Truth Hurts: Truthfully Yours
Story and Interview by Matthew Shack
((( Audio Interview Below )))
Shari Watson, aka Truth Hurts is the First Lady of Aftermath, After penning hits for the likes of Mario Winans, Monifah and Shanice,Truth signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. After appearing on Busta Rhymes’ hit single Break Ya Neck, .her debut single from her Truthfully Speaking album, “Addictive” ft. Rakim, is currently a Top 10 hit.
The Flow's own Matthew Shack had an opportunity to meet with her after a mind-numbing performance.
TFM: How are you doing?
TH: I'm fine, how are you?
TFM: If you wouldn't mind giving us a brief background of how you got to where you are, we'd appreciate that.
TH: Briefly to make a long story short, I started off musically in St. Louis, Missouri as a young child. My Father was a promoter. He brought out groups like Peabo Bryson, Pointer Sisters, Phyllis Hyman the list goes on. So basically at a very young age I got to be a part of that scene. And, that was (how) I gained the interest to be a performer by seeing that at about 7 years of age. Unfortunately, I only had the skill of wanting to perform and actually performing and not the skill of singing so I started taking lessons at about the age of 9 with a classical trained opera singer. The guy's name is Chick. Basically, from there I started classical training and I didn't know I was getting into opera and the foundation that I was building was opera so from there, it went on for 8 years. I also ended up testing out my little skills in some jazz and blues clubs singing in local band that was actually my cousin's band at the age of 13 and 14. So, from there, I kind of kept on being motivated by the music wanting to get into it and eventually ended up moving out to California with the fam. And from there, I saw it as an outlet for me to get into the music (and) the actual industry.
TFM: That's very interesting. Due to the fact that you are from St. Louis, how do feel about the actual uprising of St. Louis as a musical Mecca with Nelly and St. Lunatics? Do you feel an affinity towards them or do you feel more like a Californian since you've been here since you were a teen-ager?
TH: No, I 'll always love St. Louis and I always feel that I gotten my musical background from St. Louis. The culture of music in St. Louis is very strong more that other places. I feel that if I'd grown up in L.A. of California I probably wouldn't have gained the experience and know music in my heart the way I do. So I definitely attribute that to being a St. Louisian, formally. As far as, Nelly? You know what? I'm glad that Nelly's opened up the eyes of St. Louis because St. Louis is very limited .We were more into just the real music, "the Blues". I think that he's opened up the doors for Hip-Hop in St. Louis and he's made it really diverse. I'm glad he did come out.
TFM: As far as your moniker, "Truth Hurts" there are so many different clichés involved the word, "truth". The truth shall set you free, like your name Truth Hurts you can't handle the truth. Basically, what is the reasoning behind you using that name? Was it like something that happened in the studio? Has someone called you that? Or did you just formulate that in your mind that this was how you wanted to project yourself in the music industry?
TH: Well, (Dr.) Dre is the origin of the name. Dre gave me the name and I will say that Dre is very good at naming people according to personality and how he feels about them. I think that everyone in our entire crew has one. But, I can tell you what it meant to me at the time he tried to give it to me. When he first said it I was like, " I don't know if I'm feeling that." Because there is a whole lot of responsibility that comes along with carrying such a name. But, then I had to look at it as an either or, pros and cons thing for me. Because, I started looking at the pros of it and the pros of it was, that was the place I was in my life at the time. I was in a place of ultimate and total truth. I wanted to be me. I wanted to be not afraid to be me at that time and really express myself. So, basically when he did name me that, it was very a profound experience. I kind of got the revelation that it was cool for me to take it take it on or I wouldn't have done it. Like I said, the responsibility is awesome.
TFM: I just interviewed Alex Thomas last month.
TH: Uh oh!! (Laughing)
TFM: AT is off the hook! He was talking to me about 'The Up In Smoke Tour' and it was just so funny that the fact that the amount of people that were on the tour that are legendary performers to have you and him it seems like at the same time come up and grab your piece of the pie. How do you feel about Alex and what he's accomplishing?
TH: I feel Alex is very, very worthy of what he's accomplishing, now I feel that he's got a great spirit He's definitely motivated and he's the best self-promoter that I have ever met in my life. So, I feel that everything that he's doing is absolutely deserved. He can't lose. He's not gonna lose. He's not gonna let that happen. And, I appreciate him for appreciating me, also.
TFM: Do you remember doing the ASCAP Showcase in 1993 when you were in 'Shug and Dap' at the Roxy?
TH: Yes, I do.
TFM: I was in that show as well, and I met you at that time. When you were in that group you guys had like that 'buzz'. And, everybody wanted to see you guys. Did that situation from going from there into the in between period from where you are then and now was that an immense growing period for you as far as, musically or spiritually?
TH: Everything. It was a huge growing experience from that time till now. I ended up having a child in between that time. Spiritually, I 've gone through a lot of changes and everything that I've gone through has basically added on to me up this point. So, I 'm kind of thankful that I did had to undergo all those things from 'Shug and Dap' all the way up till now. Even though, we had our 'buzz' it was really difficult for us as a group, trying to come up and trying to get what we were trying to get. It wasn't easy [and ] it still isn't easy but, back then it was a more of learning experience. And, I'm starting to see that everything that went on from that time till now is definitely for now. With what I'm trying to do now, I'm glad I went though it.
((( Audio Interview Below )))