“I would say I was a big Kanye head all the way throughout grade school, but right after Kanye, I started listening to Lupe [Fiasco]. All the Fahrenheit 1/15 joints were coming out around high school. I remember Revenge of the Nerds was some big shit when I was in seventh grade. Common, just a lot of Chicago rap really. And I also liked Lil Wayne when I was a shorty. I was super into the Hot Boyz and Big Tymers and the whole New Orleans movement. I was really on that shit when I was younger, Juvenile and all that shit, but that shit kind of made its pass. Early Eminem was some really big shit when I was going into high school, and I remember that was like, this nigga is crazy, this nigga is very clever with everything that he says and very meticulous in choosing what he says, and that was my writing style at that point.”
I started getting more into melodies later in high school and I started listening to Freestyle Fellowship and Souls of Mischief and just more melodic, jazzy rappers.
“I think I came up on Eminem the same way that anyone else who was that age was coming up on Eminem. It was via the radio. I didn’t know the coldest shit that he was making at the time. I was really into the Encore album and shit past that. Right after I found out about that shit, I kept reaching back until I found Infinite. I found Infinite pretty quickly, and that shit’s one of my favorite mixtapes. It was just his style and how descriptive he was, and the imagery that he used in his storytelling that made me feel like rapping stretched further, towards the poetry side, [rather] than just being rhythmic about it. I started getting more into melodies later in high school and I started listening to Freestyle Fellowship and Souls of Mischief and just more melodic, jazzy rappers. When I found out I can do that shit with the rhythm, I can break it down into 16s and 32s and be all over the place with the cadences. Right after that, I found out I could do that with the melodies too, and it became a chain that was really controlled and I could use very well.