As far as Top Hip Hop Album of 2012, "Live from the Underground" has made just about every list out there. Your thoughts?
It's a blessing to be apart of those list. Its always dope to be recognized for your art. Im just thankful that people enjoyed the album and that i got the opportunity to tell my story
After experiencing so much success at an independent level, what led to your decision to sign with Def Jam, why was it the right time?
When you think hip hop you think Def Jam. I knew that it would give me a platform where millions of people could hear my music. Jonny Shipes and Sha Money XL both believed in my music and did what they could to make sure i had full creative control.
How important is it for you to never sacrifice the creativity and lyrical content of your music for corporate approval or mainstream success?
It's extremely important not to sacrifice your creative control. I never wanted to be on stage and perform a song I didn't believe in. Its never been about a single for me or the money. I love what I do and I'm happy doing it. I rap about my real life and i think that's why people can relate.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXPYpWQ1v44%5D
Nowadays, people tend to find the music they like on their own, if they like it they will gravitate to it. That being said talk about your fan base and the responsibility you have to your fans?
There's no specific demographic I cater to. My supports are from all different walks of life. Music is the only language everybody speaks and it brings people together. I'm human and I go though the same things my supports go though everyday. I owe them quality music, timeless music, and substance. It's important that i give them both sides of the spectrum. We all have good days and bad and i plan to rap about it all
You have set the bar quite high for yourself so far. I'm sure you wouldn't have it any other way, what are some of your goals,personally and professionally for 2013?
I think 2013 is all about branding. I want to brand more artist. I want to brand my label. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me but this is what I've dreamed about. I would love to produce for some of my favorite artist as well.
How important is the company you keep around you to your success?
The company you keep super important. It helps to have people that knew you in the very beginning. Its very easy to get lost in the glamour of this industry. You need people that will tell you the truth regardless if hurts your feelings.
Is one of your goals to be one day known as the King of Southern Rap or more so to just change the perception of it?
I think every man should feel like he's a king at what he does not just in music but in life. I want to be a King Remembered In Time.
You're opening up for Ludacris, in Hawaii's first big hip hop show of the year, what is your relationship like with Luda?
Luda is like my big brother. If i ever have any question about music or the business he doesn't mind sharing his experiences. The fact that he believe in me enough to jump on "Country Shit" was crazy to. He set a positive example as well. I look up to him as a person , musician, and business man.
Talk about the relationship you had with your grandma, is it true that you plan to have a song dedicated to her on every one of your albums?
My grandmother meant the world to me. She gave me a lot of the morals and beliefs that I share in my music. I will always have a song dedicated to her on every project. Its kind of my way of paying my respect.[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DadKYv3A4tI%5D
What's the best and worst things about hip hop that are different from when you were growing up?
I think Social Networks are a gift and a curse. Its the best because it allows you for promote your music to the masses and get instant feed back with out having big budget dollars. Its the worst cuz it harbors so much negativity and hate.
Best piece of advice someone in the rap game has given you?
David banner gave me some of the best advice to date. He told me to Pay my taxes, Keep my creative control, never lose my faith, and Stay Prayed Up.
You love to crowd surf, what about surfing in the ocean?
The funny thing about that is I can't swim. So I'm not sure if ill ever surf the ocean. Crowd surfing is much safer because I can't drown.[youtube;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meRunIb97hw%5D