A rigorous and satisfying dive in the mind of a soul sensation who blurs fact and fiction within his songs to bring lessons to his listeners.
[00:05:40.29] Is this a long tour you're about to embark on?
Yeah, it is. I'm ready for it.
[00:05:45.16] Can you feel the momentum building, really, like -
Yeah, no doubt. It's a lot of things to consider, it's a lot of things to consider, I want every show to be as great as it possibly can be.
[00:06:04.03] For sure.
So after... I definitely have to take care of myself.
[00:06:09.15] Well, are your partying days behind you?
Well, I never really was a big partier.
[00:06:16.25] Oh, alright.
I was a type of guy that did my shows and went home, you know. Even in my younger days I was never one of those guys that, like, hang out in the streets.
[00:06:34.21] Well, Lee, I really appreciate your time to do our show.
And I appreciate you taking your time.
[00:06:40.01] Thank you, thank you, and the show is called "Born optimistic".
"Born optimistic", that's a good title.
[00:06:47.27] So I would like to know, Lee, for you - is the glass half full or is the glass half empty? How do you see the world?
I think the glass is half full because I believe it's going to be more, you know, when you say the glass is half empty apparently you're looking for, you know, you're looking for the substance that’s in that glass to actually become none. I think it's always about more, until there is no more. That's what human beings do, we're optimistic; being optimistic helps in solving the problems that plague us, being optimistic help the dreamers dream, pessimistic person is a - I mean, they are full of nothing but doom, you know, so I'm very, very - I'm full of dreams.
[00:08:00.26] And what do you attribute this optimism to, like, what's the well you draw from?
(God), the Creator... See, like, I have my concept of God which I'm a Bible believing guy and I've read the Bible - is one instance in the Bible where God is referred to as 'it', one instance that I've found, I got to search for that again, and I truly believe - see, I don't think God is a man, I think Jesus was the son of God which when he spoke, God was speaking through, Jesus was the oracle when God spoke to man, so when Jesus spoke to you that was actually God speaking but not the physical man, the physical man was a flesh, I think it's - flesh that entered in Heaven but I think God is absence of all things.
[00:09:15.06] And where did this come to you, I've read in an interview you did that your family, when you were young, went through different - it seemed like different phases, I could be wrong but, you know, at one stage times were tough and your parents had to run a club in the home.
Yeah, Mickey is in the house (?), things was harder that time for man of colour, people of colour, to accumulate anything because there was no jobs in that region that I was in other than this demeanour jobs so dad and mom, they ran, on Fridays, the house turned into a - like a juke joint, so I saw - that was my first contrast of seeing people moved by secular music and then they go church on Sunday dancing, people moved by spiritual music, and basically it was the same thing except, you know, the ladies had their hands up in the sky looking for something, like, I would try to figure out what in the world they were looking for, I looked and I didn't see anything, so they had their hands up as the preacher preached and then when the preacher come around and touch ladies they fall down on the floor and I'd be saying to myself 'Man, please don't be touching me’, you know, because I thought that, you know, I didn't know what was - I mean, I was in awe of the preacher because amen (?) to be with the mixing ??? this bypass me though, you know.
[00:10:52.15] So this was North Carolina in the fifties?
It was North Carolina, right.
[00:10:55.24] So the Friday night juke joint, I mean, what happens at a juke joint and what did you get from it, were you allowed to stay up for it, I mean, what was the scene?
Well we wasn't allowed to stay up, we were just in bed asleep but, you know, you hear the sound of the bass on the speakers and when they come in the room to check on us, we pretend we're asleep, then we get up and then we start peeping again, watching the people do all these crazy dances and, actually, they were the same people that were in the church on Sunday except the music changed and their - the things they were doing were changed, you know, other than sensual dances they were, like, looking up to the sky.
[00:11:43.12] It's kind of weird, it kind of feels - so when I was growing up and, like, seeing, you know, Prince on TV accepting an award and saying 'All praise to God', I would've been about twelve living in the western Ireland and it seemed like Prince had a different God to me, it seemed to be a God that accepted more whereas religion in our part of the world never really felt like a fun thing.
Well I think it was Prince perception, you know, like everybody perceive God different, you know, with Prince, I think, he perceived God the way that he perceived God, you know what I'm saying, like everybody got a different perception, like some people see God as a man, I don't see God as a man, I think it is impossible for - because God is omnipresent, he is everywhere, if you go to the deepest portion of the ocean, it's there, and if you go to the outer portions of the universe, it is there, it is everywhere. So there was - Jesus was an oracle of God where God spoke through man, God became man, when I say 'became man' although that actually wasn't God but the voice and the thought and what he had to say to us that was God speaking. See - what the Jesus was saying to a man was how people not to worship idols and actuality it says ‘Make of me no graven images’, and I think it's best when God is looked at like that, this is my personal, I'm not trying to -
[00:13:38.21] Like the Muslim belief where they wouldn't want to have a representation of Muhammad, they don't believe in worshiping the idols, now that is what you're saying, we shouldn't have idols.
Right, because the Bible say 'Do not worship an idol', but the things that we do, if it's going to give somebody a little bit more faith then I guess it is nothing wrong with it, but it's against the rule according to the Old Testament, graven images, but if it make a people - if it edifies the people, bring the people closer to the reality of believing that there is something supernatural about our existence, then that's a good thing but I think the wiser - I think the more deep you look into this, the less need for an idol, for an idol that cannot move, idol that cannot talk, for an idol that just stands there.
[00:14:45.27] And how does this belief manifests itself in your daily life, in your music?
Well when I sing I try to allow the spirit to just manipulate the show, when I get into the show, it's not about me, it's about just obeying whatever emotions that I feel because that's the spirit, because I believe that once I get into the show, I believe - the power of the spirit takes over, it tells me how to... how hard to sing it, how soft to sing it, and I listen; because soul is all about the spirit although I'm a sinner man just like everybody else, you know, nobody escapes, you know, because the flesh was conceived in sin so I'm not trying to put myself on some pedestal, if it's putting myself in a way I would be the bottom, at the bottom.
[00:15:58.11] Well how do you feel when you sin then, does sinning feel good or does sinning feel bad?
Say that again?
[00:16:03.04] Does sinning, when you sin, does sinning feel good or does sinning feel bad?
Well, sinning, we're sinning every day, if you shake hands with a person that just murdered somebody you're just as guilty of that murder as the person that murdered that person. Sin was put there so that God grace should abound, so we're in sin in these bodies so there is nothing we can do to avoid sinning, but that is the reason why we believe that through our belief and through the grace and the mercy of God that we are going to be forgiven for sinning. Every day is a sinful process for everybody.
[00:16:50.25] And when you -
Not deliberately trying to sin, but we're in sin, the flesh is of sin.
[00:16:58.07] Well especially in the night time in the world, in the world of rock and roll out and about amongst us it's dripping literally all around you.
Well when I perform, like, a lot of singers out there trying to have a good time, this is business, my job is to give these people that support me a performance that they feel as if they’ve been released for a moment and went on some sort of happy excursion, and although it's only for a little while, but what it does it shuts the body down just like you... sometime if you were a computer, it's not functioning correct, you turn the computer off and then it reboot - the human being has to be rebooted as well. If they're thinking about problems and troubles too much, then that person stands a possibility of malfunctioning, so we have to forget about a moment, our troubles, and that's my job, is to become as amusing as possible so that all of the things that maybe troubles a person for a moment, they are forget about for a moment, and when they in a lot of cases, when they come back, when they come back to the realisation, they're realisation, a lot of times the problem really wasn't as bad as they thought it was.
You know, I'm quite sure a lot of people that jump of buildings, on their way down, I'm quite sure if they could change their mind I'm quite sure they would.
[00:18:48.07] And which was a bigger influence in setting you on this path, was it the juke joint or was it church on Sunday, which are you trying to recreate?
Church. Well, the church was what actually got me thinking, and now the juke joint - what I try to do is - I feel like it's enough preachers, it's so many preachers, man, I mean, there's a lot of preachers out there. I think if the world need anything - it probably don't need another preacher. So maybe if I could spread joy in some kind of a way, the way that I do as long as, in other words, I'm going out there in the places that a lot of so called holier-than-thou people wouldn't go, I'm going up, but I'm keeping my confidence that God is with me, God is with me everywhere I go.
[00:19:55.00] And when did you start this journey, when did you decide, can you remember in what stage of your life when you were, like, 'This is it, this is the plan'?
Well ever since I was a kid, ever since I was a kid I was amazed, I remember as a kid, I guess I was about maybe five, six years old, I wonder why - every house I went into they had a picture of this guy and they called him Jesus and I wonder why, and that's what got me on my quest. And then, at an early age, I read about - I read the Bible twice, I read the Bible when I was about nine, about eight or nine years old, I couldn't really understand fully but I had - I would ask mama the meaning of different words and I read it the best I could, and then I reread it when I - in the early eighties when things became rather non-favourable on my music quest so I was looking for something to cling to so I read the Bible. And that gave me the energies and made me positive in such a way where all of the obstacles - I found ways of getting around all of the obstacles, you know, like, I wasn't getting in a radio play and I was almost, I just started in the seventies, for ??? records and it seemed like... about eighties I was like done and I was - so I read, and the more I read the more sure I believe that I could pull it off, I could actually find through my music the people that like what I like. So that's what took place and it's been happening ever since.
[00:22:11.18] But there was a time when you were thinking of starting up a restaurant or something and your wife was like 'No, no, what are you doing'?
That was in the nineties, in the nineties there was like the early - the late eighties, early nineties. After I read the Bible my - I felt like then I was so positive man, I felt like 'Hey man, why does it have to be music?' as long as I'm making a good living it doesn't have to necessarily be music. So at the time I was dib-dabbing in real estate buying properties and renting them out; in the eighties I would sustain myself rent and getting - collecting rents and fixing up houses and at one time I owned like, four, so I had this rent money coming in and periodically I would do a show but I said to myself at the late eighties ‘Why don't I just become just a business dude’? So I was going to open up an eatery of - I saw a guy ??? like he was making a killing, man, like, making - you go down there every Thursday and Friday, all these people in there so he was making good money. I said ‘How hard is frying a fish’, so I told my wife, I said 'Listen, I found this place in Newark, it has, like, three floors that we can rent and then it had a storefront which we could change into an eatery where people would come in, buy the sandwiches and leave'. So she went over there and took a look at it, at the building, we saved up a little money, she said 'Look', she said 'What do you know about fish?' and then I gave her some thought, man, only thing I could say they taste good, you know. So she said 'I think you should just stick to what you know', so I said 'Listen, baby, music business has changed, it's not like it was and going in this music business is very risky'. She said 'Still, you know this, this is what you should do.'
[00:24:39.06] Fair play to her.
Yeah, so I went out and bought, took that money I was planning on putting down on the place and bought a lot of sound equipment. Man, I had everything: pat sound modules, Yamaha - I (wouldn't?) name of that computer -
[00:25:03.12] For doing samples and everything.
It was a Yamaha C1 computer... what I was using for ??? program, ??? program was something like ProTools, but ProTools advanced and I don't know what happened to ??? I don't even ??? people talking about it anymore, but same, I could cut my sound modules, I could take my time, slow the track down and play it like it suppose to be played and I cut my - album called 'Enough is enough' album which had a song on that album called 'Meet me tonight', and that album took off in this Southern soul market, it was like a huge record in the Southern soul market, so they got me busy but I'm travelling down with - I'm travelling without a band I just got - I come - haven't got playing records for a while, then I have a show that I put on the DAT tapes which is Digital Analogue Tape and - just the music.
[00:26:08.22] Just playing your backing tracks.
Yeah, and then I come out and have soul singing and the crowd went, like, crazy. Next thing I know I'm, like, filling up places all around New York, on a blues circuit, then it's spread to the South, these were early nineties, next thing I know I'm opening up for people like Tyrone Davis and Johnnie Taylor and... But one promoter had a problem with that, he didn't know I was coming with - because everybody had bands, and when I came down I would just tracks, he told me 'So, listen, boy, I'm going to tell you right now, I said you can have your money, I got the other half of your money in my pocket, I'm not going to pay you not one dime until you go out there and sing, if the people don't like this track stuff that you got here - people like bands right here, I'm not going to pay you, I'm going to tell you that now. If you go out there and they don't like you, I'm not going to pay you because I thought you had a band ??? coming down with this (mess) ... look, look, look, look, Johnnie Taylor, look how many pieces he got, look at Tyrone Davis.'
[00:27:19.11] You're probably making more than the headline act because you're not paying a band, you're walking away with all the fee for yourself.
Yeah, I wasn't doing good, so I went out there, they called me on ???, man, soon as I went on stage and start to sing the crowd started to swing and then when I got to the song that they really love 'Meet me tonight' the crowd went, like, nuts so ...That’s problem with it, eventually I had to get a band because I was getting... although I was joined without a band the promoters just didn't like it, man. And what made me get a band, one time I was doing a show and somebody pulled a plug.
[00:28:04.07] On the DAT.
So I had to get the promoter's money back, and from that point on I got a band.
[00:28:11.00] But this woman, who we have to thank for you staying in music, you've been married to her for a long time.
Yeah, for 47 years.
Yeah, 47 years and it's been the happiest time of my life, and we're still in love with each other.
[00:28:26.03] And you can hear that, like, the opening track of this new album 'Special night'.
Yeah, well I try to write songs that reference what people actually do or surely do. I think if somebody devote a lot of years to you and people should look at them, the bright side of it, other than just a fact of two people being together a long time. Being together a long time, that's a blessing, for somebody to really think enough of you to stay with you for those years, and think enough of you to care about you after all of those years. And some people can't be with each other longer than a week and they're done, some people can’t live with other people, and to find someone that I truly adore and I love after all of these years - I look at it as the greatest thing that has happened to me. Music, music is -
[00:29:43.03] And what's your secret? What's the secret, 47 years, what tips have you got to pass on?
Well, it is just be concerned about the other person, just like you’re concerned about yourself, because when you marry you’re one flesh. Think of that person as you think of yourself and the things that may hurt that person - don't do. And if you do things that hurt that person, make sure that you refrain from that and give that person a sincere apology because what you do when you hurt her the only thing you do is hurting yourself. If you really love somebody you hurt them, you hurt yourself.
[00:30:27.19] But it's not all plain sailing, I mean, the other song on 'Special night', 'Work to do', I mean, is that for real, is that from your life, can you tell us about that?
Well, 'Work to do' is, let’s say, I try to sing about things that people do and real things in people’s lives. I overhead somebody saying that they are thinking about getting counselling and I thought 'Hey, it would be good idea to write about something like that', because people don't sing about stuff like - more than... songs that are just singing about 'How much I love you' and 'Let's dance' and about a party, man, it's real so I figured like 'Yeah, a counselling song'.
[00:31:14.28] I thought it was about you, I was listening to it going 'Oh, my God, like, there's rough times too'.
No, that was I overheard a couple, a guy rather, saying that he's thinking about getting some counselling, and so I made this fictional story up and I've put myself in a situation, ‘Okay, this guy got a problem with drinking’, or it could be any kind of substance abuse, it could be any kind but in this case this guy, because I know about alcohol because I drink alcohol, but I don't know about the other drugs or so because I don't use drugs, but it's the same thing I would assume; so this guy has a problem where he is overdoing it and he is ruining his marriage, so the moral of the story is he decided to take responsibility and do what he had to do to keep his family. It doesn't get any better than that, it doesn't get any better than that.
[00:32:18.00] I was listening to that song going - At the moment I thought it was real, I thought it was about you and I was going -
Well I try to sing it like it's real.
[00:32:26.07] But I was wondering how would his wife feel with the dirty linen being laundered in public and, like, does she - Do you have to check your lyrics, I mean, does that inhibit you, as you're saying, you got to treat her like you treat yourself.
I sing about - What I sing about is reality, and she knows what I sing about is real, people want to hear reality, they want to hear something that people actually do, okay, people - I personally believe that every night is a special night with my beautiful wife, and I also believe that people have serious problems; some people drink too much, some people use too much cocaine, some people use too much... Some people do all kind of crazy stuff, so I decided to write a song about reality, so she understands that. If people say 'Well, I want see singing about yourself' - I want them to wonder, I want them to wonder, I want them to think whatever they want to think if it's going to give them some sort of euphoric journey, if they think the song is real let them believe and if they ask me I tell them just like I told you. But that doesn't concern me as for whether they think it's real or not, what concerns me - did you enjoy the song, does it give you some sort of positive thing, are you in that situation?
[00:34:04.00] But you sing about temptations of the flesh as well so -
Yeah, because we are in a world of temptation, we are in a world of temptation; television, everything is built on temptation. You look at television, they have all kinds of shows on TV that in actuality if we were all on the same page we would say 'No, that's a little bit too much'. But unfortunately we're not all on the same page, so you find TV show where people are murdering people, people are – sensual pictures of sex and all of that kind of stuff, but that's reality. If I'm going to sing about reality - And back in Jesus time, back in those times, there was a woman, she was an adulteress, they've been around ever since, ever since the beginning, it's nothing new, it's part of the human saga, it's part of life. People do things, they do wrong things, so my job is to take whatever song that I can touch somebody and show them a positive, like this song for instance, this guy went on down to the counsellor’s office, he went out there, like, like, because he wanted to salvage his family so there is hope for anyone in any kind of situation that's causing their relationship to fail.
[00:35:37.23] In this song on the album on 'Special night' as well you've got a song called 'Make the world', you know, if we all work together we can make the world a better place. What would you like people to do together, how would you like to influence people, in what way, what actions would you like to see?
Well first of all, there is a lot of things in the world today that need to be addressed; there's climate change, there's - This Earth, this Garden of Eden, we are the only creatures on this planet that can change it, and we have to see the reality, we have to come together, everybody, vast majority have to come together and see that it is a serious situation. Our progeny won't have any way to come; the water is going to be polluted. I had a dream, that song came to me in a dream, one night I dream - It was two parallels, one night I dream that - I dreamed about the world situation, of how bad things have gotten, the pollution, the waters, all the waters, most of the water in the world was polluted, undrinkable, fish, everything dying in masses. It was such a horrible dream I woke up out of that dream, such a horrible dream I woke up, and when I went back to sleep I had a good dream, I dreamed that people came together and addressed these problems, wise time, and the world, I saw the future, the world, the water was clear, everything was just like pristine and people had concern for each other and concern for the planet, because this is a spaceship, this is a spaceship that was designed to last as long as it take to get us wherever we're going, I have no idea where we're going but I do know this is a spaceship and it was perfectly designed. So if we are - If we were to take care of this place maybe somewhere in our linear, our future, our progeny would get there, would get there to that place.
[00:38:12.25] But people are concerned about climate change, but they don't always know what to do, so as an individual, like, what things do you do in your daily life that you wish everyone would do, what kind of tips for us all - Did you start with these small steps?
First of all, plastic containers, I put them in the - Where the plastic is supposed to be. I try to - I don't throw paper and stuff on the ground, some people just discard everything, man, and just throw it out the window; then, I try to encourage through my music the awareness that we got to take care of this planet. One person can't do it, it's got to be a collective body of individuals that see the real - How real the situation is, and then we should - What we could do collectively we can stay on top of our politicians, don't be hoodwinked, we shouldn't be hoodwinked by our politicians, we shouldn't be taken just for fools, for idiots, we should watch our politicians very close because if they're in office to do a job we shouldn't - They should be held stern to the things that they should and should not do because a politician wins your trust and then go in office to do something else.
[00:39:55.09] Until the next election.
[00:39:57.19] I'm very curious about - You said in an interview that - Your time when you had property and when you are a landlord that nobody likes landlords, and I'm very curious about what you learnt from being a landlord about yourself and about other people?
I learned when I’ve been a landlord, been a landlord, what you have to do, you know, it's business, it's business, I mean, like, sure, I sympathise with people situations and try to be as lenient as I possibly can, but most of all being a landlord I have to pay those mortgages, I have to keep that house in the shape so I have to be stern, not total stern, but when you know you have a little flexibility, but the flexibility I have I got to realize once that flexibility is used up I have to be business, it's business because I lose the houses and then the tenant go to another place so I had to hold on to those places until I got rid of them, so it was business. I learned how to be business.
[00:41:07.17] And do you miss that, do you miss being a landlord or you're glad to have it in the past?
Nope, I don't miss being a landlord at all, I really didn't enjoy being a landlord, ??? enjoy because, you know, it's not a pleasant job, but when one is trying to take care of their family, like I tell any young man today or young woman today, you got a family, the kids didn't ask to come in this world, it's your job to take care of them. You do what you got to do. A lot of times I went over there, man, I didn't feel like working on bonus, you know, three o clock in the morning, I didn't feel like there is a leak in basement or something, I didn't feel like getting up all of that water and fixing the pipe, but hey, man, I was obligated so I did what I had to do. I was a pretty good landlord, pretty good, it was hard, but ain't nothing easy, what is easy? When I come on stage tonight, when I come off that stage I'm going to be soaking wet, that's not easy, there is nothing easy, especially when you try to do with perfection, so I tried to be the best landlord I could and I'm trying to be the best entertainer I can.
[00:42:33.02] And do you feel in all that your path to success has been trying for you, has it required perseverance or have you enjoyed every moment of it because it's been a long road?
I wouldn't change it, I wouldn't change it, I wouldn't change it because if artist is in this business just for fame then - If I was in this business just for fame then I probably would be totally depressed and would've been so depressed I wouldn't have gotten this far. It was to me, man, more than fame, to me, man, it's about writing something that I like, writing something that I like and I get joy out of making songs that I didn't have to curse in, making songs showing people that you can sell a record without profanity, you can sell a record, man, without vulgarity, without lewdness. You can sell a record and if the mass media adopt that code of... where you can make the believe in that there is good music without a lot of vulgarity and a lot of other things, then I think civil obedience would be better, because when I was a kid, my hero was Superman and the Lone Ranger and I wanted a Lone Ranger suit for Christmas and I wanted a Superman suit. Kids have the tendency to want to be just like their heroes; now if the record industry make all of the heroes gangsters, I'm a gangster, the kids are going to want to be gangsters and now we're complaining about how crime is... Well the media made the heroes gangsters, what do you expect? I mean everybody want to be like their heroes, they made the kid's heroes gangsters, so now a young kid now seeing - A guy go to his job and he’s got a decent home and taking care of his family, and oppose this guy called himself a gangster and he is riding around in his beautiful car with all the beautiful women, they by the pool shaking, gyrating, and then they look at this guy going to do his job, man, that's, you know, this guy, man, this guy got all of this gold and rings and everything driving his Bentley, this guy driving a Hyundai or a little, small car but he's taking care of his family, he wants to be like the guy, the guy - all of the trappings - so that's his hero, so he become a gangster. So he raises his gun out, you know, so it's mass media has to excel some of the blame of what is happening in the world today.
[00:45:48.25] And do you feel like you're swimming against the tide, like you're in the - What you've just described is basically mainstream pop culture, it's what dominates at the moment and you're going in the opposite direction to all of that?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The reason why is because I feel I could sell a record - I could sell a record if mainstream culture accept me on the record which I've been on the mainstream with Martin Solveig, and in that moment a mainstream thing were a group (out of?) Australia, they got an album with my voice on it, I'm just singing the hook, that's going to be mainstream because it's taken off real strong. But to me, my primary purpose, man, is to make songs that I like. I don't like a lot of vulgarity, I don't like when a person comes on and got to curse - Why do you got to do? - You know, but I don't - What I’m saying 'Listen, only person that I have control over is me, I'm not going to let him do it, I'd make him stop him and I'd make him stop her, but I can - Show (stop?) here'.
[00:47:05.16] The only person you can control is yourself, the only person.
Yeah, that's right, and then I'm trying to do it in a way what others are like it, what others are like it and so far we have a lot of supporters all over the world, they come, I was in New York last week and we had almost a sell-out house, it was on a very bad night, snowy, everything, very bad snow, but we was about a hundred and fifty people short of selling out this twelve hundred capacity room, and they came out in the snow, you know. So whether I achieve the status of the superstar, I'm not, you know, that would be nice, but only thing I want to do is feel good about what I do, I feel good about my songs, I feel good, people don't listen to something and... I'm telling you real life stories, I'm not telling you about this guy, got this empire and killing everybody that get in his way just for radiance (?), you know what am I saying?
[00:48:24.04] I'm curious that we can only control ourselves, what age are your kids now, your children, are they grown up?
Yeah, they've grown.
[00:48:32.29] But, you know, when they were growing up when they were teenagers, young teenagers, like, what type of bad stuff were they attracted to and how did you prevent that?
What I did - They were attracted to the same thing that's out in the street, they were attracted to - My oldest son, he got kind of lured down on the street, I've pulled him, I got - As a matter of fact, I was home, off the road in the mid eighties, so I was there and that was a good thing that I was there because if wasn't there he probably would have gotten lured out there in the streets which he didn't, thank God. None of them have jail records, so that's a beautiful thing because there is so many young ??? today in ethnic communities fill in the jail's house up, and I really think, I really think when they privatized the prison system in America, they changed - That's when the music changed, that's when the music so changed and about - They want to be gangsters and now the prisons are full of minorities and it's sad, and I think all of this was an elaborate scheme.
[00:49:51.28] It's like the prisons and gangster rap are elements of the same business model.
Yeah, it's luring people, luring young folks to become gangsters. I mean, I think you should be allowed, I think you should be allowed because we are in the freedom, we are in the country of freedom, but I think things - Focus should be on situation to show that you don't have to do this, that you don't have do this.
[00:50:26.01] I mean, I wouldn't feel as strongly as you about swearing because people in Ireland swear all the time, we curse a lot, but it's really weird at the moment, like, my son used to be a lot more into pop music than he was and I'm not encouraging him because I don't like the type of things that are in music videos and in lyrics, like, there is a song, it was a big hit a couple of months ago and the first line was 'I took a pill in Ibiza'.
Yeah, I heard that.
[00:50:53.03] And now my son is asking me 'What's a pill, daddy, what's Ibiza?', I lied to him, I did not tell him that that means taking an E and it really annoyed me that these songs are just played on Top40 Radio in the mainstream, I was annoyed and I don't consider myself a fuddy-duddy.
Yeah, it's about - I mean, do - As far as censorship is concerned I think things should be allowed but I think if you're going to play that, than you need to play something that's not that, something that can compete with that, you know, but mainstream now is full of just anything that's totally going to get ??? of principles. I'm not nagging Top40 Radio, I'm saying that we should take the time and listen to what the people are actually saying. And do you really want this? And then we complain about the world, the crime, well, come on, you can't have it both ways, you know, if you - They're emulating, imitating what they see so the gangsters and all that stuff they're imitating exactly what they see on TV and what they hear on radio.
[00:52:27.25] Would you have a favourite of the Ten Commandments?
Yeah, I got two favourites - 'Love the Lord thy God of all thy heart and soul' and 'Love thy neighbour as thyself'. I think, if you do those two, I think, I think the rest of them will fall in place.
[00:52:50.26] Well I wouldn't be as strong on God as you, but 'Love thy neighbour' is my favourite because once you do that, I think for me everything begins and ends with that, but I learnt a different distinction on it, recently, I used to always believe in 'Treat other as you would treat yourself', but now I believe in 'Treat others as they want to be treated', which is different, the Bible didn't have that distinction, but for me it kind of makes a little - It's just something that I've kind of tweaked in the last couple of years.
Yeah, that's, that's – I’ve never looked at it that way, but if you do unto others as you would have them to do unto you, you know, you see a stranger, you won't nobody robbing you, you won't nobody taking advantage of you, it's the basic things, it's the basic things, you do unto others as you, you know, so everybody would be out here there would be no crying, you know, you want nobody robbing you, I want nobody robbing so I'm not going to rob him, you know. So it would be ideal world if we do unto others as we would have them to do unto us. I'm quite sure your worst thief or your)ž worst robber in the world wouldn't want nobody to rob him.
[00:54:14.12] Honour among thieves, for a start, they don't rob each other.
Yeah, yeah, so I think that the all laws, the Commandments are still effective if we (obey?) ?
[00:54:32.27] I don't want to put you on the spot, I don't want to put you under pressure, but before we wrap up, have you got a joke you could share? Because all this has been a heavy stuff, but I know you've got belly-laugh in there somewhere.
Well, you know what, I've never been a guy that was able to tell a good joke, I really - I tried a few times -
[00:54:51.10] Me neither.
- and I bummed out, I bummed out, I mean, like, I tell a joke and the only person laughing is me, I be thinking 'This is hilarious, man, I've been laughing', everybody else would be sitting like 'What are you trying to say now?' No, so I don't think I'd better try a joke.
[00:55:08.18] Okay, well, other than that, Lee, thank you so much, for your time and for you inspiration, thank you.
Thank you so much for your interview, really appreciate it, thank you.
[00:55:18.14] Thanks, man, thank you, thanks, Lee, that was brilliant.
Thank you so much.
[00:55:21.11] Thank you very much.