“I try to spread myself musically as far as I can, I don’t think a lot of artists, especially R&B artists are willing to do that. I don’t think they really realize the importance of being different. I think everybody is kind of doing the same thing.”

“It’s boring for me to have to write or create in a limited environment like that. I want to be able to spread myself.”

“So, me and my brother, we did the drums, the guitars, the bass, all the old school instruments they used to have, it was a trick to get it to sound like even close to what they had. It was definitely fun.”

“In the very beginning of my career, I was just “go with the flow”, as long as I got to get some light, I was pretty much cool with what anybody said. Then, you know, you go through that whole phase where you want to have more of a say and you have your own opinions. I pretty much made a change for my second album. I wanted to have more “me” come through and what I actually like. It takes a lot longer to get things done when you are the only one who feels what you are doing.”

“That has been the hardest obstacle is trying to get out from underneath the curtain of the record company and get it out to the people.”

“It’s like a construction worker building a building and then they get to see it finished. That is what making an album is like, writing the song, arranging the song, you finally get the album out to the people and everyone is screaming. It takes so much work just to get to that point.”

“When Babyface produces anyone who has a softer quality in their voice, he’s going to make you sound like him. That’s his trademark.”

“Taking it way back to the part in my hair.”

“You gotta have haters to have lovers.”

“I get so much commotion in my life, every little chance of silence I can get is peace. People don’t take the time to enjoy the simple things, like a breeze.”

“I’m all about music, and all the other shit–the videos–that’s just extra. The label hates that because they want to make me a superstar, they always wanted me to cross over. I wouldn’t even do that if I didn’t have to. I’d be in the studio, and that’d be it.”

“There’s so much going on in my life that’s really pressured, and it’s at the most pressured times that I really get inspired to write, because it’s kinda like therapeutic for me. I can talk about pretty much any aspect of life I want, to set my vibe off from where my life is right now.”

(on the Vibe article in 98)
“That was hard for me, that was one of the most embarrassing moments in my career. I look back at that article and it is symbolic of the fact that in addition to the many lovers out there who really love this music and that support it with all their heart and are really the backbone behind my career, there are also people who are haters as well, who are annoyed to see somebody shine. I based more or less the way I grew up off the people that I knew in my life, not so much that they were ‘black’ people or ‘white’ people. But that article made it look like I’m telling the fucking Vanilla Ice story; like it was some really wack white and black shit.”

“I don’t think it’s necessary to go pop just for the sake of selling records. If you have an original style, in the end that will be more appreciated than music that’s very pop sounding. That’s the difference between the records I make and the music a lot of pop artists make. I’m writing real songs and coming up with original concepts and ideas.”

(about dancing in Don’t Talk)
“The moves come from basically just vibing – I’m not much of a dancer – I just like to have fun. I know a lot people have me pinned as a balladeer cat, someone who doesn’t really get down like that, so I really wanted to show them the opposite and let them know I could have a good time. I’m showing a lot of different sides to me this time round that people won’t have seen. But no, Usher shouldn’t be worried (Laughs). I think I can keep my day job where dancing is concerned!”

“I’m a humble cat; I’m not out to put sugar on nuthin’!”

“You don’t have to be arrogant to get your way in life, and at the end of the day, it’s all about karma. When you give people positive vibes, you get positive vibes in return.”

“People expect me to have my guard up or be extra sensitive about being white in an all-Black genre of music, but this music is a part of my life, so I don’t let those questions bother me.”

“When I’m working with someone on a song, I like to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible, (and) not have anybody looking over my shoulder.”

“This (Pleasures U Like) is actually the last album where I have partial say-so over my project with the record company.”

“I am a huge hip-hop fan. The rule in everything I do is based in hip-hop. It’s based in beats and basslines. And anybody who has listened to my records will hear that. And this album really shows just how much my production has grown and I think the MCs who are featured have really enhanced it, in terms of taking it to the next level.”

“I’m a huge Faith fan, and I had been wanting to work with her for a long time. We kind of knew each other in passing so I just asked her, and apparently she had always had a mutual respect, so we ended up linking up. She actually came to LA, heard the song and loved it. She sang it and my mouth dropped, as she has the most beautiful voice. I just sat there listening to this angel sing. I think the whole track really shines, so I am really looking forward to people hearing it.”

“Nas and I had a gig at the House of Blues, and we developed a mutual respect for each other. So the next time he came to L.A. we recorded ‘Finer Things’.”