Tavis: You said a few things I want to go back and pick up. You know, I see my friends and their children and what it’s done to them to have children, how they have softened in some ways because of having children. Thanks for watching and, as always, keep the faith.
In no particular order, number one, so that I don’t get cussed out tomorrow [laugh ] after this airs for not asking you. You know, being in this creative experience, you always are–it’s like the music is the biggest child, the greatest parent. Announcer: For more information on today’s show, visit Tavis Smiley at
I’ve never seen anybody make water so sexy [laugh], but leave it to Maxwell to put it out in such a way that we wrestle lyrically with what you’re trying to say, but you present it in a way that is amenable, that’s affable for us to accept. I mean, being West Indian, growing up in a West Indian home, it’s a very interesting sort of way of raising children, you know. Some of the stuff recorded today, I think, is going to be so dated in 20 years that you won’t be able to play it with the same resonance. You know, just insecurities, vulnerabilities, specifically for Black men.
So for me, not only do I respect what you do, I love the fact that you have this platform. Tavis: No, I’m just–that’s what everybody in the game seems to be doing these days. I don’t know if it’s–I don’t think it’s–I don’t know. Maxwell: It’s like if you’re a reality star, if that’s what it is, if that’s how it happened, everyone has a path, you know. They’ll be rocking this in the White House because he name-checked Michelle Obama on it. It is in stores or online, as they say, anywhere and everywhere records are sold.
The way that you created this platform, kind of a lone wolf, you know. I’m not making a statement about it one way or the other because one size doesn’t fit all and there might be honor in not doing it. Why aren’t you doing what everybody else in the game is doing? For me, it’s difficult for me because a lot of the people who are involved in merchandising and advertising themselves in very specific ways and very organized ways, they’re good friends of mine. I just think for me, you know, there’s something about music. But even if they weren’t, we’re gonna rock it anyway because we all love Maxwell. This is the second in this trilogy called “black SUMMERS’night”.
You kind of do it on your terms and I think you and I share the same sort of sensibility with regard to the fact that we’re not getting up in the morning for a check, you know. First of all, I appreciate the compliment and I feel the same way about you which is why we’ve been friends for so many years. You and I both know that Prince only did that one time and he regretted it. For me over the years, it’s become simplified and it’s not even like the thing that you need to purchase anymore. I’m hungry.” I said, “No, fool, I didn’t say breakfast.
I mean, the things I could be doing and the way I could be living, if I was thinking money, then there’d be such a different life. But let me just ask you, since you went there, why don’t you have a shoe and a line of suits and water and cognac? He gave “Little Red Corvette” license to Chevrolet and I know–maybe Chevrolet doesn’t–but I know he regretted that. It’s not even–it’s probably one of the most important creative outlets that the world has ever seen . For me, it’s always 30 seconds at least and I can’t move past it, so, yeah, yeah. I mean, like I don’t understand like how we got –I mean, you know, when I think about Prince and I think about what he was talking about in terms of owning masters, you know, he was such an entrepreneurial pioneer not only just creatively, but he was just so beyond his time, you know.
You made an interesting–you used an interesting phrase when you said “I don’t have any children at the moment.” Maxwell: At the moment [laugh]. I mean, it’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me and also the curse as well. I mean, someone honks a horn while you’re in a car, you know it’s a C-Flat. You have no idea and that’s why it takes so much time because in some ways I’m like I need to forget that I can sit down with someone like you and, you know, I mean, it’s an honor to be here again. [Walmart Sponsor Ad] Announcer: And by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you.
I mean, you and I talked for close to 20 years probably, right?
R&B singer, Maxwell began singing in his Baptist church at a young age, but didn't get serious about music until age 17.
Initially influenced by early-'80s urban R&B, he progressed rapidly, and by 1991 he was performing on the New York club scene.
He then released "Embrya" as well as the single "Fortunate," an R. 20 years after the release of his seminal debut album, “Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite”, the soul singer is back with his long-awaited fifth album, “black SUMMERS’snight”. The long-awaited–and I do mean long-awaited-second installment of his “black SUMMERS’night” trilogy is now out. You know, we wanted to sort of, because the song’s called “Lake by the Ocean”, we wanted to address the limited resources in terms of water, Flint, Michigan, various places around the world where you can’t get clean water. I feel, you know, a lot of I wouldn’t say racism or whatever, but colors and shades of color in the West Indies, they do certain things to people.