Being in the lime light for over 30 years can certainly taint a soul, but when you can turn your mess into a message, that’s when you’re a certified survivor. Despite Hollywood’s unforgiving spotlight, veteran songbird Angie Stone is the definition of a conqueror; resilient and strong with a pioneering hip-hop career that withstood the test of time.
Stone readies the release of her seventh studio album, Dream, with the powerful single, “Two Bad Habits,” leading the charge. Stone’s robust vocals, vulnerable lyrics and gritty delivery made her a household name, making her voice an immediate force. Rising to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence, the three-time Grammy nominee brings back neo-soul and R&B, with a sprinkle of reality, on her latest effort.
TopNotch Music President Marv Mack adds, “It is more than a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with one of the most soulful voices of this generation. Angie is beyond talented and is still holding the torch of ‘real soul music.’
The Source: Tell us about your new album, Dream.
Angie Stone: The name of the album was inspired by Walter Millsap, who had a dream that God put on his heart and he started searching for me.
I was somewhere giving up, completely done, frustrated, broken and disappointment and just in need of a hug, so to speak. When he came along he told me he wanted to do this record. He said I know you’re probably not feeling it right now, but give me a shot. It was whatever at that point and I didn’t want to be rude, but I just wasn’t in the mood, and it had been that way for a long time.
When I decided to do another record it was because I reflected on the poem Foot Print, where God said the times when you were struggling those were the times I carried you. That was a time God was carrying me because- I get emotional when I think about it- I was broken. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t feel like people were checking for me and that they had given up and I had given up.
Walter came along and gave me the necessary hug- not a physical hug but a spiritual hug- that I needed allowing God to operate through him.
I went into the studio, cutting two songs a night, and I couldn’t believe it. And the strength had to come from God himself because I was wounded.
God is so good because we need to hear your testimony, and it gives Him all the glory!
Oh yeah, because coming from hip hop to where I am today, television being a driving force for marketing and you get on television and you’re mocked, toyed with and disrespected, it was the ultimate whooping Satan was trying to put on my life because of my destiny. And I knew God had greater in store for me.
I prayed a lot and even in my brokenness, God was just so glad I allowed Him to take the lead. Sometimes we feel like we have to fight all our battles, but it’s when we’re surrendered that’s when He shows us who He is and who we belong to. And that’s what happened with this project.
Even though I’m happy that it’s an amazing project, I’m overwhelmed because I was completely done and God turned it around and took over and now we’re having this conversation.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
There you go! I’ve been doing interviews all day but to interview with The Source– to be apart of something that has spanned over 30 years, being there from the ground floor up and still relevant, that’s nobody but God. I’m overwhelmed because not many people know of my hip hop roots but one day I’ll be able to tell the story in a biopic we’re thinking about doing.
What can fans expect from your album?
I think that everyone can take something away from this album that relates to their life. I’m painfully honest in my music, even with my first single, “Two Bad Habits,” we all have had bad habits once or twice in our life when we allow a man or a woman to dictate how we get to the finish line. And sometimes we lose, we make mistakes, we fall but we get back up.
I feel like everyone will find themselves in this record because I’m being transparent as I can be saying, hey, I go through it too. When you hear the song “Magnet,” who hasn’t felt like they don’t have “fool” written across their forehead?
As you look back over your career, do you have any regrets?
I don’t have any regrets at all. I think that God knew I would be up for the challenge when he chose me to walk this path. So I’m at a place where I wouldn’t undo anything.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self is to just be patient- you already have the tools God equipped you with to win. I don’t think my struggle would’ve been as hard if I had listened to my heart and not my head. My heart always knew that God had me protected and covered but my head moved faster than it’s time.
We try to get there faster with our heads, we start making moves and changing things but when we rearrange God plans it causes a detour- it doesn’t mean we won’t get there but it’ll take you a little bit longer.
You’re a lady of many talents, singing and acting, any projects coming up we can expect?
I finished making my assistant directorial debut on a movie called Pigskin, it’s not done, but I’ll probably have one or two scenes in that film. But I’m very excited about developing television shows.
Do you still talk to your R&B Divas Atlanta co-stars?
Not really, KeKe [Wyatt] and I are cool, but I really don’t get a chance to speak with them. Nikki [Gilbert] and I speak in passing and chit chat, but that’s it. I think my cast mates were blood suckers and it’s hard to face me now.
Would you ever return to reality TV again?
No, I don’t think so. If it’s going to make a mockery out of me, then no, but if it’s going to benefit someone else, then yes.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
I think people think I’m mean and I’m a diva.
“Two Bad Habits” are available for download now.
Dream will be available for download and purchase on November 6. Click here to pre-order!
Photo credit: Getty Images