AE: In the past, you’ve said spreading your message is number one for you. So what’s the biggest message you’ve got to spread for 2011?
SK: To believe in yourself. When I was coming up, the energy around me, even with the people raising me, I was never given positive feedback. I was never in the streets, I was always at school or involved at sports because I didn’t want to go home, there was no positivity. I was told I wouldn’t be s–t, I wouldn’t amount to nothing, and then I graduated school with honors and got an academic and athletic scholarship to college. Now I’m back in school getting my bachelors, looking forward to getting my doctorate. Even planning on going into the WNBA next year. Hell yeah! That’s one of my dreams why can’t I do it? I can do anything I put my mind to.
AE: That’s right! Well you’ve gotta believe in yourself or else nobody will.
SK: Exactly, you can’t expect anybody to believe in you or love you if you’re not believing in yourself or loving yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. You’re supposed to be able to love yourself and love other people; we need more love in this world.
AE: I don’t know if this has changed at all, but I know in the past you have been a devoted Christian and I’m curious to know if it’s been hard to combine your religious world with your sexuality and then again with your music career?
SK: Well the first thing I had to do was let go of my religion. God is my religion and God is love. Religion is made up by man to control the people – it’s like a modern-day slavery just like the music industry. So I had to first let go of religion but have a personal relationship with God. I went to God in prayer one day and said, “I learned that you don’t love gay people, but I love you with all my heart and I need you to bless me with my wife.” It’s as simple as that.
“And this is what I want,” and I went down the line and I said, “what I’m going to do in return is go on a three month gay celibacy” – because I was with Yo Majesty and we were touring all over the world so it wasn’t nothing to get a piece of p—y. So I felt like that was my sacrifice.
This was September when I said this, so I said by December, I want to have met this woman so when January comes and the new year comes, I have her by my side. So then I meet her, just like I had prayed and asked God. I met her, we went on a few dates and then four days later I had moved into this good house and I have not let her go. And I attribute that to God answering my prayers. So she was like, “My name is Tedra and guess what that means?” I’m like, “What does it mean?” and she says, “Gift from God,” I was like, OK I’m feelin’ that. Ever since then I’ve felt like my faith with God has been filled.
So you asked, “How do you put it all together?” Well, I just be myself. There are still sometimes I feel uncomfortable showing affection to my wife in public because it’s been drilled in us for so long that we’re going to hell and it’s a sin, but we’re coming out of that shell. We’re not going to let that religion imprison us anymore. That’s bulls–t.
AE: Well I’m going to start becoming a subscriber to the church of Shunda.
SK: I’m tellin’ you!
AE: Well to bring it back to the music, how do you feel your sound has changed over the years because you’ve obviously matured a lot and you’re doing things solo now.
SK: Actually, Yo Majesty is getting back together. Originally I was Yo Majesty, but Shaun B and I squashed all our differences and we’re putting out a new single this March! We’re moving forward.
AE: Oh wow, I’m really happy to hear that.
SK: Hell yeah! But my sound has changed a lot. When we first came together, and this was even before our first album dropped, a lot of our songs were anti-man. We were just talking major s–t – “I’m gonna take your chick, you can suck my…” [Laughs] But it’s because we were insecure about ourselves. So we were just lashing out.
But the more and more I got secure within myself personally speaking – my mind became more open. There’s more to talk about than myself. Or if I’m going to talk about myself, let it be relevant to what other people are going through. Let’s talk about something that’s going to encourage people to have integrity about themselves.
I have to be a light – there’s too much going on with these kids realizing they’re gay and they don’t have that love and that support system. I know I was designed to be with women since I was like two or three years old. I had to be the daddy! We’re playing house, I’m the daddy, I don’t care what else anyone else wants to be, whoever wants to be the momma that’s fine. [Laughs] So all this time as a kid I had these attractions to women and I’m like, what the hell is going on?
My mom, I learned that she’s gay. So now I’m thinking, “Are people born gay?” I know I’ve had this feeling since I was a kid and never ever would admit it to my grandma, because my grandparents raised me and my grandma was really religious. They came up during the whole share-cropping era, so you can imagine. I saw what my mom went through – what my grandma put my mom through and I didn’t want to have that leash coming down on my ass, so I just said, “No momma, I don’t have those feelings,” but then when I move out and go to college when I’m 18, I went to my first gay club and it was like, “That’s a wrap! Shunda K is in the house!” So ever since then, I’ve just been doing my thing.
I did get to a point, around 2003, when I was getting into Islam and Farrakhan. He would start the sermon off real good. And then he started going off about how homosexuality is an abomination. And that’s not what I wanted to hear, but I pretty much denounced myself. I said I wasn’t going to be gay anymore – so I ended up getting married and sh*t to this pastor and two years of that – I saw so much in that church. The church is way more evil than the world. I mean, the stuff I saw going on in that church! The world needs a makeover. So that’s what I’m hoping to do, make the world a better place. Here I am to save the world.