If rock-and-roll is well done, there's nothing so terribly wrong with that kind of music. But the lyrics are another story.
I tend to like simple music. And clever, succinct lyrics. Songs that don't try to be more than they need to to be effective, to stir up something emotionally within you.
All of my lyrics are based on the one thing that's never failed me, and that's the Word of God.
When I first started making music, I was all about wordplay and how fast I could rap, but over the years, I've really gained an appreciation for melody. What's cool is that when you're singing, you have to be concise, and when you're rapping, you have the opportunity to be really detailed with your lyrics.
The songwriting style, to me, is superior... there was a certain amount of joy in it, no matter how sad the song is. You get joy in listening to these Buddy Holly or Roy Orbison sad lyrics. I'm attracted to songs that have balance between the darks and the lights and giving them all equal opportunity.
A right balance between music and lyrics is important. Music complements lyrics.
The Japanese version comes with a translation, but that's different from the lyrics, so people could look things up and find a translation of their own if they're interested.
Two records put me over the top with hip-hop. One of them was 'Planet Rock,' and the other had no lyrics – it was called 'Numbers,' from a group called Kraftwerk. Every kid in the 'hood in New York and New Jersey was popping, locking, and breaking to that record. It was the hottest track on the street at the time.
I do think the love-gone-wrong songs go over better, only because those melodies and those lyrics have a different feel that you can grasp on if you're a torch singer like myself.
Starting in music, where I get a chance to connect with the lyrics of a song, I learned so much about performing on stage and connecting to your audience and to what you're singing about. Singing is very emotional. Every song has its own purpose.
I'm totally into Taylor Swift. I think she has super-clever lyrics, and I love that she writes her own music. Some of the themes she writes about are stuff I wish was there for me when I was in high school, and I'm so happy she really cares about her female fans. She's not catering to a male audience and is writing music for other girls.
Listen to the words people say in their lyrics, and tell me, if that's some real shit, if that's real to you, you know what I mean. Listen to what they sayin', don't just bob your head to the beat, peep the game, and listen to what Im saying. Hold us accountable for it.