G.O.O.D. Music Family Covers ‘Complex’ Magazine
The G.O.O.D. Music Family: Yeezy, Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, John Legend and Q-Tip cover the August/September 2012 issue of ‘Complex’ Magazine with their headshots creating the shape of a cross and the cover tag “In G.O.O.D. We Trust.”
The eight-member hip-hop collective got in front of the camera for photographer NABIL and then sat down for an interview about G.O.O.D. Music as a collective giving ‘Complex’ details about the inner workings of the group. Unfortunately, Kanye West was absent from the interview as he still insists on “no press” for the year.
‘Complex’ Magazine’s August/September 2012 Issue hits newsstands on August 7th!
Here’s what G.O.O.D. Music had to say:
On what G.O.O.D. Music means to them:
Big Sean: Quality—the best. Kanye put himself in a class that nobody can match, as far as evolving, progressing, and taking the best of what we learn and making more out of it. So the brand is just being the coolest. We dress the best, we rap the best, we sing the best, we look the best. [All laugh.] It’s about getting the money, but it’s also about changing the world and doing what the fuck we want to do.
Pusha T: And knowing that it’s limitless. That’s the biggest thing that comes with G.O.O.D. Music. You get so much, and the fans get so much, in fucking with this brand. From G.O.O.D. Fridays to these 30-minute movies in the Middle East…
Kid Cudi: —made on a whim.
Pusha: There’s just so much that comes along with the brand, as far as showing people that we can do what we want. There are no limitations.
John Legend: It starts with the name itself. We want to be known for quality. We want to be known for stuff that we all can be proud of. That creativity, that attention to detail, that quality control—that’s what distinguishes us from other folks who might just be chasing a hit. Kanye picks artists who care about making great art. We all want to make money and do well, but we also want to make great art that’s important and interesting.
Common: There was a moment in hip-hop when I went to SOB’s and I saw Kanye perform before he came out with The College Dropout. The thing that amazed me was that the “backpack” crowd was there, and then there was the Roc-A-Fella crowd, dudes who were throwing up the Roc. I was like, “Yes.” It reminded me of when I grew up. There was niggas who sold dope that was listening to Rakim and A Tribe Called Quest—and there wasn’t no separation. They just liked it.
What this community does is connect these individuals. There’s somebody who may fuck with 2 Chainz and think, “Aw, Common—he be on that conscious shit.” But because we’re on a song together, they’re going to feel what I do and vice versa.
Cudi: With all due respect to what these guys said, I think we’re missing the main point, which is that we represent honesty, in all aspects. Ain’t nobody fake. Ain’t nobody phony. Niggas are who they are. Everybody is who they are around each other. We’re real. I’m not in other crews. I don’t know how other niggas live, but I know right here that’s one of the main things we represent: honesty and realness. You can just hear it in the music. This ain’t no cookie-cutter shit.
On having Kanye West involved in the production of their album:
Cudi: He knows what he’s talking about. It’s crazy how insanely smart he is—it’s frustrating at times. When I’m playing him stuff, he usually likes it. [Laughs.] But I remember there was a time when I played him something, and he was like, “Turn it off. That was terrible.”
We were in Hawaii, working on 808s & Heartbreak. That was when I first got on board, and I was doing hooks, and I was just trying to find my place. One day, I got to the studio early, and I was like, “I’m going to make a beat.” Then he came in, and I was all excited to play it…. He made this face. I was like, “Oh my God. I want to make sure he never feels like that about anything that I ever make again.”
Common: He was the first producer that I had that was like, “Man, change that verse.” or “Nah, that line is weak. Hell nah.” [All laugh.]
Cudi: But that’s what it’s about, man. And I didn’t feel bad. I was like, “OK, back to the drawing board. I bet that nigga won’t say that again.” I don’t think he’s shot down any song I’ve played for him since.
On 2 Chainz’s relationship with G.O.O.D.:
2 Chainz: I’m not officially signed, paperwork-wise, to G.O.O.D. Music. But I have a great rapport with ’Ye. He called me before Watch the Throne came out. I’m an only child. I’ve got trust issues. So I don’t have a best friend, a brother, sister—nothing. Stuff was happening in my life that I couldn’t tell nobody. I didn’t have anybody in my life that I could tell, like, “’Ye just called me.”
I’ve talked to ’Ye 1,000 times about trying to make this situation work for the both of us, so it won’t feel like anyone is getting used or anything. I’m in a position in life where I like talking about things like that. I came from a situation with DTP, being under Luda, where I got a phobia. Sometimes when an artist signs another artist, they’re so worried about themselves. And with ’Ye, he helps everybody.
On whether or not Kanye West has influenced their process:
2 Chainz: When I do a song, I consider that song history. Around here, they go revisit the song, touch it up, change it, flip it, move it around. [All laugh.] Dude sees all these fucking colors and builds around your vocal tone and moves it around. “Mercy” is some cool-ass genius shit, where he separated the sounds and voices. From the fucking chant, to the hook, to “swerve,” to Sean, to P, and even him switching it up with me coming back in. That’s just what radio needs.
Tip: You know what’s the cool thing about Kanye? Once niggas get to that No. 1 spot, they play it safe. They’ll put out joints that just fit it right, and they’ll get the right motherfucker to sing it. ’Ye don’t give a fuck. He’s trying to change that whole shit. It’s brave, and more niggas need to follow that example.
Cudi: Sometimes in hip-hop people forget about the bed that the lyrics lay in. You can enjoy the raps, and you can enjoy the music at the same time—to the point you don’t mind hearing it for another 30 to 35 seconds. It’s like back in the day, with motherfuckers like Mozart. There wasn’t no fucking words on that shit. It was just sounds and beautiful-ass melodies. That’s what was entertaining to people. I think it’s cool to bring back the instrumentation. When you do shit like that, when kids hear a record that has a long-ass instrumental break—and it’s mad creative, with strings—that triggers kids’ minds.
John Legend: He’s always pushing himself. That’s always been part of his core. That’s what makes him try new things with each album. He’s already been where he was, and he’s ready to move. He’s consistent in the fact that he’s willing to change. He’s willing to push himself and go beyond what he did in the past.
2 Chainz: I’m confident in the music I’m putting out. Me and ’Ye had—it wasn’t an argument, but a conversation. He said, “You shouldn’t put this out,” but my confidence told him, “This shit is going to work.” I premeditated all these things—the timing and everything—and it worked. I thought that was the coolest thing, because Kanye hit me back and let me know that was the move.
Sean: That basically happened with all my singles. ’Ye was like, “I don’t know.” And then they ended up working, and he was like “Good job.” [All laugh.]
Common: I’ve had the opposite experience. They’ve been saying, “Yo ’Ye, I’m going to put this out,” and then, he’s like, “No,” and that shit works. I’ve been like, “Man, I don’t like that shit,” and it turns out to be somebody else’s song, and that shit be a hit. [Laughs.] I passed on a lot of beats he’s done and…
Cudi: —[Makes bomb noise.]
Check Out The Photos From Their Spread Below:
Go Behind-The-Scenes Of The ‘Complex’ Cover Shoot Below: