What is your earliest memory of America?
Tupac dying as soon as I got here.
Had you listened to his music in Morocco?
Man, I’m the biggest ‘Pac fan. That’s when All Eyez on Me had dropped. I love ‘Pac, my favorite of all time.
Do you remember how you heard?
It was playing on the radio in Morocco.
Then you came to America...
Over there [in Morocco], you hear everything but you don’t get to see it. But here you get to see it. So here, I got to see these rappers I'd only heard before. And then I got to meet a lot of these rappers. There are ones that I meet and like more, and ones who I meet and then lose respect for.
What makes you lose respect for somebody?
When you pretend to be something you’re really not. There are people out here that are really about that life. Sometimes you just know how to make music, and you can fake everything else. By understanding music, you can win people over. If you look at the game, there are a lot of people that did some real fucked up shit.
That seems to be what the Common and Drake shit is about. Common’s stance seems to be that Drake...
I don’t know the background. I don’t really know where they come from. A lot of people put on costumes when the camera turn on.
Who has impressed you the most?
I would have to say—not just because he my boy—I’d have to say Max. I would have to say Gucci, because he’s really cuckoo like that.
How did you meet Gucci?
Through Waka Flocka.
I watched the "Chopper Down" video for the first time recently. Did you watch the State of the Union the other night?
Nah, you did?
I did. I support President Obama.
I love Obama. I support him too. I just don’t get into politics.
Do you make an effort to stay out of it?
I don’t make an effort to stay out of it, I just don’t get into it. I have enough problems in my own life, and if things gonna change, they gonna change and I hope that they change for the better. Politics, other people's problems—it’s just too much. You wake up in a good mood and it just fucks your day up. That’s why, what I said about Kanye—
Are you talking about the Angie interview?
Yeah, on Angie, when I said Kanye didn’t have no phone and they told me I had to email him, this and that. I think that’s some real intelligent shit [what Kanye does]. Most of the phone calls you get is people asking for shit, people putting you in a bad mood that fucks up your whole energy. So, I kind of really respect that. That would be something I really want to do, but I just can’t do it now, at this level. I need to be in tune with people and get what I need to get. But I think for a person like him, that’s some real clever shit.
You said during the interview you don’t email at all, right?
Nah, he emailed. He contacts via email.
But you don’t email.
I don’t email nobody on conversations. I don’t do that. You got a lot of stuff done with email, but if you driving all day, you just want to get one conversation in. Like, "Let's get it." Little texts, this and that, shit takes hours.
So you don’t really text either?
I text, but I like talking to people. Sometimes the way you text stuff, people take it the wrong way.
You can’t tell how anybody means anything...
The tone. You gotta watch the tone.
If somebody was to say something about you on a record, would you say something back?
They would never be able to come to New York.
Nobody would be that stupid to talk shit.
Nobody would be that stupid. If you're gonna say something that stupid, you gotta be strong. Because the way we're gonna approach it is going to be different. You have to come to New York— all the labels are here. It would just be suicide. Because I don’t come from rap.