MUSICIAN, MOTHER, DOULA, 42
‘I did maths,
science, English… but
we weren’t taught about
Texas, to me, was my school, home, my church and the movies (…). I didn’t know who was poor or rich. My mom, grandma and everybody [else] just made it a good time all the time. Music was always going. It wasn’t my aspiration to be a singer, it was to be an artist. When I was 23 or 24, I was rapping and emceeing a lot, but I was also working at Steve Harvey’s comedy house. He was the best boss ever. I don’t think that my image appeals to normal American culture as Beyoncé’s would. I’m a little eclectic and to the left in expressing who I am, and it doesn’t exactly go with the reality of what everybody else feels or thinks. I really can’t say what inspires me the most, because I’m inspired by just about everything. My feelings and relationships, my family, Scooby-Doo, a teacher’s opinion of my work – everything, not just one thing. Artists need stimulating experiences [often], which crystallize when you sing about [them] or paint [them] or sculpt [them]. You literally mould the experience the way you want. It’s therapy. When I walk I count my steps, so I’m really in the here and now. Another meditation I do is try to stay out of my mind as long as I can, as an exercise, so I don’t believe everything I think. I’m totally into my health. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 19 and I see patients [as] a holistic health practitioner. That helps my family in a lot of ways. I do the same thing every day. I get up. Drink a lot of water. Have a wheatgrass shot. Drink some green juice. I’m not trying to win an award for being the best vegetarian, I just want to be healthy. I take salt baths. I do things that my parents were never able to do. I’m blessed [I am able] to do anything I want, so I decide to take the best care of my body and my family in the same way. Once you research more and more about your health you get into the realm of how things work.
[Becoming a doula] was a natural progression for me; I just like to be of service to people. I don’t charge anything for my doula services; my music kind of affords me to be able to do that, and it’s my pleasure to be the welcoming committee for a baby; to help the mother and father to communicate in a very beautiful way. I look up to children because of their honesty and their fearlessness and unapologetic love for things and people. I hope I try to maintain that. I mostly look up to them because they’re not yet contaminated with being programmed, and with judging and categorizing. They’re not concerned with the things that ruin our lives. My little girl is seven and she’s just like me. She’s exactly what I deserve [laughs]; she’s a little Erykah. And then my oldest son is 14 – he’s a very talented, very humble guy; he’s just like his father [US rapper André 3000]. His name is Seven and he seems like he has things a little bit more figured out than the rest of us. No-one chooses to raise children alone. When you’re in a relationship you want it to work. But we are not taught how to make it work. We don’t know how to perform in relationships. I did maths, science, English… but we weren’t taught about human interaction, about relations with the opposite sex. I don’t require sex for happiness – I need companionship. I need a partner I can depend on, who I can love and grow with. But I understand the nature of these men I’ve been with, and men in general. They have a need to chase. I don’t have any regrets in life, period. I feel like there’s always a divine order. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, there’s a lesson to be learnt, you know? It’s all designed to make us stronger, healthier people who are evolving at the quickest rate possible. Follow your heart. It will get you to where you need to be. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s easy, the places that your heart takes you. But continue to follow it. Where the train leads you – you’ll get there.