L+T: You were in, like…
EB: A gown. Nightgown. You can see my panties. It wasn’t on purpose. You know, as a dancer, that tends to happen. (Laughs). I didn’t associate the two of those themes. They’re all on the same album. That’s the kind of album it is really and it brings that feeling out of me because the visuals usually reflect what I’m trying to convey. And “Out of My Mind, Just In Time,” it’s another de-layering in a way, where I’m leaving a kind of thinking. In this case, I am no longer blaming others for my position, where “Window Seat” I was taking control of my mind, my thoughts.
The guys I work with now are called Creative Control. We’ve collaborated on a whole slew of things I’ve been doing, including those past two videos. One, because I can afford them, and I’m having to pay for all of my own things—my label does not support me financially because I don’t think they can anymore. It’s a sign of the times—no hard feelings.”
L+T: Tell me about one of the tracks, “Turn Me Away [Get Munny]” on the last album. It’s a song with a rich history.
EB: “Get Munny”… that’s originally a sample.
L+T: Sylvia Striplin.
EB: Yeah, man. Roy Ayers produced that.
L+T: Oh wow—didn’t know that.
EB: Mmhmm. And I put a little bit of her [Sylvia Striplin] in it—“Can’t turn me away…”—and a little bit of Junior Mafia, and then came up with some verses of my own. That’ll probably be the next video I do. But that’s about a woman chasing money. All of the songs have somewhat of a character to them—I can be talking about me or something that I can really relate to.
L+T: I’m always curious: what artists are you looking to right now for inspiration outside of music—performance artists, visual artists, etc.?
EB: When I perform, I like taking Janelle Monae with me on the road. She keep me on my A-game. She’s one of my best friends in the world. Rhythmically, because I’m a very rhythmic singer—I was an emcee first—of course I admire the poet in emcees so I love Jay Electronica. He’s very peculiarly intelligent as I’ve said before about him. Sa-Ra is a musical group. You know, the whole L.A. scene I’m attracted to right now.
L+T: Like Flying Lotus and the Brainfeeder guys?
EB: Lotus is a great friend—we’re doing a record together. Thundercat plays bass on stage with me. He also happens to be a singer. You need to hear Thundercat’s music—it’s incredible. It’s the next new-new. King, there’s a group I met…
L+T: Three female singers, correct?
EB: Yeah, three chicks named King from L.A. They blow my mind. Make me cry. There’s something about the frequency of it. I hadn’t heard those melodies in so long.
L+T: The old school flavor of it.
EB: Yeah, it’s really good. Grizzly Bear—I like that group. Indie. So much stuff, man.
I’m on the L.A. side of things right now, musically—I’m listening to a lot of stuff they’re doing. It makes me wanna trade in my Brooklyn apartment and move into a townhouse in Los Angeles. I mean, I’m not abandoning New York at all. And you know what? I’m a selector. I love music, period—that’s why I DJ. So, I do that at least two nights a week. I just like hearing music and being inspired by it, period. It was in every room of my house as a child.