I had an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Dre protege and AFTERMATH recording artists Truth Hurts during a break in the Smokin’Grooves Tour that stopped at the DTE Energy Theatre in Detroit, Michigan. Her hot single “Addictive” and album Truthfully Speaking has changed the game and presented Hip Hop/R&B with an Ol’Head Diva to contend with.
Backstage, I spot her as she walks towards the media area, she’s accompanied by two “security” personnel and she definitely needs it, ’cause the Black-leather, corset like outfit she wears has almost all of her shall I say “Ta-tahs” showing. Every male head in the place turns as she reaches for my hand and gives me a European “kiss-kiss” hug and handshake.
So, how are you Truth, enjoying the Grooves?
TRUTH HURTS: Oh yeah…this is my vibe. This is what I’ve been working for…how are you?
I’m doing much better…you’ve brightened my day.
TRUTH HURTS: (laughs) You flatter me.
It’s the Truth and who else should I be truthful too…but, too bad I’m here to work…
TRUTH HURTS: (winks and smiles) Yeah, too bad…
Alllriiighty then…The single “Addictive” is an off the hook track featuring Rakim…from your ultra-strong vocals that are disturbing, haunting and full, to the breakthrough production by DJ Quik, to Rakim surprising appearance. Where did the idea for “Addictive” come from and how did it come together? Is that what we can expect on the rest of Truthfully Speaking?
TRUTH HURTS: The idea for addictive came from a bunch of great minds. Quik had the beat for about a year. A lot of artist tried to ride it but couldn’t do it. Quik brought it to me and thought I could take it to the next level. I heard it, thought it was great, and immediately took it to Dre. As soon as he heard it, Dre said, “This changes the game”, and called Quik up and told him he wanted it. As far as the lyrics go, Dre and I sat for ten hours trying to write a song for the beat and couldn’t do it. Then, Dre called Static from the group Playa.
Static came over, and it took him ten minutes to put the song together. And he did it all off the top of his head. He never wrote anything down.
O.K., the name, Truth Hurts, that’s hell of an original name…..where did the name come from?
TRUTH HURTS: From Dre. He named me according to my personality. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I give it straight, no chaser.
How would you describe your singing style? You are trained in opera, aren’t you?
TRUTH HURTS: (beaming smile) Yes..I dabbled in opera, but my style is a mixture of different kinds of music: Classical, Old School Jazz, & Soul. To be a great singer you have to study. I think I’ve done that.
I’ve studied a lot. I have a lot of passion, love, and respect for music. I’ve taken things from different kinds of music and made them my own.
How did you hook up with Dr. Dre?
TRUTH HURTS: We hooked up about five or six years ago. It was a tough time for me. I was going through a bad marriage. I met Dre through a friend who was affiliated with Bad Boy. I auditioned and joined a group Dre put together. After things didn’t work out with that group, I joined Aftermath as a songwriter.
Didn’t you do a backup gig during Up in Smoke 2000. I think I remember seeing you in Chicago during that tour?
TRUTH HURTS: Yeah, I did. Good of you to remember. I try and get in where I fit in and Dre offered me the chance to roll with him on that tour so I did.
What’s your favorite track on your disc?
TRUTH HURTS: Well there are 15 tracks on it. That’s a tough one. The song “Next to Me“, is one of my favorites. Another song, “Bullshit“, written by one of my album co-writers and good friends, Taura Stinson-Jackson, is a favorite of mine. All my songs are from the heart and very passionate. So its hard for me to choose.
Who has influenced you and your singing style?
TRUTH HURTS: As far as songwriting goes, I use my life experiences when I write. As far as singing, I love Jazz. Etta James and Phyllis Hyman have been big influences. Wow, there are so many, Stevie Wonder, Teena Marie, Patti LaBelle.
How do you write your songs? What process do you go through as a songwriter preparing to write?
TRUTH HURTS: I would describe my songwriting style as PASSIONATE. I write about what I go through. Everything is passionate for me. When I write everything is with concern and from the heart…and I shoot straight from the hip.
When you hit the studio what kind of mood are you in? How do you approach the work you have to do in the booth?
TRUTH HURTS: I strive for excellence and really push to make it to that next level. I really want to give all I have. And Dre is with me. He’s waiting to hear the best best vocals from me, and I expect it too.
Who would you like to work with?
TRUTH HURTS: Teena Marie is at the top of my list. I love the song “Portuguese Love”.
Do you guest star on any tracks?
TRUTH HURTS: I’m on Rakim’s album, I did a song for Eminem. I’ll also be on Dre’s album, DETOX 2003.
Are you touring other than here at the Smokin’ Grooves?
TRUTH HURTS: We’re trying to get it started right now. I’d really like to do an Aftermath Family Tour. I’d love to do that. I love working with family, and that’s what Aftermath is…Family.
Thank you for your time. I’m definitely gonna catch you on tour again. It was definitely a pleasure talking with you.
TRUTH HURTS: It was nice talking to you again…be good! See everybody on tour.
As said Truth will be touring with “The MTV2 Smokin’ Grooves Festival” this summer and collabin’ with just about everybody. Truthfully speaking…who could have doubted her?