Bad news. The tape of my interview with Tavis Smiley was stolen before it could air. Thank goodness for transcripts...
TAVIS SMILEY: Good evening from Los Angeles. I'm Tavis Smiley. Tonight, we continue our "Brilliant Minds" series in a conversation with up-and-coming gospel music sensation Meta Physics. Meta, we first met a couple years back at an inspirational music convention in San Diego. You've come quite a ways since. A top-selling debut album, televised concerts—what can we expect from you next?
META PHYSICS: I gotta new album coming soon, very soon. I’m just waiting for Dr. Dre to finish up ‘Detox’ so we can go head-to-head in first-week sales. Music been hurtin', so him and I decided to bum rush all your ear holes at the same time. Drake was supposed to be in on it too, but dude got scared.
TAVIS: And I hear you’re taking some cues from Ice Cube?
META: Yeah, we just starting working on a movie project together.
TAVIS: What's the film going to be about?
META: Well, Cube wanted some 'Are We There Yet?'' remix thing, but I convinced homeboy that we should go for something less risky and more familiar. So instead, we wrote a classic coming-of-age tale of a grocery clerk who decides to become a hitman.
TAVIS: Speaking of hits, some aspects of your work are arguably hardcore and uncharacteristic of gospel music. Case in point, the EP you released last year is an entire record dissing Kirk Franklin and God’s Property. The gospel genre is not usually known for producing public feuds amongst its artists. What made you decide to go this route? And why Kirk Franklin?
META: The Lord guided me this way. Kirk Franklin and I used to be tight. He’s the one who got me an audition on Sunday Best. But then he started creepin’ on my girl Roxanne Roxanne. He’d tell her that I wasn’t about positivity in the community and all this other stuff that just wasn’t true. So I was like, you steppin’ on my game, Imma step on yours. Eye for an eye—just like the Good Book says. That’s when I hollered at my man Michael Eric Dyson for some of that motivating epistemological apartheid fire.
TAVIS: But you and Kirk Franklin are both gospel artists. Doesn't this feuding run contradictory to the popular messages of the genre?
META: T, I bring the church to the streets. Plus, as a man of God, I have a responsibility to these kids.
TAVIS: Can you elaborate on this responsibility?
TAVIS: Not entirely, but you mentioned that you worked with Michael Eric Dyson, a friend of mine. Are there any guest appearances or collaborations on the new album?
META: Yeah, Dave Hollister is on the album. Fred Hammond. And then I’ve got a church banger with Spice 1, Justin Bieber, and Swizz Beatz.
TAVIS: That’s quite a diverse roster. Might your efforts of musical amalgamation come from your upbringing as a jazz man? As I understand it, you’re closely connected to Chano Pozo, the great Latin jazz percussionist.
META: Yeah, my third cousin on my sister’s mechanic’s side is friends with the son of Pozo. Plus, I own like five albums by The Roots.
TAVIS: Good gosh oh mighty! You know, as a kid, I would always imagine myself playing in a…
TAVIS: Before I let you go, I want to ask you about the reactions you’ve been receiving for the antics you bring to the world of gospel music. The beef, the diss tracks, the controversial videos not unlike the ones aired on BET: Uncut. There are those who are saying that you need to redeem yourself both as an artist and as a man. How do you respond to this criticism?
META: Redeem myself? Pleeeaze, I ain’t no coupon. All I got to say to the haters is that Meta Physics is running this mutha (bleeeeeeeeeeeeep) gospel game. Kirk Franklin, eat a (bleeeeeeeeeeep). God’s Property, eat a big fat (bleeeeeeeeeeeeep).
TAVIS: That's our show for tonight. Thanks for watching and, as always, keep the faith.