When did you first start rapping?

It was always something that we loved doing. It got serious during ‘05 or ‘04, but it was always a hobby. [It’s like] when you with your homeboys and everybody’s rapping. When I went in the studio and laid it down, it was a good experience. When you’re from the hood, and you love music, you’re always gonna be rapping. Hip-hop should be a part of your whole life. Everybody gonna think they can do it one time [in their life]. That phase just fades out.

Who were some of your musical influences?

Number one was Tupac. I liked Snoop, B.I.G., and Nas. That was my generation. It was a blend of everything [in '90s hip-hop]. That’s when Wu-Tang was hot. That was my era. I know they had the era of the Rakims, but that’s for everybody that’s 30+. My era is 30 and under with the Wu-Tangs, Nas, Big Pun—just that era.

I hear you almost got killed early in your rap career. What happened? And did you really get your career started with the settlement money?

I got shot coming out of a studio. It was about ‘03-’04. I guess somebody had a hit out on me, and I came out the studio and got shot in the head. I ended up in the hospital. It was murder case that I was dismissed off. No, [there wasn’t any settlement money to start up my rap career]. People will spread all kind of rumors.