Given that playing Hendrix had been discussed for so long, were you reluctant?
I may have said it to John [Ridley]: “Man, I’m old. I have gray hair. Get some young unknown kid to play Hendrix.” I turned it down. They kept at it. I actually asked my son, [Seven]. He said, “Yeah, man.” Honestly, I needed it in my life, too. Hendrix kind of saved me. I was in a not-so-great space, just in a dark place every day. I needed something to focus on to get me out of my depression and rut. Sometimes, when you’re alone, you can let yourself go. I knew if I got on a train with a lot of different people, then I couldn’t let them down.
I’ve heard you say that you didn’t want to become an old rapper.
I remember, at like 25, saying, “I don’t want to be a 40-year-old rapper.” I’m 39 now, and I’m still standing by that. I’m such a fan that I don’t want to infiltrate it with old blood.
So no plans to put out an album, but we might get a gallery show?
No, I’d love to put out an album.
But you don’t have a time window.
When you feel it, it’s right. If you don’t feel it, then why? Honestly, think about it. Why do it? Why?
Full Interview: NY Times