Life is changing for Lyfe Jennings. 2008 was a rough year for him after receiving negative press stemming from a gun charge. Instead of addressing the negativity, Lyfe stressed to Hip-Hop Wired the importance of taking the high road and shutting it out, a move that allowed him to focus on doing what he does best, make music.
“It really don’t affect my life. I’m not a dude that’s out in the limelight like that. They really don’t get no attention from me. I try not to read it and if I do read I don’t respond to it. I respond to the success and doing my music. They ain’t paying my bills. If haters paid a water bill or a light bill, I might try to address it.”
While straying away from the negativity, Lyfe made a major change by leaving Sony Records and management from Matthew Knowles to now owning his own label, Jesus Swings, distributed by Warner Bros. Entertainment. Giving him freedom artistically and economically, the Ohio soul singer also hooked up with Manny Halley (Keyshia Cole’s manager) to handle his career.
“My albums were up,” said Lyfe regarding the label change. “I had three albums with them. It was a great relationship. I know we talk about folks being dropped, I wasn’t dropped, my three albums were up. I’m quite sure I could’ve done another album and came back to them and tried to do something else but now I have my own label which not only means more control of the image that you’re putting out to the industry. It’s also more money.”
Now with his own label, Lyfe is releasing his fourth album fittingly called, Sooner Than Later filled with his signature story telling style and collaborations with some of the biggest names in the industry. “I got a joint with Keyshia Cole, I got a joint with Anthony Hamilton, I got a joint with Fabolous, I got a joint with Ludacris, I got a joint with Bobby V.”
While male Hip-Hop stars collaborate everyday, it’s not something we normally see on the R&B scene. Speaking of his collaboration with Bobby V called “The Auction,” Lyfe added, “Dude’s really underrated. He has a great voice and a great personality and Bobby was really hanging over here one night….chilling, smoking. I let him listen to a couple joints and he was like alright let me get on this joint right here and I was like hell, let’s just come up with something now. So I just whopped the track out real quick and then he wrote his verse, I wrote my verse and the rest is history. That was it man.”
Lyfe also blessed Hip-Hop Wired with an early listening of some of the cuts and he definitely has some heat in store. Unfortunately Lyfe fans, you’ll have to wait till September until Sooner Than Later drops but be on the lookout for our video interview with the reformed Gangsta of R&B.