To say Maxwell likes to take his time recording his album is like saying Donald Trump likes to hear the sound of his voice. We get it. But the Brooklyn native's return is a cause for major excitement, what with the release of his "Lake By The Ocean" singer and the July arrive of his blackSUMMERS'night LP. And to hear it from Max, the wait for the second part of the Black Summers' Night trilogy was due to him both living life and worry about living up to past expectations.
"I get anxiety about just trying to meet the challenge of what I did people and at the same time I don't want play myself and look like I’m trying to be in the moment," he told The Breakfast Club this morning (April 8).
But, "don't get it twisted, I know and love all those [new] records. I listen to some dark, raunchy, trap."
During his appearance, the Haitian/Puerto Rican soul man went deep, talking about social media (his DM's are the stuff dreams are made of), dream collaborations, a funny R.Kelly flub and why he's a Black Lives matter hashtag person.
Check it out.
On Social Media
Uh, actually, yes, they do. Yes. Yes. They definitely pop. Snapchat me that, you know. [Laughs.] It's an interesting world, though, cause obviously, I'm 42 and I can't image what it's like to be a 14-year old with all this going down. I don't want to sound like the old guy, like back when I was a kid we used to walk through the snow to get to… But I don't think people connect as much. They just deal with each other on the phone, they think they've met, they think they've talked, but they don't really connect. I think the last thing we have, really, is music, it's the one thing that connects people in the way that it used to back in the day. But, look, whatever, let these kids do what they want to do.
On His New Music
It's crazy, I hope people enjoy this new thing. We got a lot of more uptempo record because the summer is a part of the BlackSUMMERS'night trilogy. So there's a lot more boogie on this record than before.
On Being The Revenge
It's like when you guys are watching the basketball game or the football game, so [my show] is like they're revenge on you. I am the revenge on all those times. That ticket is expensive, I got to put work in. At the end of the day, you get to take them home. And you get to get situations that you probably never imagined would happen.
On Neo-Soul and His Leading The Charge
I can't say that, because D'Angelo was released in '95. I have to admit, with great respect to him, that when he was set off it really made everyone at the label really understand, cause I was done with the album. I was sitting on the bench, just looking at everyone blow up and have their songs on the radio. It was a depressing time for me. But there were people at the label, a small group, who were saying, We have something like this, and working it up to the guys that were the presidents at the time. So I give credit to D, for people the person for really getting my record off the shelf. And I give a lot of credit to the radio stations, that just played it without an understanding of what this was about. Cause, you know, I looked crazy, with the big ol' hair and the whole West Indian type of thing, and that's not atypical for an R&B person; usually, they're from the south. Like, D'Angelo, his story is so perfect: he's from Richmond, Virginia and he played in the church. My dad is from Puerto Rico and my mom is from Haiti, I'm first generation from Brooklyn. I didn’t feel black enough, really. So it was, I hope my people love my music as much as I love them. And, you know, 20 years later, it's nice to know that I was.
On Working With Nas And Jay Z
A lot of my choices are family type choices, Nas was signed/released '95, I was there '96. I was shocked that he even liked my music. He's Nas and hip-hop and my stuff is all smooth. And we developed a friendship, we worked on something once on one of his records and we just did the Barclays thing together. We have more plans to do more business stuff together, cause we just get on. He's from Queens, I'm from Brooklyn. He represents to me the kind of role model that African Americans should be.
That's my next move, if Jay's listening, cause we're friends and I see him all the time and I know his wife. Beyoncé signed to Columbia as well, and I know her as Destiny's Child. It’s crazy for me, man. Cause I can't believe sometimes that this has been my life. I go away and I just watch Comedy Central and do regular, you see how I am, I love the regular-ness of getting away from all this. When you take that time you don't look like you're hustling a new product all the time. As opposed to making something, wow, yeah, I lived a few things, you saw me tipping at the club at that time, and you know this and that, but it's all gonna go into this music. It's real rock n' roll, soul, R&B stuff. In the regard of people that I like, like Marvin Gaye, you know when he talking about Here, My Dear and it ex-wife, that was real. That wasn't just somebody in a room, in a factory, writing songs for him and he walks in the sixth room and says I'll take that. So that's how I like to do it. And I'm from Brooklyn, Jay is from Brooklyn. It'd be amazing. I think he is the Frank Sinatra of hip-hop, he never plays himself. Never. And the crazy thing is when Reasonable Doubt came out…. When I heard that record, I knew him prior, cause he was in a group where he was doing that other style of rap but he never plays himself. He always chooses classic things and you can listen to all those records forever. That’s rare, man. People don't understand it's so much harder to make hip-hop classic. Because there's so many ways you can really play yourself, with all the new trends and things that people do.
On R. Kelly
I can't say nothing bad about him. "Fortunate," I never sing anybody's records. And "Fortunate" when I heard it, it wasn't even the first song, but when I hear it, you got to pay respect to him because that guy can just…pee out a song.
Charlamange: Whoa. Yes, Maxwell! Nobody even had to set you up for that one! That was great! Out of all the bodily fluids you could have said!
Maxwell: Oh, god. Please, Mr. Kelly, please. I didn't mean to do that. I was gonna say something else but I wasn't gonna say that because it was a curse.
Charlamange: Hey, the universe made you say what you needed to say.
Maxwell: Oh, my god.
On Black Lives Matter
I'm not an All Lives Matter hashtag person, I'm definitely a Black Lives Matter hashtag person, cause the situation out here is grave. I don't know what's going to happen with the election, I don't even want to get into that with the Trump situation. But on one of the new records we shout out Michelle Obama, because I think she's one of the most amazing women to hold down a man in the world. When you think of what he went through, to have a women like that by your side, holding you down when the world is as crazy as it was and still is. I've never name-checked anyone on record before, but for sure, I had to name-check her. She's a silent force of power that’s allowed him to do, and to do with grace, without coming off like angry black man with grace, what he's tried to do and still is trying to do in the course of his presidency.