R-Truth was a guest on this week’s episode of Edge and Christian’s Pod Of Awesomeness. During the show Truth talked about seeing Ric Flair during one of the first wrestling shows he’d ever been to, and how Jack Crockett told Truth that he could be like that as well. Truth went on to explain how Flair is an icon in hip-hop culture because he’s got an ‘it’ factor:
“He has that it factor man. He’s one of the greats that has that it factor. Not only does he have that it factor, Flair is cool. In the urban community, he’s cool, he’s not a cornball. He’s not like watching paint dry, he’s a cool dude, and the urban community loves that. He’s got that swag.”
Truth also talked about getting released by WWE in 2002, and how it affected him personally. Truth said it was scary because he had some so far and didn’t want to end up back on the streets. He said he took that as a sign he needed to work on himself and lit a fire that he didn’t have since the first time he worked the independent scene years before that.
“Oh man, you sent me right back there. Shit got real for a minute. It was scary. I come from the streets, doing the wrong thing, selling drugs and everything you can think of under the sun. Succeeding, being on TV, being a professional, I was proud of myself, I was happy. That was the second job I had in my life. The first job, I was on work release working at a warehouse. WWE gave me my second job. It was on TV and like… To get fired? To get released? That was the biggest blow to my self-esteem, to my character, to my emotions, to my manhood, to everything man. I remember, I was at the house with my oldest son and I got that call from Johnny Ace. You know that call. Johnny was the guy that hired me, fired me and hired me back, which was kind of cool. But I was just fired, everything stopped, my whole world stopped. I refused to go back to the streets, refused to put myself back in jeopardy, I had to man up. I took it as, I need to grow up more, I need to perfect my craft. It made me hungry again, like the first time I did the independents.”
When Truth left WWE, he ended up going to TNA where he was a two-time TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Truth says that period prepared him for an eventual return to WWE because it allowed him to pitch his own ideas and work on his character, in addition to his “What’s Up” song.
“100% man. 100% it did. It pretty much groomed me for what I had to face coming up. I needed that. My second run back, I was more than happy that I had that time away. I felt like a grown man when I came back, and I actually told Vince that. He looked at me like I had two heads. “I had time to grow up Vince, I had time to prepare for this.”
That’s where What’s Up originated from. I remember when I played it for Jeff and I said that I produced the song in my trailer. I think the people will like it. Jeff was so open to “Hey, if you think it will work, let’s do it.” He was taking a lot of my ideas and putting them forward. Being in a smaller pond, I was able to pitch my own stuff and they gave you the chance.”