It’s been four years since 9-time Grammy Award-winning singer John Legend has released a solo project, but this summer Legend plans to release his fourth and “best” complete works.
Love in the Future, John Legend’s upcoming album is led by the single “Who Do We Think We Are” featuring Rick Ross, and is accompanied by a racy and controversial music video.
While promoting his latest video for the single, Legend chopped it up with AHH on the racy visual, his current relationship with longtime producer Kanye West and why you shouldn’t blame his fiance for his absence from releasing a solo album.
The video just came out for “Who Do We Think We Are”, how do you feel?
Things are good. I’m feeling good.
A lot of watchers are saying the video is distasteful and criticizing for naked women. What’s your concept behind it?
We wanted to create something that was beautiful, tasteful, artistic, cinematic. Dacadent, sexy. People don’t want to watch the nude version, then watch the edited version.
VIDEO: “Who Do We Think We Are”
It matches up that you haven’t released an album since you got into a relationship with your now fiance. What type of love are you experiencing that you completely stopped putting out solo albums? She must really be putting it down!
[laughs] You can’t blame her for my delay!
I’ve normally done two years between each album. I did an album with the Roots in 2010. It’s not that big of a delay. I blame myself and Kanye more than anybody. We spent a little more time on it this time.
We actually put a little more time into getting it exactly how we want it, making sure production is exactly right. Our standards are high and for us to meet them we had to put in a little more effort.
Interesting. What’s your relationship like with Kanye these days?
It’s great. On Evolver, he was the least involved and on Wake Up! with The Roots, he wasn’t involved. But when it comes to my solo albums, the album he’s most involved with is this new album. Even though we always worked together, we worked closer on this one.
Do you have a favorite song from your new album?
We did great work on “Made to Love”. I had written a song and Kanye wanted to work on the beat some more. He made it into this beautiful awesome track. That was showing the value of him as a colloborater.
There was news when I said Kanye doesn’t make a lot of beats anymore. I didn’t mean it in a bad way. Maybe somebody will come in with a beat or an idea, but his job is to take something good and turn into great, as a producer. He helped shape the sound of the album.
One of our readers wonder where you go for writing inspiration.
I write in the studio. I’m pretty prolific in the studio. I don’t write at home, because I feelt like I’ll get more done when I go to work. If I’m home, I feel like it will be too loose.
You just did the Yahoo! On The Road show with Ryan Leslie in New York City. Are you a fan?
I’ve known Ryan for a long time. He’s a great creator, producer and artist. Ive known him when we were both not famous. There was a co-worker of mine that went to Harvard with him. He wouldn’t stop talking about him. It was when I worked in the community at a non profit.
So you’ve always worked in the community. You’ve definitely become very outspoken on controversial topics like education reform. Do you ever see yourself running for political office?
Hell no. In college, I studied English and African American studies. I’ve always been involved in giving minorities more opportunities before my career took off. Now, I’m in a position to have more impact. With more influence and resouces, I’m able to do more.
I have no desire for a political office. I have impact in the way I want to. I respect people that do it, but it’s not for me.
What else should we know about your upcoming album?
The album is my best one yet, I feel really good about it. It’s a powerful piece of work.