A decade prior to the actor/singer's collaborations with West and Twista, Foxx gave audiences a sample of his vocal skills during the comedy special 'Straight from the Foxxhole.' Tickling the ivory keys as he performed his rendition of the children's song 'Mary had a little lamb' and just like that put himself in a whole other category.
"I started doing stand-up comedy in the clubs and putting music in my comedy. Then I got on 'In Living Color' and I started playing this girl -- the Wanda character," he told the BoomBox. "I'll never forget having my cassette tape in my hand because Teddy Riley and Guy were guest starring on 'In Living Color.' I took my cassette tape to [Riley] but I was dressed as the girl! Teddy Riley was like 'Come on man! Come on with this man!' I was like 'You're right. You're right.'"
Now on his third album, 'Intuition,' Foxx is trying out new sounds and hopes fans will enjoy it. His hiatus from the musical spotlight allowed him to decide the direction of this upcoming record. "I can guarantee you this album right here is the best work I've ever done. I [had] an idea to marry R&B and hip-hop together in a great way."
So how does a man over 40 still remain relevant amongst an industry driven by 20 something crooners? He runs everything by his 14 year-old daughter Corrine. "My daughter will be like 'Dad you sound old on this.' So I let her hear some songs and she said 'you sound young.'" He says. "If I sound young on the song but I'm still getting my point across then I know I got something because she's 14 so she's going to let me know the real." Foxx also credits his youthful yet sophisticated sound to the production of The-Dream. "The-Dream wrote half of the record. He's just an incredible talent. I really owe him for like keeping it young. He knocked like 15 years off a brotha'!"
With the importance of the internet in promoting an album and grabbing the ears of the younger generation Foxx saw it necessary to still hold onto the 25 and older crowd. He's a man who makes no bones about complimenting a woman and on 'Intuition' he speaks directly to independent women. Foxx describes the woman he croons about on the album's first single, 'Just Like Me,' as his equal. "[She's] a girl who has her own house, her own car, doing her own thing. Sort of the new woman of the new millennium, so if I'm in the club having a good time, she's on the other side having an even better time. If I'm buying a couple bottles, she's buying out the bar." The video, which was directed by Brett Ratner, tells a story just as a movie would. Ratner was so excited after hearing the song in the studio that he offered to shoot the video free of charge.
Foxx also got some help from West, Lil Wayne, T-Pain and super-producer Timbaland, who pushed Foxx to prove himself during a difficult recording session. "Timbaland just stops the song and says 'I don't believe you. I don't believe that you are really trying to be an artist.' I came out the booth and for like four hours we just sat up and chopped it up and I let him know how much music means to me." He passed the test and Timbaland produced two tracks on the record. On 'I Don't Need It,' one of the two Timbaland-produced tracks, Foxx plays a character that will remind listeners of being in church.
Yet from the church house to the club, 'Intuition' feeds different facets of your imagination by sticking to the storytelling theme with song names like "Blame it on the Alcohol" and "Weekend Girl" which he touts is a "throwback Babyface song."
Despite his intuition, fear definitely seeps into Foxx's mind but it doesn't stifle his ability to play with different musical sounds. "I've been afraid like the past year of some of the things that I'm doing. I'm like 'man am I [going to] look corny on that?'" "Sometimes you have to take a chance so the young folks can understand who you are because if the young folks [aren't] getting you, you [aren't going to] push no records."