Linking Up With The Smoker’s Club
“I uploaded this freestyle on YouTube [of me rapping when I was fifteen], and it got to WorldStar. And [Jonny] Shipes had seen it, and it caught his attention, and he hit me up on Twitter. He was like, ‘Yo, hit me up in my email.’ And I never heard of him, ever. So I looked at it as, like, ‘Aiight, little homie noticed the skills.’ [Laughs.]But I was like, ‘Fuck it, let me see what he about though.’ And I hit him up, and I learned that he was official. Ever since then, I’ve just been fuckin’ with him.
He always had the vision, then I had my own vision—so it was like perfect division.
“Shipes was like, ‘I wanna build you as an artist. I wanna see you grow.’ He wanted to help me out with whatever I needed. He always had the vision, then I had my own vision—so it was like perfect division. [Laughs.]
“Then, we just started working together. That’s my manager. I had a project in the works at the time, but as soon as I met him, my potential just shot up. So I trashed that project and put a new one in the works, and that was 1999.
“I love Shipes. That’s my big bro. And [Smoke] DZA. That’s my big bro too. He looks out for me. We haven’t even linked up on any music shit. We’re not even in the studio doing shit. That’s literally like my big bro.”