Do you think you could become a bigger star than Ross?
Yeah, hell yeah. I think I can be the biggest rapper in the game! Ross is the boss of the team, but he’s not the limit to how far you can go in life. I got plans on being bigger than Jay-Z—and [Ross] wants that. If you don’t see your own vision, nobody gon’ see your vision for you.
I think if 50 would’ve picked you up, that could’ve revived his career completely.
I don’t know if it could’ve revived his career, I can’t really say. [But] me and Ross had a man-to-man convo about me getting out here and eating [within] the next six months, and that’s what it is. Me and 50 never had a man-to-man convo. And its all love, I don’t got nothing against 50, but Ross was just the best situation. But if he would’ve signed me, I would’ve still been doing my thing.
What do you see when you look at the videos of yourself when you were a teenager with braids, spitting in front of the camera?
I see the hunger and try to remember where I was at that day, how much money I had in my pocket. I might’ve been 16, 17 [with] $4 worth of gas and a dutch. That just reminds me of the hunger.
You were heavy in the Philly battle scene back then. Is battling something you’d see yourself ever returning to?
I don’t think you gon’ ever hear me coming at somebody, unless its on some fun, competitive rap shit. Not on that, “I’ma kill you, or its gon’ be something when I see you” ’cause where I come from be something is people dying. It goes from zero to 60. No in between, no fighting, none of that.
What’s the craziest thing that you’ve seen in Philly?
Most of my homies die, people I grew up with, hung with everyday, about seven of them died. Started hanging down South Philly, I’ve seen a dead body like once, twice a week.
You remember you first time seeing a dead body?
Probably when I was four or five. I can’t remember. When I caught my case, I told the judge, “My dad was killed out here. Nobody was caught for the murder of my father. There’s no way I’ma be out here not strapped.” So I was runnin’ around carrying a pistol until I got caught. Fortunately, I’m in a situation where I’m able to hire security, but if I didn’t have money and I was still in the streets, I wouldn’t have a choice. It’s a jungle. When a lions out there eating a deer, if you ain’t ready to get down with that other lion, you cant get a piece of this food. Or they gon’ take your food and you gon’ starve to death.
Have you ever been shot at?