On top of all that, group member Taboo is putting the finishing touches on his autobiography, “Fallin’ Up,” and just put out his second signature sneaker line, Taboo Deltah 3008, sold exclusively at Footaction (you can also click over to taboodeltah.com). Plus, his hit line TabooXJump is still on sale at Saks and Bloomingdales. The married father of two recently took a tour pit stop to chat with Usmagazine.com .
UsMagazine.com: Congratulations on all the Black Eyed Peas Grammy love! How does it feel?
Taboo: I think our group would cohesively agree we don’t know how to feel until we are actually sitting in those seats. The best award is seeing 20,000 people at our concerts signing our songs. There’s no novelty to it, there is no trophy, it is the true Black Eyed Peas fans.
Us: There’s no slowing down for you these days. You have two shoe lines out, X Jump and Deltah 3008, and your autobiography, “Fallin Up” is set to release soon. How did you get into the sneakers?
T: My involvement with shoes started as a kid. I have every single pair of Air Jordans that was ever released! And touring with the Black Eyed Peas has allowed me to get sneakers that are only sold in different countries, and that propelled me to ask, ‘why am I spending. The first shoe I collaborated on was XJump, which was sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales for $300.00. But I felt like $300.00 was a little too expensive for the kids I wanted to reach. I wanted a shoe that was affordable, comfortable, sexy and sleek, so I went ahead and created the Deltah 3008 with a lower price point, from $65.00- $85.00.
Us: Who would be your ideal celebrity endorser?
T: Johnny Depp — he is my favorite actor! He doesn’t really rock tennis shoes — he rocks those crazy grungy boots — but if Johnny Depp rocked my shoes it would be fresh. If I could get them on Lil’ Wayne that would be cool, and if I could get Justin Bieber to wear them, I’d be in business.
Us: Let’s talk about your autobiography. Why did you decide to write it now?
T: The whole book is about me growing up in an environment that was predominately Mexican and Asian. I was different from the norm because I listened to Hip-Hop, I had a different sense of style and my friends were the only four or five black kids at the school. I was the black sheep. I wasn’t liked by the older kids — they thought I was selling out my own race because I hung out with black people. I had a kid at seventeen and had to get a job at Disneyland during the day, working the electrical in the parade. It was my first job — I would work at Disney World and at night perform with the Black Eyed Peas.
Us: How was it reliving those moments in a sense?
T: When I was writing the book, there were times I would get choked up. It has a lot to do with my grandmother because she was the person who propelled my enthusiasm for entertainment — she believed in me and supported me. My mom wasn’t that supportive of me being a musician because she wanted me to go to school. This book represents the love and appreciation I have for my grandmother.
Us: Now that you’re a father, if your boys want to be musicians are you going to tell them to stay in school or follow their dreams?
T: I’m dealing with that right now with my seventeen-year-old son Josh. We are looking at colleges, but he’s also going to pursue his DJ career, which is his passion. I’m not going to take away the fire from him, because of what I want. It’s about what he feels in his heart and what he’s capable of doing. If my mom would have believed in me like that, we would have had a tighter connection.
Us: The Black Eyed Peas have been so successful as a group, but you’ve all been successful on your own as well…
T: Yeah! Fergie has done so well individually, so has will.i.am. My shoe line is doing really well… Eventually I want to do a Spanish record to represent my Latino community. We are all strong individuals with strong personalities, and I think this is my time.
Us: How has the group dynamic changed over the years? What is it like now?
T: Things are great. Our sixth album just came out, and we’ve all gotten older and wiser in the business sense. We’ve gotten event closer, and we are supportive of each other.
Us: And now you are all touring together. Where are you right now?
T: We are in Brazil. It’s hard to be away from my family. I missed my son’s first drivers test, and my youngest son’s first Halloween. These are the hard things.
Us: How is it different with your second child, now that you’re older?
T: I was a little selfish when I was younger. I cared about myself, and I was out on the streets and letting my mom take care of Josh. I wasn’t prepared mentally to be a parent. Now, I am thirty five-years-old, I am successful, I have something to offer, and I’m capable of parenting now. Before, I didn’t want to take care of a baby and change dippers, but now I am all about it.
Us: How is your bond with your older son now?
T: It’s great. We grew up together, and most young parents will say that. We’ve always had more of a brotherly relationship than a father-son relationship, and that is my fault. I never saw myself like that, and now as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more of a disciplinary figure. I realize now that I can’t be friends with my son because then when it’s time to put it down, he’s going to think ‘why is my friend acting like that?’
Us: Do you think Fergie and Josh Duhamel will have kids soon?
T: I’m so caught up in my own world, I really don’t know. I hope the best for them.
Us: Do you have any parenting advice for them?
T: I would tell them to buy my book. They should read my book about me growing up as a parent.
Us: Do you ever triple date: Fergie and Josh, you and your wife and will.i.am and his girlfriend?
T: We try to give each other our personal space. I don’t get to see my wife and kids that often, so I’m kind of selfish about that. I’m with the group so much that I need my family time.
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This story originally appeared on UsMagazine.com