It wasn’t until I was around 19 years of age when I started listening to people from all these different rap groups—Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Common, KRS-One, Action Bronson, Lil’ Kim, Raekwon—and then seeing their rap on television—and realizing people can actually rap really good. The fact that it’s hard is the biggest thing for me when it comes to learning real hard rap. I’m not trying to say that they’re trying; they’re just really good.
How do you learn the finer points of rap?
Honestly, it started at a younger age. Once I found all these different artists that I liked, and heard them in the media, my interest in rap grew and it stayed that way. And then after school, I started going to the clubs, finding some rappers that I liked. Those kids would tell me that they had something to learn and I was like, “OK, I gotta try it.” So I just went through the process of teaching myself from that point forward.
And now you’re at that point where you’ve started teaching yourself?
I’ve taught myself some new things since 2008, like what the beat and tempo should be and how to write hooks and melodies—but the thing that is really helped me the most is learning about how the beat should feel. You know, at this point in my career, I can’t just sit around saying to myself, “All these different styles are great, let’s just try all of those—or let’s just make something that we’re really satisfied with.” I’m always like, “Oh that’s a good song, let’s make it.”
It was also important to me to learn as quickly and efficiently as I could. It’s hard to learn something that can go from “it’s easy” to “it’s hard” after like six months. Every morning I wake up, I say, “Okay I’m gonna go over to the studio.” I’ve been on a project for almost a semester now, and it has taken a very long time to go from idea phase to getting a beat down. Even though it has been months, getting all of these words written down first is very important because as rappers, as creative people, we can’t just just write lyrics all day.
What about your career has been challenging?
It depends, but the most challenging thing is that now for the most part, I just want to write
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