August Alsina: "My brother got killed. So at that point, I was like, man I'm out here, we all living the same way. This is what happened to him, so it's what's going to happen to me the same way. I was just was like, it's either this or that.
"I had already connected with my manager, the one I'm with now. We just never made it happen because I was in some other shit. When my brother got killed, it was like, you look at it like an opportunity. 'Give me six months, stop doing what you doing and come fuck with me and let me show you what I can do.' And at that point I was like, 'I ain't got shit to lose but my life out here in these streets so why not give it a chance?'
But when my brother got killed, it was like, you look at it like an opportunity. "Give me six months, stop doing what you doing and come f**k with me and let me show you what I can do."
"So I gave it a shot, started picking up after shit being down for me for a long time. I'm so different of a guy, and I don't even know if different is the word, I'm my motherfucking self. It took awhile for him to actually get me and understand who I am, and work out the kinks in what we were doing. I was connected with him for awhile, it just took a while to actually kick shit off and get the ball rolling.
"When we first linked up, it took awhile to actually get in the studio. I remember pressing, pressing, pressing him about being in the studio, because at that point I was out here, but I was staying with the dude who introduced me to him and I ain't never been that type of guy to be up in nobody's shit. I didn't have my own privacy, and everything was just out in the open and I never really liked that. So it was a struggle just to get to this point.
"We never really recorded, because we needed to figure out what it is that we would still going to be doing musically. I don't believe in going with a million producers and a million writers, that ain't what it's about. I believe you find your equal with this shit, just like Drake got a 40, just like Aaliyah had Timbaland, Kendrick and Dre.
"I believe everyboy got a equal, so you find your equal and you run with it. My equal to this shit go by the name of The Exclusives. They some of the most talented cats I've ever met. A guy by the name of Sean 'Pen' and Ralph, we been in this shit since I first first started.
"It's funny because I remember I was younger and I had did a cover on YouTube of this song by Lloyd and J. Holiday, 'I Can Be More.' It just so happened to turn out that they the ones that wrote that song. [Laughs.] After I did that cover, I met the guy that manages me now. He also managed Lloyd, so I met him. It's just crazy how the shit all came full circle after I did a cover of Lloyd's shit, and then I met the dude who wrote it and then Lloyd's manager.
"So it was just about figuring it out. We don't need another Chris Brown, we don't need another Trey Songz, we don't need another Beyonce. It's about doing your shit and bringing your shit to life. It's just like a kid being born. First you fuck [Laughs.], you nut in the bitch, then she go through about nine months of pregnancy, and then the motherfucker is born. That's what it was like, making a kid and figuring it out.
"I remember my very first cover was 'How To Love' by Wayne. We put it on WorldStar, got a awesome response and we just stuck at it. The next one I did was 'Trust Issues.' I was doing acoustic covers, too, so I just stuck with the covers. Then we had somehow got to a point, we started grabbing niggas' attention."