We're not the cause, we're the effect.
On a mission your worst enemy is idle time.
I feel that luck is a product of hard work.
I'm more focused on giving solutions and inspiration more than anything.
Gangbanging is a survival instinct, regardless of how anybody tries to paint it.
My mom is American, so I was raised in her household in my formative years.
Luck is just bein' prepared at all times, so when the door opens you're ready.
All the smart money got they bets on me / And all the real niggas wish the best for me
And it's possible to monetize your art without compromising the integrity of it for commerce.
I'm focusing on the music, but I still got a cold library of books that I've either read or I plan on getting to.
I was never ignorant, as far as being experienced in classrooms and learning about different subjects and actually soaking it up.
If you don't know your full-throttle history, the whole story of how you came to where you are, it's kind of hard to put things together.
If I wasn't involved in this hip-hop sh*t, I'd probably be breakin' the law to eat and feed my family and maintain the lifestyle that I'm used to.
Your parents are supposed to tell you to make decisions that are gonna help you and that'll have a positive effect on your life and your well-being.
My thing is that I don't give no person that much power over my path that I'm walking. Not one person can make or break what I'm doing, except me or God.
An artist always know everything he does, you know what I'm saying, all the record he starts and don't end up in the public and just sit on the harddrive.
When I became a man, and I started to understand the difference between the truth and what your parents are supposed to tell you, there's a difference, know what I mean?
[In Eritrea] in key positions - president, government, police - everybody's the same [color]. It's a country run by its people. No racial class, everybody feels a part of it.
Obviously from childhood to my teenage years, I really came into my own. I left the house early; I was on the streets when I was, like, 15. I've been holdin' my own since that age.
If it wasn't for the music bein' my outlet, I'd probably be hustlin', I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to go and get a nine-to-five, I never finished high school or none of that.
If you 35, 28, or 30 years old, and you decide you're gonna pick up a rag and start bangin', and you can look yourself in the mirror and you still feel like you're a man? That's cool, do your thing.
As gang members, as young dudes in the streets, especially in L.A., we're the effect of a situation. We didn't wake up and create our own mindstate and our environment; we adapted our survival instincts.
I respect Snoop even aside from the music, just as a man, and especially the way he still represents who he is, after being a pop star and an icon. He's done it successfully and has still been able to balance it.
It's my opinion that, if Barack did want to solve the gang problem, number one would be to work with people from the inside out, people who can actually give him an accurate analysis of the problem in L.A., because they're in it or at one point were a part of it, and now they're workin' to change it, and redirect the energy and the focus of it. And then consciously take steps to solve the problem. But I don't feel like zero tolerance, strict laws, locking everybody up is a viable means to stop that problem.
I kinda came into my manhood, or what I thought was my adulthood, early. I had to show up, and I had to make sure I had gas money, food money, rent money, clothes money - everything was on me, startin' at that age, so that's what led me to start hustlin', that's what led me to start to try to find ways to fend for myself. And once I did that, I was full-time, bein' in the street, and, bein' in the street, it's cold. It's the way the streets operate, and you have to adapt to that.
Money is a tool – it’s the means, not the end. Inspiration is the metric that dictates whether or not a project is a success. It’s more realistic than trying to aim for radio play, or trying to satisfy an AR, or the other gatekeepers on these platforms. I don’t even know how to create with those things in mind. But if you tell me the goal is to inspire? That makes my job a lot easier.
In all honesty, based on the direction my life was heading in before I got a real break in the music sh*t, I'm not gonna say I would be one hundred percent in a negative direction, but I know that I would still be in the streets, so if it wasn't for the music bein' my outlet, I'd probably be hustlin', I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to go and get a nine-to-five, I never finished high school or none of that.
It's my opinion that, if Barack did want to solve the gang problem, number one would be to work with people from the inside out, people who can actually give him an accurate analysis of the problem in L.A., because they're in it or at one point were a part of it, and now they're workin' to change it, and redirect the energy and the focus of it. And then consciously take steps to solve the problem.
My mom is American, so I was raised in her household in my formative years. But as I got older, my pops tried to keep me involved with the culture by telling me the stories of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, how he came to America, and about our family back home, because all that side of my family, my aunties, grandparents, is in Africa.
I feel that puttin' in the hours and years in the studio, honing my craft, definitely played a part, me consciously networking and presenting myself as an artist that's commercially sellable led to me meeting the right people, which in turn led to them givin' me positive referrals to other people, which in turn led to me signin' a deal.
If you're a real hip-hop fan and a real street music fan, and you just love good music, you're gonna play it from top to bottom, and you're gonna get the concept, you're gonna get the story of my life, you're gonna be entertained, you're gonna dance you're gonna feel emotion, you're gonna get the truth, whether you like it or hate it.
I didn't wanna be looked at as no idiot, and I didn't wanna feel like I was uneducated, because I really stopped going to school at 15. I was never ignorant, as far as being experienced in classrooms and learning about different subjects and actually soaking it up, so I checked into college for a little bit.
I never thought my granny, somebody that was born down South, who witnessed America when it was segregated, would see, in her lifetime, an African-American in office as the President of the United States. It's major, it's a real historic day.
A lot of artists come into the game with a radio record, but they don't establish the fans as fans of their style of music. It's just that they're a fan of that song, and after that song plays out, it's real hard for 'em.