Lil Durk: "I always used to listen to Meek [Mill]. I liked [Rick] Ross. I liked Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. ‘Crossroads.’ I used to listen to a lot of Bone Thugs. I don’t know how old I was. I knew I was real young because that’s when the video for 'Crossroads' first came out.
"[I first got into Meek because] he was a battle rapper. He was on YouTube, DVDs, and stuff. He was young and just rapping. I used to see him battle and I was like, ‘I like this cat.’ It’s crazy when I see him now because he was a battle rapper and now he makes songs.
"I was trying to trend. What everyone was doing back then, I was trying to do the opposite. Everybody’s saying drill, and that’s when I made 'I’m A Hitta.' The opposite will make you fans out of everybody else.
"When I started rapping, probably—I wasn’t hearing too many Chicago rappers. There weren’t none when we started making 'Sneak Dissin.' There wasn’t none but King Louie and Bump. And they had a whole totally different type of sound.
“After ‘I’m A Hitta,’ I kind of figured [it would blow up] but not like [what] it is now. After ‘Sneak Dissin’ I thought I’d do something different. I made ‘I’m A Hitta’ and it got to 300,000 views. I’m like, 'Damn, I could take off.'
"Sly [Polaroid], [King] Louie. It was the three of us. I been knew Sly. He’s been in the family. We all know each other. He’ll go to mine or my grandma’s house. And Louie, we’re all from the same block."