"I'm definitely kicking my own butt to get the record finished," Rudolf tells Billboard.
Kevin Rudolf doesn't need any outside motivation to complete his long-in-progress third artist album.
"I'm definitely kicking my own butt to get the record finished," the multi-genre artist, songwriter and producer tells Billboard. "At the same time, I want to put out the right record, and that's probably why it's taking so long."
The set will follow Rudolf's 2008 debut "In The City" -- which launched "Let It Rock," his Top 5 single with Lil Wayne -- and its 2010 follow-up "To The Sky." Rudolf has moved from Los Angeles to Miami during the interim and says that in the studio he's been "exploring a lot of different sounds and parts of myself with this next record. If somebody put a gun to my head and said 'You have to put it out tomorrow' I could, but I'm going to keep working until we're mastering, and we're not there yet. But obviously I'm excited about this."
Rudolf has offered a preview of what he's cooking up with "Champions," a new single that features Cash Money mates Lil Wayne, Birdman and Limp Bizkit. The WWE picked also picked up the tune as the theme song for its recent Night Of Champions event in Boston. "Baby [aka Birdman] said to me, 'I want to do another big record for everybody to get on,'" Rudolf recalls. "I think in his mind he imagined Tyga and Nicki [Minaj] and Drake and Lil Wayne. He said, 'You got that record?' and I was like, 'Uh... not yet.' It got to a point where I didn't want to show up at the studio anymore without the record.
"Then I was out in L.A., in the studio with Fred (Durst) working on Limp Bizkit's album, and I just come up with the beat and the hook. Fred was there; he did his verse and the whole thing happened super quick. Then I brought it back to Baby, and he loved it. He wanted everyone on it, but I said, 'Look, I think we have to choose.' So we narrowed it down; Fred was on there already, and obviously we wanted Wayne, and then (Baby/Birdman) got on it, too, which was great. I hope we can get some traction with it and then follow with my album." Rudolf says a remix, and maybe more than one, of "Champions" is planned, which will include features by other Cash Money artists.
Rudolf acknowledges that some of the delay in his own album may come from the work he does for other artists, but he says that's not something he plans to give up. "I get to play in different sandboxes, which is fun and it keeps things interesting," he explains. "I couldn't imagine what it would be like to make only hip-hop beats or just be a country writer. What makes it fun is interacting with different people and saying, 'Wow, this is how they're doing it!' You learn and you grow as an artist, which is the whole point, really."