Q: Who's working with you on this album? A: Because of what it is conceptually, I stayed to myself a bit more. But I worked with both Em and (Dr.) Dre throughout. I developed what would become Before I Self Destruct before I released my third album, Curtis. So I had enough time to write, produce and direct a film (also called Before I Self Destruct, on DVD included with the CD) that I felt showed a little more cause-and-effect than the average song. (In a three-minute song) I can't give you reasoning for these actions or what a person is thinking when these things are happening. … I took the dysfunction and nature of the things I saw around me and placed them in the characters.
Q: What drives you to do these wide-ranging projects? A: For me, I'm running through a tunnel that won't end. Ambition is that tunnel. For people who are ambitious, there will never be an actual end to them wanting to be successful or move to the next level. And I think we are all conditioned to want things we don't need. As soon as we can afford the house that costs $300,000, we want the one that costs $500,000. That's just the way it is.