Snoop on Def Jam deal: ‘I’m just an expert at what I do’
Snoop Dogg explains why becoming Def Jam strategic consultant is the right move for him, while movie director Deon Taylor and actor Lil Duval chime in with praise. (June 8)
Bobby Sessions envisioned his future as a rapper and his manifestation is coming to fruition.
In 2014, Sessions left a job with $50 in his bank account, putting himself in a place that made finding success as a rapper mandatory, he tells USA TODAY. He wrote “Def Jam,” his dream record label, on a dry erase board and his vision for the future began to unfold.
Sessions’ debut album “Manifest,” a personal and powerful 12-track lineup recorded with High Standardz and Def Jam Recordings, dropped today.
“It feels good to see a lot of the things I’ve visualized and dreamed about throughout my life come to pass,” says Sessions, who calls himself “Young Legend from Dallas.”
You’re not alone if Sessions’ name is new to you, but it’s likely you’re already familiar with his work. He has writing credits on Megan Thee Stallion and Beyoncé’s summer hit “Savage” and recently won a Grammy for his contribution.
But his award-winning writing is the tip of the iceberg. And he says his debut album is his best work yet.
“Artistically, I was inspired by all of the great debut albums of the past, particularly in the rap genre,” he says, nodding to first studio efforts from Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z.
“If all of those albums, suddenly transformed into a living person, and they sat at a table, I (would) want my album to comfortably have a seat at that table,” Sessions says.
‘The soundtrack to you manifesting your dreams’
The Dallas native’s debut album adds to an already robust body of music including a track from the “Coming 2 America” soundtrack called “I’m A King” with Megan Thee Stallion and his “RVLTN” trilogy, in which he created a space to discuss social justice topics including systemic racism, mass incarceration and police brutality.
“Manifest” is less a social commentary and more a story of destiny realized.
It features collaborations with Rick Ross (“Penthouse Prayers”) and Lecrae (“We Made It”), provides a mix of vibe-y songs that could serve as the backdrop at a party but could also provide the listener with a kind of guide on transcending to become a higher version of themselves.
“This album is going to be the soundtrack to you manifesting your dreams,” Sessions says, noting that the songs should be listened to in chronological order, as they play out the journey of a person going through a metamorphosis. He believes that every person has a “genius-level talent” and he wants “Manifest” to help others realize those gifts.
Sessions started learning about the power of positive thinking while dealing with depression and anxiety, he says.
“I wasn’t able to control any of my thoughts and (depression and anxiety) started to have a physical impact on me,” Sessions says. “I got frustrated with not being able to control my thoughts.”
Sessions Googled “how does the mind work?” and from there his interest in the law of attraction and manifestation stemmed. “I started fixing my own mind and trying to get control of my own mind, studying manifestation,” he says.
On track “Celebration Of Your Higher Self,” Sessions calls the listener to action: “A celebration of your highest self / Look inside you can find your wealth.” He continues to share some of his own experience: “I converted to king / My highest form” adding his name belongs in a “hall of fame.”
In “Dream More Doubt Less” he covers taking a risk to pursue his purpose: “My dream / Right now / Let me take a leap / Some folk back home got hate for me / Want to hold my weight / Let’s wait and see / Murder a beat” continuing that he’s not nervous to be who he’s supposed to be.
Sessions’ leap of faith
The dream of a career in music came later in life for Sessions, who discovered he had a talent for rapping in college. A knock-out performance in front of other students prompting him to drop out, he says. But recognition, opportunity and success didn’t come overnight.
“I worked at Walmart, I worked as a telemarketer, I worked this warehouse job and I was able to take care of myself and finally have stability but I was probably the most unhappy I’ve ever been because I wasn’t doing what I felt I was called to do,” he said.
The ninth track on the album, “Cog In The Machine,” was the most emotional for him to work on, because it reflects on that period of his life.
“I felt like a cog in machine or a hamster on the wheel,” he says, noting he took that leap of faith to pursue what he believes is his calling, despite how scary that kind of leap can be.
And his belief in himself and his commitment to manifestation continues to propel him.
“I believe ‘Manifest’ will win best rap album (at the) 2022 Grammys,” he said. “That’s what I’m manifesting.”