“Sensual Seduction” took people by surprise. Why release what’s basically an R&B record as your first single?
There was no strategy. My boy Shawty Redd wrote the song, and once I sent it back, he started playing it in the clubs in Atlanta. He’s like, “This muthafucka is a big record.” When I played it for my peoples, they didn’t feel it at first—not my immediate people, my record-label people. They were like, “Eh.” I was like, “Fuck what y’all talking about, I’m put- ting this shit out. This is some fly shit. It’s my career, anyway.”
Your label does have a lot of money invested in you.
I don’t give a fuck if they have money invested in me. It’s me that makes them have money to be invested in me. I’m the only thing going over there. Well, I’m the best thing going over there. I’ll say it like that. It’s no disrespect. It is what it is. You don’t get what you get out of a regular artist what you get out of Snoop Dogg. You getting ev- erything. You getting cool, you getting funny, you getting gangster, you getting pop, you getting streets, you getting Whites, you getting Blacks, you getting old, young. You get all that with Snoop Dogg. Them artists that they got only got one genre of fans. You can’t spread them out all over the table like me. I’m the only muthafucka that can do porno, coach football and have a cooking show.
Is the reality show promotion for the album?
Nah. They been asking me to do a reality show for five years, and this is the perfect time, because me and my family is coming together now. It just gives you the context of me as a real person, as opposed to all the fake shit and negative shit you hear about me all the time in the media.
Do you ever worry about what effects it might have? Ozzy’s son went to rehab. Nick and Jessica divorced. Britney and K-Fed. Any concern over putting your family on camera?
Have you seen Run’s House? They doing just fine. [Pause] ’Cause they Black. Black families don’t do all that bullshit like the White fami- lies do. This is bonding time, because this is helping us out. Somebody in the family wants to be a star. Someone wants to do this. So we’re looking at it like capitalizing off the moment. We’re not going to blow this moment and have a fallout.
Who wants to be the star?
My daughter and my wife. But ain’t nothing wrong with it.
Back to the album. Initially, there weren’t supposed to be any guest artists on Ego Trippin’. Why the switch?
It just happened. That might be me ego-tripping. The real ego-tripping on this record is that I let people write songs for me.
Singing songs? Rapping songs?
Have you run out of things to say yourself?
Nah. I’m ego-tripping. I was watching Diana Ross getting inducted into a Hall of Fame, and she got up there and named all these great songwriters. Her biggest songs were written by somebody else. So I’m thinking, Wow, there’s nothing wrong with my pen, but I’m going to let other people write for me.
Has the recording process become easy?
Yeah, because I know what I want. When you know what you want, you aim for it and shoot for it. I was talking to Quincy Jones. He told me that, when he used to make records, there was a target they used to aim for, whether it was a No. 1 song or a hot artist. If you aim for a target, you’re either going to hit it or go higher. That’s what I’m on right now.
Who are you targeting?
Right now, Kanye West got the best rap album out, to me. So I’m aim- ing for him. And when I say I’m aiming for him, I’m just aiming to have a record as clean, as fly as his shit is.
So making music is easier now. But are you a better rapper now, or back in 1993?
I was probably a little doper back then, because I was more into rapping. Right now, I’m into creating a lot of shit. Back then, I was just into ap—the style, the flow, fucking you up, the baddest muthafucka, the coldest vocalist. Now I’m not into that. I can sit back and take a back- seat and watch them do a Top 10 hottest rappers right now, and my name ain’t in there, and it don’t bother me.
It doesn’t bother you at all?
Ten, 12 years ago, if they would have ever had a Top 10 without my name in it, I would have went off on the niggas in the Top 10 and the niggas who did the Top 10.