My favorite track on the album is "Cool With U." What insight can you give on the songwriting process? Is there a particular misstep that you're addressing where you wish you had more counsel with God?
I thought that that song really represented the fullness of where I was on going back into the commercial industry. I'd say the time has come for me to take my place in this industry. At times it's hard to balance my relationship with You and my celebrity.
People are always texting me and I'm always texting them back. "There's MySpace, my devotional, my Apple TV. Your love runs deeper than the sea but I know you want to spend some time with me." Some people thought it was a regular R&B song. It can be taken that way; it can be taken vertically in a divine way or horizontally in human relationship. Both of those things happen.
What I like most about that song is the vocal arrangements. I've never spent so much time being meticulous about every line counting and every arrangement of the line making sense, particularly on a ballad. You can hear that. Each line meant something. Each lyric of those lines meant something. I wanted to give each of those lines their own personality. As far as being "if it isn't cool with u, I don't want to do it, I don't want to hear it, I don't want to edify it, I don't want to say it" – that's honestly my heart's desire as a Christian, a believer.
After everything that's happened, I'm trying to make all of those things come to fruition. It manifests the best me for Him while yet still trying to make a career out of this thing. It can be very difficult so whatever it is that I do, I really want it to be cool with Him.
You close the album with "F@ce Down." Did the song's placement have a special artistic meaning?
You know what? This is a very interesting album in the sense that I've never sequenced a record with ballads in the middle. If you listen to it sonically, the whole album in sequential order forms the shape of a smiley face. It starts up high, it's down low to mid-tempo then it goes down to the low part in the valley with the ballads and then it starts making its way back up. By the time you end, you should end with a smiley face. So sonically, I tried to make a virtual smile.