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" My music speaks of warriors. It speaks of women being kings and this sense of pride of being more, even though you have less. "
" I come from an era where lyrics were full of imagery and metaphor, and that's all I know. I think people miss that. "
" I promised myself that I wouldn't be afraid to be who I was when I chose to do this music thing. "
" Everyone who knows Puff knows Puff rolls with himself. His hustle is money. That's what he does. "
" When I was 4, I had a schedule. I was playing softball. My brother was playing football. My parents were teachers, and they'd owned businesses. We like to work hard. Work and then books. Books and then work. We just knew that we had to excel. It sounds militant, but trust me, it was fun. "
" There is a thing about women that needs to be understood. We don't sit well with being put in a certain place. "
" My father's music is all I remember from my childhood. "
" A lot of 'Blackheart' was me, literally in a dark room, confessing my sins; Poe was the influence for that album. But that melancholy has a hopefulness - in every Poe story, there is always a moral at the end. "
" I always knew who I was, but everyone else wanted to me to be their 'idea' of the 'right' artist. At times, I even believed them. "
" People want to peg you as alternative R&B when they hear soul or see the color of your skin. It's comfortable when people see artists of color or artists that come from a different country to put that brand on us. It's just not as linear as that. "
" I believe I am standing firm as a black woman in this industry in a time that it is hard as an artist period. "
" My uncle is in the hall of fame for creating by hand some of the most intricate Indian Mardi Gras garb. "
" I've had two platinum albums. I have worked with thousands of people. But the most rewarding feeling is to see people on Twitter say, 'Do you see what Dawn and them are doing? They are number one.' It's the most rewarding feeling because of all the tears, all the bad stuff, and the people that said I couldn't do it. "
" I'm not mainstream. You gotta find me. "
" I don't wish homelessness on anyone, especially when you come from where your parents work hard. "
" Growing up, my parents were Roman Catholic - strict Catholics - from New Orleans. I understood the idea in the principle of spirituality. I noticed it in the stories that I read. The Trinity was something that was brought up consistently: the power of three. Things happened in threes, and I thought that was brilliant. "
" I don't really feel there's rules in my everyday wear. I kind of do whatever the hell I want to do. "
" I want to get up and celebrate something - and why not celebrate being a woman? "
" 'The Red Era' is for everybody. Every gay, every fluid, every black, every white. "
" Just as much as you need the people who love you, you need the people who doubt you - to prove them wrong. "
" When I look half naked on stage, it's not because I'm trying to be sexy but because I am dancing and want to be mobile enough to move. "
" There's always going to be a fight between mainstream and underground because the mainstream is a very small bubble, and the underground scene is a very small bubble, and they both see themselves as secret societies. But I never saw it that way. I always thought music was open to all things. "
" There's definitely that tribal Africana thing going on in my sound. It's that marching band, second-line music, that Creole-influence in the kick, and the snare that drives everything for me. I think it's really what's separated my sound from a lot of the R&B and pop music out there. "
" Be exactly who you are. You can fit in any space you see yourself in. Be fearless. "
" I watched my parents lose everything, from a house to birth certificates. We were homeless for about six months, then we stayed in Baltimore, and my parents got jobs. "
" There's a fine line between artist and product. I don't think the industry purposely does it, but I think that's just the way they maneuver. You have to be careful that doesn't become your story, where you become a product, and your art is tarnished because you're just seen as a tool to make money. "
" When I get inspired, I give out free music. If you look at my track record from the beginning, that's always what I've done. I've never changed. "
" I had always had an affinity for series in literature, and I thought it would be really cool to incorporate what I loved about books into the story of music, to pile it together. "
" Songwriting was my own journey. I never fit in with structure in songwriting. "
" I've grown so much in the music industry. From 'GoldenHeart,' it was just about me and the music and me in this dream. With 'BlackHeart,' its more about me and who I am and what role I play in my own life and in the business. "
" 'Armor On' explains why I needed armor in the first place. Sonically, you'll hear this battle of, 'I love you, no I don't. I love you, I hate you.' That's what you'll feel. You see the story kind of fight against itself. "