We recently caught up with actor and singer Tyrese Gibson to talk his final album release, his latest single, movie news, and more.
As he puts the final touches on the “Black Rose” album (due July 7th), which is to be released on his own label, Voltron Recordz; the multi-talented star opens up about his legacy, dealing with the loss of Paul walker, his final solo album, and the latest and perhaps final installment of the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise.
On his legacy:
Honestly I want people to be able to say that I used my God-given stage to motivate and inspire. That I give people permission to want to be significant and do great things, all while being conscious of the fact that I never claimed or never desired to be the biggest star. I don’t even like the pressure that I deal with sometimes with being where I am at. I use my God-given stage, social media, and access to motivate and inspire people in whatever way I can. Even having the vision to do this conference call, they’re all God sent visions and ideas. I know a lot of people in show business are looking at me like what the hell is that? We’re basically doing a round table conference call with people calling in from around the world. It’s these types of creative ideas that I hope to motivate and inspire people to continue to do.
On Paul walker and their friendship:
I want everyone to know that Paul Walker was literally an angel. Paul walker was the nicest guy in the world you could ever know or meet. He was a sincere soul. So as you see people doing all these tributes and giving all this love, you think, man, we see people pass away all the time. It reminds me of when everyone got sad after Aaliyah died. Remember how sad everyone was when Aaliyah died in the plane crash? She was the sweetest, most innocent girl ever, and it reminds me of how people feel about Paul. It’s a totally different situation. It’s not that he’s some attractive guy because it’s a lot of attractive people that are mean as hell and you just don’t like them. He was the nicest guy ever, and I think the world knew it and it’s really hard to kind of let it go or shake it. I have been knowing Paul for fourteen years and he was the nicest guy ever. We have had so many different moments of laughter and exchanging stories about our daughters and fatherhood. I’m going to tell y’all a true story. Me and Paul met before we shot our first movie together, which was “Too Fast Too Furious.” My first movie was “Baby Boy”. I went from this urban ghetto dark movie and my second movie I was with the whitest white man you will ever see. Me and Paul were hanging out. We broke bread, training together, hanging out together, cause I had to step in when they couldn’t make a deal for Vin Diesel to come back for part 2. So the day that we became best friends we were sitting in a car on the set doing a scene and Eva Mendes was in the other car. It was the part where I pulled up, and we gave each other the finger, and we were just giving each other a hard time, I was saying to Paul sitting in the car, I started describing this girl, and I was like ‘Yo I met this girl man, she was one of the extras. Her leg muscles were crazy, ass was fat, flat stomach, she’s beautiful, she got these juicy lips, and a sweet face, did you see her?” He kept looking at me and was quiet, and he was like who are you talking about, Sidney? Then I got quiet and was like what are you talking about? He says it sounds like you are describing this girl name Sidney, I was just hanging out with her last night. We became best friends after that cause it was like all these women in the city how we end up liking the same girl. That’s how we broke the ice.
On how the cast was able to push forward after Paul Walker’s untimely death.
Paul was the nicest guy ever. To be honest, none of us wanted to do a press junket. None of us wanted to do any type of media and press. In our minds how is it possible to not make it about us? You want us to go on the red carpet, do 4 or 5 days of press when it’s not about us? It’s about Paul, so it’s a lot of sensitivity. If all of us would have witnessed a car accident, all of us would emotionally deal with the trauma of seeing the car accident differently. We are all still mourning. We are all still sad, and now we have a movie poster with our brother and our family on it, and he’s not here. The one thing that made us feel better was when Paul’s mother and father stepped up and said we are in full support of you guys finishing this movie. Paul had 85% of the movie done and they said we are in full support of you guys finishing Furious 7. Universal Pictures donated a million dollars to Paul’s charitable organization called Reach Out Worldwide and that all made us feel really good. Then what made us feel much better about moving forward was when Paul’s brothers Cody and Caleb walker were physically on the set with us. Every day they stepped in to play Paul Walker and help us finish the movie because they look just like him. All of that made us feel that much comfortable with something we all felt very uncomfortable doing. This is his last movie and we look at this as a celebration of his life. It’s like a graduation. It’s going to make you emotional. It’s going to feel like a graduation where you are just watching someone. Imagine if Paul was working on another movie during his untimely death? This Fast and The Furious is the movie that really put Paul on the map. It’s like what an coincidence that he was working on The Fast and The Furious as his last movie before he died. It’s all heavy. We all miss our brother. It’s through prayers and our faith in God that allowed for us to all pull together as a family and get through this tragedy.
On what movie defines him:
Well I’m very proud of this musical short that I did. I have a double album coming, “Black Rose”. One whole side is hip-hop the other side is R&B. It’s going to be a total of 20 songs with a bunch of features, not a lot but it’s going to be a few of them. The first single is called ‘Dumb Shit’ featuring Snoop. I feel like this is my confessions album where I’m just telling my truth even if it embarrasses me. This is my truth. This is my last album. I’ve just landed 50/50 joint legal custody of my beautiful daughter so when I leave my house it needs to be worth it. We all know that the music business is a very different music business right now. Some of the most successful artist out there with existing fan bases are not selling records. For me this is my last solo album and I am going to gracefully bow out of music. Instead of just leaving with just an album I wanted to give the fans more than enough content. I got a double album coming with 20 songs total. I have an one hour documentary of the making of the album. I rented a house in Arizona for 34 days. I did a 146 songs and there was 19 of us sleeping in this house for 34 days. It was a life changing experience of fellowship and brotherhood, singers, songwriters, producers, and geniusly talented people in one house. It was amazing for 34 days. So that’s a documentary called “Black Rose”. I also have a short musical film called “Shame” which is starring myself and Jennifer Hudson. It’s a spin on me playing Ike Turner, Teddy Pendergrass, and Marvin Gaye. I play an abusive soul singer that is strung out on cocaine, alcohol, and drugs who was married to Jennifer Hudson. It’s a dark movie that takes place in 1968. We got two kids together and it is one of the most uncomfortable movies me and Jennifer have ever done. So that happening, and I also have my book called “Black Rose”, my third book, after my two New York Times best sellers. I’m also doing my first audio book which is going to be a score all of my music. My double album is going to be playing underneath the audio book. Instrumentals will be playing underneath me reading the entire book. So I’m giving the fans all the content on July 7th “Black Rose.”
On the quality of today’s music:
The reason why the quality of most of these albums are not as good as they use to be, not singles, albums; I call it the financial tsunami. It’s one thing to buy a house. It’s another thing to keep a house. It’s one thing to have a bunch of cars, jewelry, girls, lifestyles, and mansions, and hotels, and it’s another to keep it. So a lot of times when recording artists don’t have any other source of income they are forced to drop an album ever year which means they don’t really want to do it every year. For most they have to do it, which means you are not taking your time. You’re not really mentally and spiritually and emotionally focused on what you are doing. You’re just saying I released something really hot that sold a lot of records and the label is pressuring me into doing it again. You’re not going to get my best because I am actually motivated by the money. I’m motivated by staying relevant and staying hot. You are not necessarily getting my best creative because you are creating under pressure. So if I wasn’t making money from movies, chairman, entrepreneur of Voltron Entertainment with all these different sources of income that I created for myself I would be another artist that is doing 50, 60 shows a year. I would be another artist that is doing an album every year, tryna do features on everybody’s song because I’m desperate to stay hot. I’m desperate to stay relevant. I’m desperate to stay out there musically so that I don’t lose my house.
On if “Black Rose” is his best album:
I do believe “Black Rose” is my best album. No album has taken this long. I feel like people are going to experience a lot of different emotions and feelings on a lot of different levels. I’ve never struggled this much to record an album ever in my life. I’ve been through some heavy shit with my baby, child custody battles and wars. I was with a girl for five years that lived with me and that relationship came to an end. I got caught cheating and doing a bunch of dumb shit and she was a sweet angel. I just slipped up, and I made some mistakes. I broke the heart of an angel, and I’m not proud of it. Naturally when you are going through something, you get in the studio and write and you create. This is my most honest album. It’s my most vulnerable album, and I can’t wait for the world to get it July 7th.
Look out for Black Rose (July 7th) Check out Tyrese’s latest single ‘Dumb Shit’ f/ Snoop Dogg now available on Itunes
Check out the sneak peek into the Furious 7 extended look,
For Fast Furious 7 tickets click here