Danny! x GQ Interview: On OKP, Label Drama + 2014 Plans

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

OKP fam Danny! sits with GQ to discuss the instability in the earlier part of his career, having been subjected to some label troubles as of late. He touches a bit on our involvement in his come-up and resurgence, but mostly speaks to having been dropped entirely by Interscope despite his seventh album Payback being chock-full of A-listers like John Legend, Bruno Mars, ?uestlove and Swizz Beatz gracing the cut. Scroll though to find some of the most compelling industry commentary Danny! provides in the interview and then head over to GQ for the full script and the latest drop from "Hov's Fav Cat."

On how Jay-Z caught wind of him:

"About two years ago, somebody emailed me from Questlove's site, okayplayer.com; Questlove was CCed and apparently had something to tell me about a friend who came across my music. The next day, Questlove wrote back and said Jay Z hit him up after finding my music on his site, and then tweeted I was Jay Z's favorite cat. I'm presuming Jay Z was like, "Who's this guy on your site?" And Quest said, "I don't know, let's find out." Since then, he spent last year and the year before trying to get the world to know who I was. That was pretty freakin' cool, man."

On the importance of identifying your sound and sticking to it:

"Do what you think is best. Even though I told the label that's not what I wanted to do, I was dropped anyway. If it's not broke, don't fix it. Even if I had another record with Bruno Mars, people might think it's phony. Maybe that's why the first one didn't work. The takeaway is going with something you know works."

What 2014 holds for him:

"My last album, Payback, came out at the end of 2012, and I spent about half of last year promoting it. But before that, I had to revamp it for Okayplayer to put out. During that process, I fell back in love with creating music. This year, I've been sending songs to lots of different artists for placement—I sent 40 tracks to the Roots—so that by the time my next album comes out, people will be able to say, "Not only is Danny a rapper, but he's a damn good producer."