You spent years in another crew, Disturbing Tha Peace. Did that experience change your attitude when it came to getting down with G.O.O.D.?
Every experience, I’ve learned from, whether it’s been good or bad. As far as my DTP experience, I learned a lot. I gained a lot of business savvy, from being around Ludacris. I think he’s very intelligent. I learned everything from budgets to product placement. Just applying it to my life currently, I have some phobias, maybe some contract phobias, but at the same time, I’ve grown to become my own man, my own boss, my own CEO. I just cherish this moment that I have of just creating leverage to where people actually respect my opinion.
I do a lot of seed planting. I just do stuff all the time, in different places, and it just depends on when stuff starts growing and bringing attention to itself.
So have you spent much time with the other guys in G.O.O.D., aside from Kanye? Have you had the chance to kick it with them?
I already knew everybody. I have a song with Pusha, CyHi’s from Atlanta, me and Big Sean have a song together. I just met Common, but I’ve been a fan of his music for a long time. I met Cudi before. I met everybody, and it’s a lot of love. The thing that I’m into is—using sports as an analogy—with music, it should be competitive. It should be exercise, and just being in this environment brings that vibe, that cool competitiveness.
Is there anyone in the crew you really want to collaborate with? Anyone you've clicked with?
Everybody, man. Me and Sean, we do dope stuff together. Me and Pusha, we like to talk that kitchen talk, that lingo, that trap talk. I’d love to get down with Common. I was just talking to him and I was telling him how cool it was to be an artist that’s in the middle, maybe Chiacgo or Atlanta. We’re not classified as a coast, so we’re able to take from each side. It’s kind of funny when a West Coast guy does some East Coast stuff and vice versa, but being from Chicago and Atlanta, we’re able to kind of dibble and dab and come up with a gumbo of music. That’s cool.
When did you actually record “Mercy,” and the other stuff you have on Cruel Summer?
I recorded “Mercy” a while back, in LA—It was fun. I recorded a couple songs that day, maybe two or three songs. I didn’t know it was going to be a single. The position that I’m in now, I do a lot of seed planting. I just do stuff all the time, in different places, and it just depends on when stuff starts growing and bringing attention to itself. I didn’t even know that was going to happen, but it’s good for my resumé.
How much direct involvement has Kanye had in your solo album?
Me and Kanye will collab on a few ideas for my album, but I don’t want my album to be solely based on what Kanye’s doing. I have a lot of good energy to bring to the game, and I can’t wait to just express it. August the 14th can’t come quick enough.
Everybody talks about how Kanye’s a perfectionist and can be hard to work with. Has that been your experience?
I think it’s dope, because I am too. I’m an only child. I’m a Virgo. Some of those characteristics make me really picky about certain things before they go out: mixing, mastering. On my mixtapes, that’s what separated me from a lot of people: the details that I put into my actual mixtapes, which were photoshoots, videos, I mixed songs, I mastered original compositions. So I’m detailed as well. It doesn’t really get on my nerves, I appreciate it.