Learning and teaching being a cycle is a theme in your music. Is that cycle something going through your mind when you write raps?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’ve been starting to get more guarded and be more on Best Rapper shit again. But the cycle of teaching and learning is definitely something I just do on the mindfulness tip to keep myself right, and to be able to root myself via my art. When I was making No Roses, I felt like I was in this tailspin and my art was sending me into a further tailspin. I made an album like Let the Sun Talk, that’s grounded in a spiritual ideology, to communicate a communal thing, so that my introduction point to niggas is in a place that I can return to for healing, warmth, and goodness. Because this shit might not always be that going forward. It’s not gonna be all sunshine.
What’s your writing process like?
A lot of times, it’s just about my ability to seek out [inspiration] and the frequency with which I seek it out. I’ll take something someone said, or maybe just the way a baby cried sounding like a cadence or two notes, and then find a topic. I write like two to four bars a day, and when I get some beats I take all these little verse fragments and how I was feeling and what the beat is saying, and I’ll build out an emotion. On a song like “Daylight Savings,” every line is very distinct, broken down but none of them exist without all of them in exact succession. That’s one of the ways of codifying.
What do you want listeners to get out of your music?
Orientation in space and time. Especially black people: orient yourself in time. That’s a huge deal. That’s why I look for a lot of samples: familiarity and literal relation. Making music through who you’re related to, artistically, through the generations. Because the roles don’t change, only the actors. Until this full revolution happens, we’ve got to carry on from the last people that died before the revolution in order to make it happen.