21 Savage is finishing 2016 strong. Within the past year, the 24-year-old Atlanta rapper has seen his popularity skyrocket thanks to the success of his Savage Mode EP with Metro Boomin, numerous features with big-name acts, and his recently launched HIHORSE’D Tour with Young Thug. He’s clearly living the high life now, but Savage claims in a new interview that he never got into music for the money or the fame.

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“Shit. I just started taking my goddamn dope money and spending it on studio time,” he explained in his just-released January/December cover story for The Fader. “I liked how the studio looked. The vibes. The cookies and shit. But I wasn’t rapping cause I was like, ‘Damn, I can get rich and famous.’ I was gonna get rich regardless. I was rapping ‘cause there wasn’t shit else to do.”

You have to respect his honesty. Throughout the feature, it’s clear that authenticity is important to Savage—not only for himself, but also for the people he surrounds himself with. This appears to be the reason why he and producer Metro Boomin have had such a successful partnership.

“Rap’s way too friendly. That’s why I fuck with him—it’s not buddy buddy, with five, six niggas on every song. It’s ‘Fuck that nigga,'" he said. "If you ever see 21 Savage do a song with a rapper, it’s because he got paid the way he wanted to get paid.”

Savage told The Fader that he and Metro Boomin have about 20-30 unreleased tracks in the vault, which may be released as Savage Mode 2; however, he couldn’t make any promises. He also didn’t give a clear answer about signing a major contract. Though he has vocalized his intentions to stay away from deals, he is now considering inking a distribution agreement with Slaughter Gang.

We’ll just have to see how that all plays out.

You can read Savage’s full cover story at The Fader’s website

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