A LOT OF YOUR BOOK RINGS NOSTALGIC FOR A BYGONE TIME OF RECORD STORES, VINYL, AND THINGS OF THE OLD-SCHOOL VARIETY. DO YOU SEE ANYTHING HOPEFUL IN THE CURRENT EMBRACE OF THAT ERA? Everything will come back once or twice, but the problem with cycles is that people embrace them in the confines of the present. You see people wearing T-shirts with a Keith Haring mural, but instead of "Crack Is Wack" it says "Crack Is Back." They don't get what crack did to that era, and why someone would think that shirt is corny. Everybody wants to carry a boom box, but they put an iPod dock in it. Everybody wants to be retro, but when an artist from that era beefs with Soulja Boy, everybody says they're washed up. I don't have time for it.

THANKS TO FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES LIKE QUESTLOVE AND JUST BLAZE, YOU'VE GOTTEN A GOOD PUSH ON THE BOOK. WHAT'S IT LIKE TO KNOW THAT SO MANY FAMOUS AND SUCCESSFUL RAP ARTISTS ARE FANS OF YOURS? Things just work that way. Even if you take someone with the biggest hit on the charts, they're all musicians just like anyone else. I always talk to Just Blaze — we're the same age, we like the same things — who's produced millions of hits, while I haven't. Cee Lo or Danger Mouse might have a knack for making records that are catchier than mine, but that doesn't mean that we're not all of the same ilk. It doesn't make sense — just because they have 5 million fans and are fans of mine doesn't mean I'll have 5 million fans. Nothing in the music business makes sense though.

WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE SAID 10 YEARS AGO IF I TOLD YOU THAT YOU'D BE HAVING A BOOK RELEASE PARTY? I never would have believed you. I thought I was going to be the next Timbaland.

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