Speaking of cosigns, you recently got one from Pharrell. How did you end up working with him?
He reached out. He called my people and we got in the studio. He showed love on Section.80 and was telling me how much he appreciates the sound we went for and how we weren’t scared to push boundaries.
Listening to Section.80, it was a feel that I don’t think a lot of people can jump on as soon as you hear it. It’ll probably take a few times to listen, but when you do you get the whole gist of it. He said that’s a big leap that he can appreciate because that’s the same type of feel he was going for in the early Star Trak days, pushing the limits. We got to work on like four ideas [for songs]. It’s a good start, I will tell you that.
You have beats from Dre, beats from Pharrell. These are pricey guys to get. How do you afford beats from them?
That’s off the relationship.
Are you getting a discount?
[Laughs.] Hopefully. I make that record and we try to release that motherfucker, then they try to charge me five hundred racks for it. Fuck! Nah, I’m just fuckin’ around. But yeah, hopefully. If they love the record that much and they believe in me, hopefully, because I definitely don’t have that type of money.
So you guys have never had that type of discussion?
Nah, that’s what you don’t want to do. That’ll ruin the artist and the producer. I wouldn’t want no producer telling me, “Let me talk to ya folks first about this record.” I don’t even want this shit anymore because I can’t even put my all into it and be creative without thinking about numbers that I don’t have.
You’re one of the few rappers who doesn’t drink or smoke. Did you ever do it at one point?
I tried, but it never gave me the stimulation I needed because I think so fucking much. Of course, I got drunk, got high, and had a bad trip. I was scared as fuck, I thought I was gonna die.
Off of weed?
Nah, this was some other shit.
Did you smoke some laced shit?
Nah, not no laced shit.
What happened to you?
I just had a bad trip where you think you’re about to die. That’s all I know about bad trips, you think you about to die.
After that trip, you never smoked again?
I smoked a few times after that. I smoked. I’ve been high before. I just never got the gist of it, of the feeling what everyone else was telling me about. It never hit me. I don’t smoke period. But I’m surrounded by crackheads.
You said that you wrote “H.O.C.” because of [ScHoolboy Q]. Do you ever actually get high off contact?
You know what’s crazy, though? I made a song about “H.O.C.,” but I’m around the Wiz Khalifas of the Wiz Khalifas. Wiz don’t smoke like these cats do. But yeah, “H.O.C.” is real.
In “The Heart, Part 1,” you talk about meeting J. Cole, and about all these young guys that are getting recognition. Who are you feeling right now that is in the position you were in two years ago, or even last year?
That’s crazy, because I still look at myself in the same position I was in two years ago. [Pauses.] Damn, that’s ill. I done learned something by myself. I still want to prove myself because I have a lot to fucking prove. Some people think I have two feet in the door, I think I have a shoelace in the door.
I can’t really speak on a lot of artists other than L.A. dudes. But I think we’re all on the same line. I don’t look at it as, “I’m ahead of them,” or, “They’re ahead of me.” Neither one of us are ahead of nothing until we’re able to put out music that we want, on our own terms, on a major scale, and able to change the motherfucking torn ass industry.
What other projects are you working on?
I’m just working on a bulk of music right now. Not really focused on an actual project, unless it’s my album. That’s actually the only thing that I’m really going in on. Black Hippy, of course we’re finishing that up.
Do you have a timeline for it to be released?
[The Black Hippy project should be out] this year. But I’m not going to put out another solo project. I’m gonna let Section.80 breathe for a second.
Your next project is going to be a big one. Are you going to try and get a distribution deal for that if you’re not going to release it through a major label?
I’m not focused on that, I’m just focused on music. I’m not really thinking about the business end of it. I’m focused on Section.80 right now and getting the visuals done. I need to be seen. We’ll just continue to push that because it’s still new, it’s still breathing. We gonna push it all the way to the limit.