’t, when did I get like this? When did I start crying just by looking at you? That’s seeing how she’s developing and then me wanting for her to have a better life than me. I would always assume that my dad would want me to be a better version of him, the same way he’s the better version of his dad, so on and so forth. I just want my children to be better versions of me and their mom. However good we are, I want them to be way better than we are in life. Not just by what they achieve, but what they’re remembered for. I’m just learning that I have to be patient. I have to be kind. I have to know that she’s a baby and she doesn’t interact the same way an adult would. I can be very like, “What are you doing? Stop that. Let’s go.” But I think she’s taught me like, “Ok daddy, in my own time, carry me, get off your phone.” That’s the one thing I’m looking at I’m learning right now. I’m seeing how she’s grabbing the phone a lot and that’s because I’m on my phone a lot. So now, trying to be present and being there. Cool, I can be there, but I can be distant still. But having no distractions, having us time. So sometimes I take her just me and her go to the grocery store and do a little drive or something like that. Getting that culture in early where she knows I can spend time with my father and we can enjoy one another’s company. I love it. I love being a dad. I don’t know why we didn’t do it sooner.
Having kids wasn’t a plan. It just happened. It’s good because my wife said if it didn’t happen, we have just been putting it off and putting it off and putting it off. The timing came perfectly. She’s been a blessing. Shoutout to Sade-Rose. Her name is a double-barrell. The last name is all me, but first name is all the wife. I don’t remember what exactly my last name means, but it’s something strong. It’s something strong.
My personal sense of strength comes from my faith. Being a Christian and having a sense of mission has always been what the music has been about. I really like the saying something along the effect of “Blessed be the Father God who comforts us in our affliction so that we can comfort those with the comfort that we receive from him.” So my music has always been shaped that way. I received all of these comforts, I’ve received all of these life lessons from God. My job is not to just keep it to myself. God gives us these things so that we can go and comfort other people and they can go and comfort other people and that comfort can continue growing and growing. For me, that’s how my music is. I wanna create these songs, I wanna create these ideas, these topics that I’m writing about and I want to share them with the world in hopes that somebody will hear it, feel comforted, or feel motivated to go and face the world, face their fears and that can comfort other people and motivate other people and so on and so forth. So that’s my driving force. That’s what continues, the stories that I hear every day, “Yo, your music did this for me.” Someone said the other day, “I was wandering from the faith. I heard a song I was a prodigal son, I was a prodigal son in the song that you wrote. I heard that song, it brought me back.” So little things like that, I’m like dog, ok, for you I’m gonna keep going. I can’t stop like that. So we don’t make music just for the sake of making music. There’s a purpose behind everything that we’re doing.
I became a Christian when I was 15. I grew up in the church, grew up in choir, singing, everything, all the stuff you can think a church kid does, I was doing it. But I wasn’t a Christian at all, the least of the word. I knew I wanted to become a Christian eventually. Like ah when I’m older. Let me go out, let me go party, let me go to the clubs, let me go to the beach, let me do all the debauchery I can do, all the nonsense. Because I’ve got enough time, right?
Then one day, my friend died. She was 16. She passed away in her sleep just like that. That was the wake-up like oh snap. I literally just spoke to her the week before about taking my faith seriously. She was telling me, “Yo, what you doing? You gotta take this seriously.” At that point, I was like, ok, everything that I was hearing in church was making sense to me now. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I needed a savior and eventually that’s when I became a believer. Yeah, 15 years, I’m 30 now. It’s been good, it’s been a journey, ups, downs, lows and highs, but God has been faithful through it all.
I share a little bit of that on this new album with a song called “Long Time” where I said, “God loved me from a long time/He done showed me for a long time.” So when I start to look back on my life and look at everything, if I start telling people my history, they won’t believe it. I’m gonna save some stuff for another album, but if I start telling people what we’ve been through as a family, they won’t believe it. Half of they stuff, they’d be like nah, you’re making it up. But to see God’s hand in everything, God’s been good. We’re here. We’re standing.
Listen to Augustine's Legacy below.