Hours after releasing i am > i was, 21 stopped by The Breakfast Club to discuss a number of standout cuts from the sophomore album. One of the records was "ball w/o you," which many believe is about 21's famous ex: "Valentines Day, she ripped the card and urinated on the rose petals/You was my rock, heavy metal/Now you ain't shit to me," he raps. "I thought it was love, until I woke up/And had an epiphany/Keep the fame and keep the love/Just give me the loyalty."
When asked if the track was, in fact, about Rose, 21 denied it.
"Look, Amber heard the song before it came out, and she liked the song," he said around the 8:30-minute mark. "On God, me and her cool as a motherf**ka. It ain’t about her, it’s about relationships."
He continued: "I ain’t gon’ lie, it ain’t about her but certain s**t that I’m saying, me and her had them discussions. Like, I done talked to her when we were together, like, ‘F**k your love, Amber. I don’t want your love, I want your loyalty.’ That’s where that came from, but it ain’t just about her."
21 also spoke about connecting with J. Cole on the album's opener "a lot." The Atlanta rapper revealed he had met Cole at JAY-Z's Made in America festival last year, and that they've been in contact ever since.
"We exchanged numbers, and s**t. And we always been talking on some big brother, giving me advice on my career sh**t," he said (1:07).
21 said Cole randomly texted him one day, asking if he could join him in the studio. 21 jumped at the opportunity.
"We just vibed out in there," he said. "He took the song with him back home to Raleigh, 'cause he drove [...] and then he sent me the s**t. And I was like, 'Damn, this s**t hard as f**k. That was just like some spare-of-the-moment s**t. You know I had to go up there and f**k with Cole."
The 26-year-old went on to talk about the evolution of his craft, and how he has started to take music much more seriously. Other topics include his relationship with his father, working with Childish Gambino, and that previously teased Travis Scott collaboration, which he says will be released soon.
"I'mma keep it 100. Man, that shit is so fucking hard. Like, Travis is crazy, man. Y'all know how Travis is," 21 said (31:25). "He's a perfectionist, type s**t. He's been working on that shit for a minute, but he sent it last night. And I was trying to get it, but they was talking a whole bunch of shit that I don't understand—codes and some other s**t. But they're gonna get it on there."
When asked if it was a whole song, 21 refused to shared details.
"Man, I ain't even gonna tell you what it is," he said. "You gonna see though [...] It ain't just no verse. It's more than that."
You can check out the full interview above.