I hadn't done anything any other human being wouldn't do. Now I've learned how to space it out so that I can keep current and relevant as far as the amount of information. I can space it out and use it to my advantage. The advantage for me works both ways. It's cathartic for me as a person. It helps me to disseminate between fact and reality. It keeps me objective about my own press and comments so some of the negative things that I see are not necessarily negative; it's just another perspective for me to use to better present my artistry.
I'm not in a bubble. I'm very aware of the different comments that people make about the choices I made or how I should do it this way or, "Maybe he should start trying to do this" – I read all of those things. I take all of those into consideration. So I see the good and the bad literally as a shaping tool to make me a more accessible artist. If I keep it open and have all my ducks in a row, I think I'll be around for a long time.
Unspoken is a very powerful album and I was very intrigued by the cover, which finds you muzzled. What was the inspiration behind the artwork?
I knew that that album was going to have me with my mouth taped. I had that vision long before the selection of songs was done. Basically, it's all the things that happened to me: being down spiritually, being down artistically, and being down corporately. I have a black eye on my right eye. My arms are bound up. I'm in a warehouse that doubles as a freezer, left to die. It represents more of where I was than where I am.
My eyes are blue because it's basically saying you've done your worst but I can still feel the life within me. Blue represents truth. Blue represents justice in the Bible for judgment. So basically, those who look at that cover and can't look at my eyes, they know why because they know what they did. I am that testament that no matter what you do to me, I'm going to love you.
I'm still going to see through you and I'm still going to keep going because I'm bionic. That's all it is; it's strength and determination. If that was the world's best trying to destroy a person, I'm still here and I'm unstoppable. I'm unstoppable because I love what I do and I do it from my heart.