An Interview with True God

Usually, we at try to keep our "let's talk about ourselves" to a minimum. Most the time. But, there are times where only DAR can get to the truth with DAR and speak for real. So, today, Speed and True speak candidly on the state of DAR, the state of True's music career, the Confederate Flag and more. This is DAR Business. This is "An Interview with True God: 2015 Edition."

Speed: So, let's get into it. Why continue making music? 

True: I feel like I'm ready to retire (laughs)

Speed: Preaching to the choir.

True: I feel like we have created an indie legacy. I have 5 great albums, with 2 classics in there, seen the front page of some big websites, got cosigns from a few legendary names, it feels like I've won. But it's not going to stop my need and desire to create music. That carries me. The joy of creating, listening to the beats, having those ideas flow, structuring an album, and seeing it release doesn't get old for me. I make music for myself, it tends to be my therapy. There is a lane opening up for us now because of the music and finally some touring and performing, so I feel like it is a must to keep making and creating. When you are in a zone, you are in a zone.

Speed: Has your target audience shifted over the years?

True: My target audience has shifted. I think I went about things wrong for the first few years, but I'm learning as I go along. I isolated myself from a large group of people before. I don't think I would do that now, as I feel we appeal to everyone. I still have my focus on the black culture, social issues, and hip hop, but we can also have fun with the music to reach the masses, as well as people from different perspectives. My target audience is the whole world. I know that sounds ridiculous, but that's how I am carrying it.

Speed: Do you really feel that DAR has hit its groove?

True: Definitely. I feel proud of the work that we have put in and things are looking better than they ever have. You know, consistency is undeniable and I think that's what is occuring now. Our consistency is finally catching up to the masses, whether it be the site or the music, or anywhere else.

Speed: How does it feel to have a hand in the creation and implementation of several avenues of information?

True: It's just what I do. That's all I can really say there. It feels normal for me. I've always been active. This is just another step.

Speed: Will there be more "team" efforts? In other words, will you push for them regardless and potentially force music or is it contingent and Exodus (below) may be the last full-on DAR project people hear for a while?

True: My honest answer? It depends on everybody else. I would love to do more team music and efforts. Hell, the fact I got all 4 of us in the same studio enough to really create an album is a testament to the leadership skills (laughs)

Speed: I'd call it more of an awesome coincidence. But hey (laughs).

True: Guess this fade I owe you is going to be an awesome coincidence, too. But, nah. I would love to see another DAR album in the next year or two, because that's a lost art in music. I loved Juve, B.G., Wayne, and Turk solo, but those Hot Boys albums were classic as well. 50, Banks, Buck and them are great solo artists, but G-Unit together in their prime was unstoppable, you know? So, it depends on everybody else. We have to move at the same pace. Get the same amount of effort from everyone on a group project that they would put forth in a solo project and I definitely think it will happen. Could see it by summer or fall 2016.

Speed: How'd it feel to sit back and not really work this year thus far? I mean, you had Upper Echelon (below) and the Exodus verses, but there's been no full-length True album thus far?

True: I've worked harder this year than just about any year(laughs). We have attire and merch now, I've been working to help push both of our websites, bringing new writers, helping to sequence both Exodus and Upper Echelon, while crafting my 6th album, as well as the 2nd edition of the Eyes On the Ring music series. I don't sleep very much, as most people know, and my work ethic is truly through the roof. So, to answer that question, I've not sat back at all. I have been working, but the focus benefits the team as a whole, and not just me. Which is how it should be for everybody, not just me.

Speed: Give me three reasons why people should peep Upper Echelon, Exodus, and the newly-minted COOLIN' IN AXEL WORLD (below)?

True: These are amazing albums. The music is current, thought provoking, soul stirring, aggressive, and solid all around. I hate the concept of giving people reasons why they should, because as a fan of music, you should be willing to check out new music always. That's what the culture was built on. New artists breaking ground. I'm not a new artist, and truthfully, neither is the team, but we are new to a lot of fans just discovering us. 
With that being said, people complain lack of authenticity in music, the downfall of lyrics somewhat, non-cohesive albums, and a balance in hip hop. Each of the albums we released in 2015 has that and more. The beauty of the three albums is that they don't sound alike. At all. We are a crew and a team that has tons of diversity, while still giving you that signature DAR feel. Exodus, Upper Echelon, and CiAW are all amazing listens and if you consider yourself a fan of hip hop music, check them out. Even if you don't consider yourself a fan, still check it out.

Speed: What keeps you going, musically and otherwise, considering that we've all been hit with loses this year?

True: Music is my therapy. Truthfully, if I didn't put my energy into the work we do, I'd be depressed. It is a tough year. I've been kept from my motivation, my daughter, for most of this year. It's painful. However, life continues and I feel that this work is beneficial to my well-being, otherwise I'd really be more so in shambles. I write daily, just because it keeps my sanity in check. There are moments when I'm feeling a bit broken and despondent, but the music and the will to create a legacy and to get her back is what truly keeps me going. Life is fucked up. The situations I have dealt with this year and the team have dealt with this year are no short of tragic, but that's reality. You have to keep going. Days go by fast, so would you rather sit around and sulk? Stop living? Never. We are survivors. No matter what, we will be fine. We will prosper. That's why I keep going.

Speed: Is the outrage over the Confederate Flag justified?

True: Considering what it represents? Sure. Do I personally give a fuck? No. Racists and their thought process won't change with the banning of a flag and the public outrage. You have a lot of people who truly value that flag. I have no idea why they value that shit, but that's their prerogative. I have some friends, of different races, who are actually angrier about this whole thing than me. I watch everything. I see everything. I just don't care. 
That flag represents something for people, much like the American flag does for people. I don't give a fuck about either of those flags, because they really don't represent shit for me. The mentality of people who praise those flags is beyond me. Fuck that confederate flag. We have bigger issues to address. That racism won't go away just because you ban that flag, it will probably bring about more conflict, which is almost what I feel like the media wants. That's the crazy part about everything. The media amps everything up and it spins out of control. We have bigger issues to address than that flag. Taking away that flag really isn't a step forward.

Speed: What are you real thoughts on the Shaun Kings, Derays, etc. of the world?

True: Skepticism. I remember when we started our DAR fund shit up, just trying to help feed poverty-stricken families and do work in our actual community. 

Speed: Yeah, I remember that. One of the few things in 2012 I do remember.

True: People looked at us like we were crazy, and minimal people donated. We showed them where the money was going, put everything out there so people could see, told them we were keeping only 20% of the earnings and giving away the rest. Yet, people didn't rock with it as much. Skepticism. Or perhaps, we were too honest. Doing work behind the scenes, moving the culture, assisting on the ground, being within the movement was always more important to me than being a face for the movement. 
Realistically, I don't have the funds to travel all across the world to be a part of the cause, and I sincerely doubt Deray does either. It is possible the brother had some hefty savings to pay for a hotel and train/plane tickets as often as they move around, or maybe they really are getting love from people and getting that paid for. Shaun King, I don't know man. Both of them seem a bit inflammatory. 
I respect the organizing they are doing and the fact that they are for the cause, I guess it is just easy to be skeptical. When you're on any public stage, at any level, you will face scrutiny. So, I salute them from a far with a huge amount of skepticism. Opportunists cash in on our cause everyday, and paint themselves as leaders. We saw that with Sharpton and Jesse. I have no issue with an activist getting paid, as long as they are honest about it. It feels like these activists have a lot more to hide. But who knows?

Speed: When you saw Farrakhan with Young Thug, was your first reaction to say "congrats, the young and the old are communicating on similar wavelengths over these issues" or to be like "so...what the hell does this actually mean?"

True: I didn't have much of a reaction. I don't really value either Farrakhan or Thug that much to place emphasis on that. It happened. Not sure what that conversation would do, but the youth and the older generation having dialogue is never a bad thing, I guess. 

Speed: Speaking of the Farrakhans, Sharptons, and Jacksons, do you still feel that they are more figureheads than leaders? That's to say, do you still feel that they pronounce themselves and their goals more when it's convenient. Or, with the change in the climate of the world, do you feel they're stepping up appropriately?

True: Everybody is an opportunist these days. That's how it feels. Everybody just wants to do for the cause, come up and keep their profile. We don't look at Sharpton and Jesse as true leaders. It's almost like all those who truly want to be the leaders are left to do the groundwork with none of the press. I much prefer it that way. Those who crave the spotlight usually are not genuine. I respect Farrakhan's power. That's basically where it stops.

Speed: Big news this week and I want to know your opinions on it. Do you have any thoughts on Same-Sex Marriage being legal now in all 50 states?

True: Not really. I don't personally have anything for or against it, it doesn't personally bother my life. I know of some people who are excited over it, and good for them. I don't necessarily agree with everything and definitely don't agree with the over-hyping and exaggeration that I see on social media, but that's society. 
You lose me when you compare the fight for same-sex rights to black human and civil rights. It is not the same and anyone making those comparisons are very very misguided. I will say though, opposing someone's lifestyle choice because of religion, is actually pretty stupid, given that religion is extremely flawed in itself. Everybody is gaining rights and such. I just hope that comes our way, as black people. Our struggle and fight is still continuing daily. That never ends.

Speed: Going back to the music, we've seen some losses this year. Which one has affected your approach to music more?

True: Being kept from my daughter. That is the motivation. My inspiration. Period. Life is not the same. I miss her everyday. I vowed to not throw dirt on her mother's name and I won't. But there is a pain that no one really knows that I live with. I always will. Those are months that I should have been with her, active and that was taken away from me. So I have to try and work in a system to get to visit my own child. And the system doesn't make it any easier on us here. That anguish. That pain. Yeah, I put it into the music. Always have. I think the deaths around us have just made me hope for the best. And live for today. Tomorrow isn't promised. So why wait for it to come? Go for yours.

Speed: We always discuss your personal life, especially your dating life. You've been awfully quiet about it on social media, leading some to believe that you may be in a relationship. Can you confirm, deny or speak on that?

True: I honestly have no dating life. At this point. Women are always around. Sex is always there if I want it. Some companionship too. It doesn't really entice me nowadays. I have been out with some women and around a few, but that doesn't lead to anything. Women from my past have popped back up too, all time wasters. I'm focused on growing this brand, making profit and achieving the new set of goals. If something great comes along dating wise, cool. But, to quote Hollow Da Don, I don't have time for a girlfriend, I'm trying to be great. I think he said something to that effect recently. It was real shit.

Speed: What's the next step for DAR and Eyes On The Ring? What do you envision for it?

True: DAR and EOTR should grow to be huge in the second half of 2015. We do good numbers on the sites, the merch, all without big money invested into this. I feel like we have the energy and momentum to grow much more.

Speed: So, with that said...will we see a True God album this year?

True: Yes, I believe so. Black Friday of 2015. The Ammunition For Retribution. I'm about 4 songs in recording wise, but 11 songs in concept and written-wise. Then it'll be Eyes on the Ring Two, then I'll take a break from solo stuff, likely until 2017. For TAFR, I have about 7 producers that I used for it. That's a first for me. All about growth as an artist. This album really is shaping up to be my most creative work. I'm excited about the album. It started out as an aggressive idea due to my situation, but now? It's turning positive and upbeat in some ways. More so, optimistic. The best retribution is finding peace within yourself.

Speed: Has the want for DAR attire gone up with the increase in visibility? If so, how has it been dealt with?

True: Definitely has. People buy into what we do more and more. They feel the authenticity of the movement and they support it. That's huge. We just keep up with the demand accordingly.

Speed: Finally, do you think we need more beautiful women modeling their DAR attire? I mean Zeeti has his hustle (laughs).

True: Sure, why not? I love beautiful women, so seeing them in DAR attire would be even better. 

Speed: You heard it here. Ladies, tweet a picture of you in no drawers and a DAR tee (laughs). Make sure the cheeks showing. But, in all seriousness, True, as always, it's been real. Shoutout for always being unafraid to bite your tongue. And, of course, for keeping it #DARBusiness.


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