I mean, Alexa is Alexa.” You know, you can make something as simple as a song, but if you want to go deep deep down in the track, you’ve got to really make it special. I think it’s a very hard thing to accomplish.
M.O: It definitely takes a lot of time, but I guess I’m just proud that with a simple song like “You’ve Got It”, which is quite simple – I think it’s the first rap on an album that I’ve taken a lot of time to write. It’s so easy to just grab a beat or some samples, and just go with that. But when you’re writing about a character, it’s more like, “How does he communicate? What do they really hope he does?”
What do you think your biggest challenge has been?
M.O: I think it’s just trying to find a character that’s going to hold me in check, and then also just try and find that character’s tone, and find whether you can make sure that his or her personality is consistent. We were always trying to figure out the tone that we wanted the character to have, but it’s not always always easy to figure out that tone and find that character’s tone.
I know you’ve been working with Pharrell, and the two have always collaborated with each other, but this time you’re working with him exclusively. How has this collaboration helped you as a writer?
M.O: With [Pharrell] and I, we’re always trying to figure out what’s the most personal thing that we can do in terms of writing a track that’s going to go well with the story. And with Pharrell, we just kind of sit down and talk about the story and try to figure out how we’re going to tell it. And as you’ve seen him through his entire career, in all of his records, he’s able to do that. With me, it’s definitely hard to tell a certain story and go with that, and find what I wanted to express, and what was going to work with his character.
Did you feel like you could go in the opposite direction with “Good Morning Mr. President”?
M.O: I definitely kind of went in that direction. But my approach and story in that song was totally different. You know, it’s really just about finding this character’s voice. And you’ve definitely got to know the character to make that connection.