Metta World Peace On Rap Career: “My Music Is Strictly for the Fans”
Okay, so that’s the history. Bring us up to today. What are you up to and whom are you working with now?
I’m definitely getting a chance to work with some people now. I’m more experienced, which is very important. I actually did a video with Jim Jones, and Chaless and Foul Monday are in it. Ruck isn’t rapping in the video, but he’s in it as well.
So you’re still doing a little bit with the Q.B. family in what you’re doing right now?
Yeah, that one was for my fans, and I was able to get them involved; that was cool.
Which song’s video are we talking about?
That song was “Get Like Me.” Everything was dope, Jim Jones blessed us, and that was the first opportunity for us to get out there as a group. It was a fun process for us. But they are still doing their own thing, I’m doing mine, but hopefully one day we come back together.
Okay, so what are you focused on now?
For the most part, I’m developing. Both of my sons are producing now, and that’s very cool. I’m working with a couple different female artists right now, consulting and mentoring and such. Just making sure they take care of their bodies, stay in shape, stay ego free.
That must be difficult to do with young artists, no?
It is difficult, but I love doing it. I give them my insight on the music business, how I grew up. I school them on the importance of relationships, staying humble, eating right, and having longevity in your career. People must respect the importance of not being one track minded, avoiding tunnel vision and all that. In this business, there are so many different angles. You can be singing one day, acting the other like the Jennifer Lopez’s of the world. So I’m teaching them to stay open minded, and work hard. I’m working with a couple different artists like that right now.
So in this industry, what is your lane? Is it rapping and cultivating your music? Or mentoring?
My music is strictly for the fans over the years that supported me and want my music. I’m not gonna hold it back from them. But my music is not for me to be on MTV, to sell a million records, or to do big shows. I’m staying in my lane, make music for my fans, go to small spots with 500 people in it and perform for the people that want to be there.
So Peace’s music is for is for Peace and Peace’s fans more so than general consumption. You aren’t trying to become a world-renowned rap star off this?
Nah, that’s not the objective anymore.
Was that ever the goal?
Yeah, I definitely used to want that. I love performing. I’ve performed in front of 50,000 people before overseas. I’ve performed in front of 20,000 people in LA. I’ve performed in front of thousands of people in North Carolina. I’ve got one or two hundred shows under my belt. So I’ve performed, and it is fun. I love doing it. But now its, when is it convenient for me to actually perform, because I do have kids now. I’ve got to take care of my family. When is it convenient for me to be on stage, make a club run? I wish I could do more club runs, they’re fun. But I cant all the time, so I have to pick my spots. I performed in front of 70,000 people in China. I definitely love it. But for now, I do my music, I get feedback, and different cities around the world ask me out to their cities if enough people want me out. I did Vancouver this summer; I only had time to do Canada this summer.
I’m hearing a lot of foreign cities. Have you performed any American cities?
Yeah man, I performed in Chicago, I did Illinois University one year, Ludacris put me on the bill. I’ve done the Honda Center in Anaheim two nights in a row.
So you’re immersed, you’re immersed in the music game. I’m hearing all of these names, Jim Jones blessed me and Ludacris put me on the bill. At age 19, when you wanted to take over the world, if you could have known where the music career was going to go, would you have been satisfied with what was to come?
No, no, absolutely not. If I got to see this story and it said ok, you’re 33 years old. Only one album has come out. Most of your mixes haven’t been right. You haven’t sold a million singles yet. You’re not popping. I’d have been very disappointed, but I probably would have kept going, wanting to see how that feels.
But at the same time, you’ve done okay haven’t you? Basketball was the source of your shine. You were obviously extremely successful in that right. Music on the other hand, was a passion; it wasn’t premeditated. Music was from your heart, while ball seems to come from your mind as a way up. Am I wrong?
Nope, you’re absolutely right actually. Music wasn’t premeditated. But things went wrong when I started to try to predict and predetermine things instead of understanding myself and saying ‘ok music is fun, I love it; how can I be involved?’ You can’t predetermine these things. Put it this way, Lil Wayne is my age. When we were kids, when Lil Wayne was 8, he was rapping, and I was playing ball. So now fast forward to when we are 18, and I’m getting ready for the league. He’s ready to take over the world with music; I’m ready to take it over with basketball. Now, when I’m 19 and I’m in the NBA, I want to rap all of a sudden? You cant do that. People have been refining their art since they were babies. That’s as unrealistic as someone waking up at age 19 and saying, I want to be in the league. That just not how it works. So you just have to stay in your lane. I’ve learned that now. Don’t try to do the impossible, do things that you can be successful in. Appreciate your fans, whether it’s one, a thousand, or a hundred thousand, appreciate your fans. If you have it in you to continue your music, just give it to them, feed them. That’s what I’m all about now, appreciating those who support me, no matter how many.
So it’s not how you would have drawn it out, but you seem to be a peace with where you are.
Definitely. I work hard. I give 100%. When you give 100%, and it doesn’t work out, you can ask yourself, did you give it all? I gave more than all. I gave music 150% of my efforts. Where I’m at now, I’m at peace with myself because I tried my hardest and I’m still not giving up. I’m still helping people. So I feel good where I’m at right now.