It was New Year’s Eve and Cordae Dunston (known in rap circles today as YBN Cordae) was in the process of reinventing himself. While his friends partied to celebrate the end of 2017, the Raleigh, North Carolina-born rapper was looking ahead. “I was at my aunt’s house babysitting my little cousin,” he recalls, before she declared: “We’re making vision boards.”

To most young people, the idea of a “vision board”—manifesting one’s dreams through images—may sound lame. But Cordae is not your average millennial. “I already had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to smoke weed or drink this entire year,” he says. “I had a conversation with my man M-1 about how I gotta take this shit to a new level.”

And so he did.