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Macy Gray
IN THIS FEATURE:

Macy Gray on...
running to the cliff and jumping off
"completely untamed, completely raw"
picturing the big monster
"Relating to a Psychopath"
"hot wings with hot chocolate in hell"
real, real, real, real love
yoga with John Frusciante
covering Slick Rick
tapping her inner "hoochie mama queen"
Watch Macy Gray...
"Sweet Baby" [RealVideo]
"I Try" (live) [RealVideo]
"I Try" [RealVideo]
"Still" [RealVideo]
"Do Something" [RealVideo]
"Why Didn't You Call Me" [RealVideo]
Listen to Macy Gray on...
"Sweet Baby" [RealAudio]
"Sexual Revolution" [RealAudio]
"Relating to a Psychopath" [RealAudio]
next

One look at Macy Gray and you'd think it was the dead of winter, not a typical sticky California day in mid-July. Sitting in an oversized chair, the funk/soul sista is all bundled up in a turtleneck sweater with multicolored stripes and flared blue jeans. Her fabulous afro has been coifed into a softer, sleeker 'do, and her eyes are shielded by big brown sunglasses.

While noticeably restless, Gray's in a chatty, engaging mood. She throws out zany — occasionally X-rated — answers that seem primarily intended to crack herself up.

It's been two years since the Canton, Ohio-born singer released her breakthrough, On How Life Is. The album went triple-platinum and won a Grammy for its single "I Try," ratcheting up the pressure to deliver an equally stellar follow-up.

But rather than fret, Gray simply let loose in the studio and followed her instincts. The Id — a term coined by Sigmund Freud to refer to the most instinctive, impulsive and primal part of the unconscious mind — is a landmine of styles and sounds, merging classic soul, funk, rock, hip-hop and disco.

Co-produced by Gray, it features guest appearances by Erykah Badu, Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante, Angie Stone, Billy Preston, Sunshine Anderson, Mos Def, the Roots' ?uestlove and Slick Rick. Teri vanHorn found out what it feels like to let it all hang out psychologically, how to sustain an atmosphere of fun during recording sessions and why she's sporting diamond-encrusted fronts in her movie debut.

***

MTV: Why The Id?

Gray: [Laughs] What it's all about is the id: what you do before you think and before you edit your impulses. What you're really feeling and what happens when you act on that. Like, if you feel like jumping off a cliff and you actually do it — that's the most primal, purest form of you. The album as a whole is about my particular id. [Remember being] a kid? Before you learn what's right and what's wrong and you just do stuff without thought of consequence? [You] just see how crazy and how much fun your life is and how much you discover about yourself. How much you can discover about people and how differently they can react to you. When you're just doing your thing, rather than cleaning everything up or being correct, or trying to fit in or be accepted. You're just living off of your subconscious. It's pretty dope. [RealVideo]




No limits, German hip-hop and unleashing the psychopath in all of us ... NEXT >>



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