I had people at Sony take me into the office and tell me, ‘But that’s not hip-hop. Your album isn’t hip-hop.’ To me that’s what this is really about. By releasing it online and not dealing with the labels, it gave me an opportunity for once as an artist that I didn’t have to compromise in the face of people who have limited ideas and conceptions about what it is to be black and make music.
And to me that’s the role of technology. Technology is here to free us from the grip of history. That’s why I’m thankful to the Internet. That’s why I’m thankful to this form of (music) release. Because in many ways it set me free.
I’ve been in meetings with reps at labels and they walk me to their urban department. Literally I’m like, ‘But I’m not making something limited to urban music,’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, but you’re black.’
You can also check out the Trent Reznor interview from the same publication.