Note 10:46pm, thursday 4/24/08. Lil B just got the boot on the show. So, I guess we won’t get to see him perform “Gotta Go” because he gotta go (you know I couldn’t help myself).
Here we go. The much anticipated interview with Lil Al B. Sure!
Ok, I get it. You’re not feeling that MTV show “Rock the Cradle”. I’m trying, and I’m still not either. Not to mention my prior post about how it basically sucks. However, I got the chance to talk to Lil Al B. Sure! during a rare time out from working on MTV’s “Rock the Cradle.” After talking to Lil Al B. Sure! and hearing him sing live on the phone, I realize that show has not done him justice so far. He’s got skills, as some of you have posted, but we just have not had the chance to really see him do the damn thing. He promises to come correct on episode 4, airing tonight on MTV at 10:00pm, where the contestants have a chance to perform songs of their choice. He even had the humility to say in response to my question about why we should vote for him, “If you like me, then you should vote for me. If you don’t like me, then you shouldn’t vote for me. Even if you like me, and I don’t perform…then you shouldn’t vote for me.” At least he’s keeping it real.
So what did we talk about?
I had this whole list of questions trying to be this casual blogger turned sophisticated journalist, but that just flew out the window when I realized we were just having a conversation. There were moments where I had to remind myself to keep taking notes. It was real. He was real. I don’t know about you, when I think of people born into fame (whether they’re on the A list or the Z list), I think of spoiled brats with super divo or diva statuses. I was waiting for him to rush me off the phone to go onto more important people and things, or hear the sound of blackberries going off in the background and people nagging for his attention as if I weren’t there, but I did not feel that way at all. He had all the typical concerns that any ambitious 21 year old young man would have trying to follow their passion. Dreams of being a basketball player deferred; making a courageous decision two years ago to leave his home in New York along with friends, family, notably mom (you know every boy loves his mama); trying to balance establishing his independence with the inherent benefits of having a famous father; beginning a life where girls and relationships in general are so much harder to maintain; sensitivities of critics (guilty as charged, i know) of his singing abilities…and if he should get another tattoo.
If you were awarded a grammy today, who would you thank?
My mom. My dad, too. But my mom’s been there for me my whole life through everything. Anything I needed, my mom was there, if she didn’t have it, she’d find a way to get it. So I would say my mom and my grandmother. I’d thank a lot of people. I got a whole list.
What’s a childhood memory that makes you smile?
Like me being home in my house with my sister and just like the dinners we’ll have all together like and just talk about life all night…for hours. My mom is like the mom, the team mom of everybody and all my friends. Like they would all call her mom and come over. And then I’ll be walking in my house and they’ll be lying in my bed and eating up my food in my house. It would just be so funny, but we’re family. So when I think about how I’m over here in Cali and I’m thinking about all my friends back home that’s what I think makes me smile. Like you know, like little inside jokes, watching ‘Martin’ and reciting all the words and everything that Will Smith said on ‘Fresh Prince’ and just having, you know, just inside jokes. You know, we’ll be just sitting somewhere and we’ll just say something and we all just start cracking up out of nowhere. I think that’s what makes me smile a lot.
You know the girls want to know…are you single?
Umm, music, music is my girlfriend. I’m doing music. That’s my answer. Music is my girlfriend. I don’t know how to answer that question, umm. A lot of girls get mad you know, like aww naw he got a girlfriend, I ain’t voting for him, but like I’m like no, I mean I’m kind of involved with someone and we’re working things out. I be busy all the time with music and a lot girls don’t understand that. I do have a special lady, and she’s very special.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do I believe in love at first sight? Uhh, I don’t know. I’m sure it can happen…I actually have a lot of girls up on myspace hitting me up about relationship problems like ‘how do you know if your boyfriend’s cheating on you?’ or something like that and it’s like it’s funny…Ya, they’re making me Dr. Sure [in response to me implying they treat him like he’s Dr. Phil]…Ya, I will not do that [get mixed up in giving relationship advice].
Do you have any other talents that we haven’t seen from you?
Dancing. I like to dance. I’m not formally trained, like choreographed and all…
If you went on tour, who would you bring?
I actually would go on tour with people that a lot people really don’t know. Like local people like…I actually have a homeboy called Amazing. Amazing the Great, and he’s just like a crazy rapper and another cat named Young JR, he’s from Watts and umm I would like to go on tour with them and umm Landon, Bobby’s son. We do a lot of shows together. Like we did a show in New York a couple of months ago, and we killed it together. I’d say those three and I’d probably want to go on tour with also with…J. Holliday and Tre. You know, those two, they’re doing their thing right now in the game.
What was the deal with grabbing your crotch on episode 2?
Me and Belinda had a long talk about that, and I will not grab my crotch anymore. It’s just a habit though. I dunno…
So what about the people who question whether or not you’re talented?
…Like ‘he doesn’t this and that.’ Like ‘he can’t sing.’ I just like say come to one of my shows, like when I do my shows I just do my thing. When it’s me and I get to do what I want to do, like the ladies love it!
I could totally picture him smiling on the other end of the phone by the inflexion in his voice.
I dunno, I just be humble and smile. I don’t really listen. Sometimes my friends be hittin’ me up like ‘man, people be talking shit about you on the internet, and they’re saying this, and your not Al B. Sure’s son,’ and like I just be like, ok. I know the truth. My friends, family members, the people that know me know the truth, and I guess since the show come out a lot of people are startin’ to feel stupid, you know?
Do you get nervous before going on stage?
I’m always nervous before a performance, but before I get on stage, I black out. Like I don’t even see the crowd… I’m in my zone. The past two weeks…The first week, I was really nervous. The second week, I was like uhh I thought I had it but really couldn’t hear myself. I really couldn’t concentrate on the song I was doin’, and just doin’ what everyone else was telling me to do…
He’s referring to his…let me just say it…botched rendition of “This Woman’s Worth” by Maxwell. I remind him that they (i.e. the judges, viewers, me) were hard on him that week to which he laughed in one of those like ‘ya, you’re right’ kind of ways. At the same time, he wasn’t trying to pretend that he was all that on the show so far either which I appreciated. At least we know he’s not out there in la-la land or surrounded by people who spend countless hours gassing his head up.
The third week was my dad’s song. They really wanted me to do it like my dad and I really …I could sing it just like my dad and then they would have been ok like ‘ya, you just sound it like your dad,’ you know? ‘What did you do different?’ So I try to sing in my regular voice, and I think my performance…[was] good, but my vocals…I don’t think I sung it to my abilities because that’s not the way I sing…like that’s not me.
So you’re not the falsetto type singer?
Not really. I can sing in falsetto but that’s my dad’s style. I’m not one dimensional. I can do all kind of styles but…I got songs like ‘Scorpio Love.’ That’s my kind of style. Like some girl came up to me in the club and was like, can you sing ‘Scorpio Love’? And this was in the middle of the club, music was playing and I was like…
He starts singing his song “Scorpio Love” over the phone, and I have to admit that he has some lyrical foreplay skills. My black girl face was blushing. My first serenade. Thanks, Lil B! That was on my life list so I guess I can put a big fat check mark on that one. You folks have to catch it on his myspace page. It’s one of his original songs. I haven’t been able to get the player to give me sound on my computer from his page (some freaky glitch), but I have a live rendition to savor. You peasants (just kidding…i guess PretyBoy and I do have a lot in common…hee! hee!) can check the recording out there. If I can get a copy, I’ll post it on my blog. He continues…
…And she just started screamin’ in the club, and I was like man, I just wanna do my own songs. I’m tired of doing everybody else’s songs. I just wanna come out and have girls screamin’ to my songs. Like, no disrespect, I don’t wanna do my dad’s songs, I don’t wanna do Donny Hathaway songs [referring to episodes 1 and 3 of MTV’s “Rock the Cradle”]. They’re great songs. I just want to do me. I just want people to know my songs, so it’s like this week, I’m gonna do Tre Songz ‘Gotta Go’.
When he said “Gotta Go,” I had such a typical ‘Ifelicious’ moment where the conversation fell silent because I was literally thinking he had to go. Eventually, I awkwardly formed the words “Are you still there?” to which he answered “Ya.” and I continued to dorkily explain how I thought he was saying he had to go. I know…hopefully, even Lil B will forgive me so I can peel the Dorky McDork-Dork sticker off my forehead. 🙂
How’d the opportunity to be on the show come about?
They actually approached me. I had a friend that was friends with Larry Rudolph’s people and umm, he had the show…he’s like one of the big people who put this whole show together…He’s one of the toughest judges on the show….they set up an interview for me…I’ve been performing for like 2 years like all around the country like doing shows all over the place, like on myspace…with my dad and my little brothers. I’ve got 3 little brothers…a lot of people don’t know I’m not Kim Porter’s son. My mother is not Kim, but that’s a whole other topic…that’s my little brothers mom…My mom is from Mt. Vernon, NY. That’s where my dad is from and people like Heavy D, Pete Rock, CL Smooth, Denzel Washington, like that’s all family. Like Eddie F…like uncles…
So you had people watching out for you growing up?
I grew up around them. They’re all like uncles to me. It’s like now I’m in the game it feels good that my dad helped out a lot of these people and gave them like…like my dad gave Chris Rock his first job, like people who my dad helped out and in the game right now, like it feels good when they see me, they’re like ‘Oh man! Your dad did this for me…and I just want to help you out, no charge.’ It just feels good, you know?
At this point, I asked him if he’s ever toured through Columbus, OH. That’s right, I put in my shameless plug for this city I’ve landed in here in the Midwest. Even as the state capital with a huge young population thanks to Ohio State, we are a little tour stop starved.
I haven’t been to Ohio yet [to sing] but I’ve been to Ohio for basketball when I was in high school, like I know a lot of Columbus basketball players, too. I’ve been in a couple of basketball tournaments in Cincinnati and all around the place around there…but I haven’t done anything music-wise, but after this show is done we’re going to be…We’re coming to you! We’re going to be where y’all at…
Mmm, hmm we’ll see. We’ll see if he even remembers little ole, thirty something, had a major crush on your dad in high school, low budget blogger Ifelicious and her plug to include a tour stop in Columbus, OH when he’s sitting with his people working out a tour schedule.
What can we expect from you on the show this week?
This week is kind of like my comeback week where I get to choose my own song that I’m comfortable singing…I think Jesse Snider…he’s in the lead. He’s rock and roll. Any song he wants to do…and he’s a performer. The girls love him, and the judges love him too, so I’m not taking anything away from him but…this is my comeback week.
Given that “Rock the Cradle” is a competition, do you all get along off camera?
I get along with everybody. Jesse Snider, we go out and eat and go to clubs. I hang out with Bobby Brown’s son Landon. He’s like my brother. We’ve been hanging out for 2 years before the show …and umm, A’Keiba, she’s become like a sister to me. It’s like MC Hammer her dad and my dad ,you know, they grew up together. …and Bobby [Brown] and my dad have known each other for years. So it’s like it’s a blessing to have like the youth all coming together and have like all chill and all have the same things to talk about…
That’s all folks. After talking to Lil Al B. Sure! (and yes, he’s working with his “camp” on a name change but he assures me that he did not give himself the name, it was people who knew him growing up, but now even his friends give him some flack for having a moniker that starts with “Lil” at the age of 21…i’m more worried about Al B. Sure! part of the name), hater me is willing to back off for a second and give him a chance.
So Lil B, B. Sure, Lil Al B. Sure, whatever you call yourself, you best bring it, and hopefully you swing that on the show because the world outside of your 2000+ friends on myspace (how the hell do people do that? i must be some kind of social misfit. i’m happy to get my facebook page up to 50 people.) will turn a blind eye on you. However, since you gave me the time of day (damn, the puns just don’t stop!), just know you won one super critical gal over as a fan.
Team Lil B! 🙂