How was it working with Justin Timberlake?
A lot of people don’t know that I’m from Memphis and Justin is from Memphis. We’ve known each for a while. I did a song on his last album—Three 6 Mafia, me and Paul did. So Timbaland had reached out to me and asked me to do some songs for his album. So I flew to New York and I did the records with Timbaland and I was on my way out of the studio and he was like, “Listen to these records.” He was just playing records from his phone and he let me hear a bunch of songs. I didn’t know who was on the hooks. He just played beats and I heard singing on the hook and I was like “Who is that?” And he’s like “That’s Justin Timberlake.” I was like “Aww. That’s dope.” He was like “Yeah, man. You wanna use that for your album?” I was like “What?! For real? Seriously?” He told me “Yeah, man. You can use that for your album.” That was a blessing, man.
One of the things you are most noted for is that you won an Oscar in 2006. Was there ever any sort of fear that you might not get that high in your career ever again?
No. I just felt like I had to keep working. You can’t think about that. You just gotta keep thinking about working. That’s the first thing that came to my mind—I gotta get out and work. So I started doing mixtapes. I hired a street team. I went down to Atlanta. I went to Florida. I went to Alabama. I had people passing out mixtapes. Some of the cities in the Midwest. I was just grinding and, boom! Here I am. That’s what started this solo movement. I was planning on going solo. I just wanted to keep the Three 6 Mafia buzz rolling just by doing my own mixtapes but it just happened, man.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m producing the Pimp C album—I’m not producing the whole album but I’m producing a lot of the tracks on there. I’m producing some tracks for Wiz. I’m doing some features. I’m working on this Taylor Gang album that’s me, Wiz, Chevy, Burner. It’s like a group album.
I’m hoping that Columbia makes me CEO of their record label. I hope. I’m just joking but that’s what I want to do. A lot of people ask me what I want to do in the next five years, the next ten years and I’m like, “My goal is to be CEO of a major label.” That’s what I wanna do. Like L.A. Reid or Barry Weiss, I want to follow in the footsteps of those guys.
It takes time. You gotta build your way up to be a CEO of major label. You can’t just walk in there. They are just gonna let anybody in there. I’m looking for new talent. We just see what happens when I feel like that I get to that point where I want to sit down and have that conversation with these major labels I’ll do it. Right now, I feel like I’m still grinding. Maybe in a year, I’ll probably do it.