The saga behind Lyfe Jennings has been written in stone so many times, that I couldn’t do his Lyfe Story much justice, but what I can promise you is that the story has gained lots more depth since the last time you’ve seen or heard from him, and this last chapter is a finale that you won’t want to fall short on. After three albums, and a fan base that grows daily (even without current hits), what could possibly make Lyfe feel like he’s close to the end?
Check out BE Entertained Magazine’s EXCLUSIVE interview with Lyfe Jennings as he talks about his past including losing a dear friend/fellow artist La La Brown, his new project Sooner Than Later, and why he has plans to jump out of the album game very soon.
BE Magazine: What’s going on man? What’s been good with the music?
Lyfe: Aww yo know, just doing my thing trying to get this album done.
BE Magazine: Well let’s go back and take ’em to the roots of Lyfe, so go ahead and tell us the start of you and the music game.
Lyfe: My first big thing is music was really the Showtime at the Apollo. I did a show out there that lead to a couple of record deal offers; i signed to Sony in 2004 to a three album deal. I finished up my 3rd album, signed myself to my own label now; this is my forth album coming up…my LAST album, but my 4th album.
BE Magazine: Your last album? What you mean when you say your last album?
Lyfe: This is my last studio album man, and after this, I’m going to “retire” [he even said “quote, unquote!”]. Not so much retire because I’m still going to do music, but I’m going to focus on just writing for people. I just can’t BE on the road anymore for six, seven months throughout the year, you know what I’m saying with my boys and stuff, so I gotta BE with them.
BE Magazine: We ain’t mad at that man! That’s definitely a responsible thing to do. So kind of tell me about the album man, I know you say it’s your last one, so it’s gotta BE monumental.
Lyfe: The album is crazy! I gotta lot of really really good joints on there, good features…you know guests like Ludacris, Bobby Valentino, Fabolous, Anthony Hamilton and a couple more surprises. It’s going to BE a really good project man. Me personally, I think it’s my best project so far…it’s called Sooner than Later.
BE Magazine: So in transition from the earlier Lyfe CD’s to now with the music, kind of tell me where the growth is going to BE & what do you want to show the fans?
Lyfe: I think this album is more “beat oriented.” I never really did a lot of features before, so it’s a couple more than usual. Again, my greatest thing that I always try to do is to SIMPLIFY; every album I feel like I’ve gotten better and better at that, you know I have like a biography that you can simplify into one sentence, cuz the most important part is always the simplest.
BE Magazine: With me originally BEing from Milwaukee, I’ve gotta take time to ask you how was it working with La La, & how’s it been since she’s been gone?
Lyfe: Um, man it’s been difficult! The one thing that I can say about La La is that she was definitely cool & down, so you know I still think about that. I just hope people remember her for her greatness. I hate that she never got the chance to really do her thing.
BE Magazine: When it comes to putting real music into your album, tell me how that always plays out.
Lyfe: You know what, there’s enough people out here doing the dance cuts & stuff like that, and not saying that that stuff is needless because it has its purpose, but I think we spend 80% of our time at home and maybe 20% out or at the club, so I think that we should try to respect that more and model that in the message you put into the music.
BE Magazine (Intern): So how do you feel about Michael Jackson‘s death?
Lyfe: You know when anybody dies, it’s a loss, but I think what makes his [death] such a greater loss is that he was so deeply influential. A lot of our “firsts” were obtained through Mike, so we owe him a great deal of gratitude for allowing us to be able to have our own firsts through, and for him sharing a lot of his firsts with us. Musically, I don’t think we’ll ever see another Michael Jackson, nor have we ever seen another before him. He accomplished a lot of what not only I’m trying to accomplish, but what other artists are going for too. He will BE missed definitely and not just in music, but as a personality in general.
BE Magazine: So let’s move it back to your current project Sooner than Later, do y’all have an expected release date?
Lyfe: We’ve confirmed September 22nd.
BE Magazine: You looking forward to it?
Lyfe: I’ve gotta look forward to it cuz again this is my last album, and I’m looking forward to being back out on the road. But I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my kids and moving into other things that I’ve got going on…like some movie things & other business ventures. I just been out here having fun, I’ve had a great time. I don’t regret anything man, and I appreciate, like seriously, seriously the fans showing me love and embracing me, man. I’m just looking forward to the next step. It’s been a great ride Sooner than Later will BE a souvenir, so go and cop a few.
Sooner than Later is some of the BEst work that I’ve ever heard from Lyfe! He’s found an excellent way to merge his soft melodic formula with hardcore beats which makes for musical bangers that’s geared or old, new, hood, and classy. Lyfe previewed a large portion of the album for BE Magazine. Out top choices were “Busy”, “Like This” featuring Ludacris, and “Superstar”. Our close seconds were the title track “Sooner than Later”, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now ” and his new single “Haters”.