feat_truth

Truth: Pookie Series Pt 1

Anyone who knows who Truth is knows she was lied to from the very beginning. She was on the verge of becoming R&B’s next big thing, but it never happened. Her debut single, “Addictive,” blew away mainstream listeners across the globe, but that’s as far as it went. Although Truth was the victim of another failed marketing scheme, she insists on coming back for more.

Everything in her life is revitalized for the better. She has signed a new deal with independent label Pookie Entertainment, and she even rid herself of the “Hurts” part of her stage name, proudly proclaiming “it don’t hurt no more.” Allhiphop.com Alternatives got a chance to hear the Truth be spoken and find out the real story behind her subsequent break-up with her former label and how she plans to blaze a new trail with the same type of music that brought her to the forefront.

AllHipHop Alternatives: Everything is new for you right now. I understand that you have signed to Raphael Saadiq’s label, Pookie, and you have an album in the works. Can you give the fans a glimpse of what’s going on?

Truth: Yeah, everything is all new. I found a new home, a new place, and I’m actually peaceful. I’m happy. (laughs)

AHHA: That is definitely the ultimate goal. Did the first experience you had in the business change your mind about wanting to do this at all?

Truth: No, not at all. I’ve been in the music business itself for a long time, so I kind of know the ends and outs. I know a lot of stuff is what it is. It’s not going to change until the business changes. I pretty much tolerate things as they are, and if it’s not for me, I just keep it moving.

AHHA: People really don’t know if you have a new deal because of unfortunate circumstances or if you just decided to bow out for a minute.

Truth: I’ll tell you like this. A lot of confusing things happened that ended up being bad. And it was not because of Dr. Dre. It was because of the parent company (Interscope). The lawsuit happened, and a lot of other stuff happened that caused confusion. I don’t think they were ready to promote a record like mine. As a consequence to that, they didn’t know how to put out a second single. They really didn’t know what to put out first! They went behind the first single to put out the next one, but then the R. Kelly thing was going on, and I wanted to put out the track that R. Kelly did. So, he didn’t a get a chance out the gate because radio wasn’t trying to play him. So, they really didn’t know how to handle a project like mine.

AHHA: How does a label not know how to market an artist? There are some artists in the spotlight right now who will only go as far as their label’s marketing scheme.

Truth: Let me tell you what’s happening now. A lot of producers are putting projects together, and the actual record company is not in the studio to really feel the artist. When it comes time for the product to be passed over to them, it’s like, what do you do with it when you haven’t been apart of the whole magic?

AHHA: So, what you are saying is the record company just cuts the check?

Truth: Right, and the producers say, “here’s the project, now it’s your turn.” They just grab some straws and throw you in the same magazines and the same limelight as Eminem or whoever, but you are not the same kind of artist. You really have to have a method to the madness. A lot of the companies are not doing as much of the A&Ring as they used to. Get in the studio with the artist and feel the artist. See where the artist is coming from. That didn’t happen for me.

AHHA: Do you feel you got a fair shake your first time out of the box?

Truth: I did and I didn’t, but I ain’t mad about that.

AHHA: I asked that because many people are wondering if you hold any kind of bitterness due to what has transpired in the time since you dropped your first album.

Truth: Oh hell no! I’m bigger than that. I’m a woman first, and a woman of God at that. I believe everything has its time, its place, and a season. I believe when the season is up, you keep things moving and you go on to the next.

AHHA: What’s the situation with you and Dr. Dre now? Did you and him break ties on good or bad terms?

Truth: We are on great terms. Dre and I speak all the time. He definitely wants to do something for my next record.

AHHA: Let’s get into the new project. Touch on the new album that is scheduled to drop next year.

Truth: Like I said, it’s a new situation with Raphael, and I’ve been in the lab everyday. It’s been a great start with the stuff that he and I have been doing together. We’re working with Battlecat this week, and we’re trying to get the first single out by February, possibly on a soundtrack album or just as a regular single. The rest of the album will probably come at the top of the summer.

AHHA: Do you have a title in mind for the album?

Truth: I’ve been throwing titles around in my head. I’m going to make sure that what I’m thinking is going to match what I’m doing.

AHHA: Do you plan to have the same type of Hip-Hop crossover appeal that you had before, or can we expect a totally different vibe?

Truth: Most definitely, because the streets love me and I love the streets, so I can’t stray too far from that. At the same time, I’m going to put some music into it because that’s my background also. I grew up on jazz and blues, so I’m going to combine the two. Raphael knows how to intertwine the whole attitude of Hip-Hop and keep it music.

AHHA: How was it that you and Raphael met and decided to get together to form this new deal that you have now?

Truth: We had seen each other quite a bit in passing, but to be honest with you, I had wanted to work with him since the beginning of my entrance into the music business.

AHHA: This cat is a legend and people don’t seem to get it.

Truth: People don’t really understand that this is a new thing for him, coming out on his own and doing his own thing. He’s only had his studio for years, so really he’s just becoming who he’s really about to be.

AHHA: Does his label Pookie fall underneath a parent company like a lot of independent labels have to do unfortunately?

Truth: Pookie is totally independent.

AHHA: You don’t get many R&B acts going that route. Most people who have independent labels are usually rappers. This is definitely a rarity.

Truth: We both have a story, right? (laughs)

AHHA: I bet you and him sat back and shared footnotes about your careers as of late. Now that I think of it, your careers actually parallel because his last album got no love from the major label either.

Truth: Yeah, we can definitely relate.

AHHA: Having said that, does those kinds of experiences give you the passion and the drive to want to pick up a microphone and bust a radio out?

Truth: Oh yes sir! Not in a rebellious way, of course, but in a way that people understand that this is about what I’m doing and not just about what Dr. Dre is doing, or the label, or anything else. It’s about the artist and what I’m trying to represent.

AHHA: Are you seeing that an independent label can better serve you as an artist? Is it a more personable experience?

Truth: Yes. If you know too much in the business and you are just trying to be an artist, that’s a conflict of interest. There would be marketing meetings and I wanted to sit in on them, and they would be like, “yeah, yeah, you can,” and the meetings would come up and ain’t nobody calling me. They know doggone well they ain’t having no marketing meeting! With an independent, you are pretty much in control of your destiny. You are pretty much on the forefront of it, like Raphael and I are going to make a lot of the decisions and the distribution company will just back it up.

AHHA: What do you feel it takes to market an artist enough so that can at least break even? Although you are an artist and you love music, this is still a business and you have quotas and things like that.

Truth: Yeah you do, and that’s the difference of being with an independent company. They’re not going to spend the money right out the gate that a regular company would spend. But, what happens is a lot of the money that gets kicked out with these bigger labels doesn’t need to be. Like, if I was to go sign a new deal with a bigger company, I would have been the one pulling in a lot of the relationships because I made a lot of relationships along the way with producers, radio stations, and such. So, I might as well be in a situation like this so I can put forth my efforts and my connections and Raphael can put forth his, and we’ll get the same results without spending hella money.

AHHA: A lot of people seem to believe that R&B artists are so much well off than Hip-Hop artists, and that’s not necessarily the case now.

Truth: That’s not the case at all. I spent two years in the studio with Dre, and it’s like, for what? People don’t understand what you been in there for two years doing, and they are just throwing all this money, throwing it everywhere, and it’s like, what are we doing? It doesn’t profit you as an artist, and like I said, at the end of the day, the artist gets it with no grease.

AHHA: Is there any particular reason why you took the “Hurts” part of your stage name off?

Truth: Yeah, but it’s nothing big. When Dre named me “Truth Hurts,” we did it because we pretty much had to. I was in a place at that time where I liked the name “Truth.” I did not like the name “Truth Hurts,” but we did what we had to do for legal reasons. I like the name “Truth,” and outside of that, it don’t hurt no more.

AHHA: Before we bring this to a close, do you have anything else going on that we need to be aware of?

Truth: One thing the people need to know is that I’m an actress now. When I say that, I don’t say that lightly. I’m really trying to take the game by storm. I’m not going to just be like “I’m an artist/actress.” I’ve been studying. I’ve done a couple of HUGE auditions and we’re waiting on that to come back.

AHHA: Are we talking sitcoms or big screen?

Truth: I’m talking big screen. I’ve done the sitcom thing and that works also, but I find my heart is more on the big screen. I’m going to try to attack that. (laughs)

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