What’s the status of the album?
Man, I thought my album would’ve been out right around now. But one thing I’ve learned in this game is you never know anything. I remember when they gave me the release date of October 26. I was so hyped. But I soon knew that wasn’t gonna happen. I haven’t even had a consistent three weeks in the studio. I’m blessed enough to be able to go out on the road. I get a good week in the studio but then I’m off for a show. But I still managed to pull off what I think is an incredible album.
How did “Who Dat” end up becoming the first release?
Everyone at Roc Nation was asking, ‘Can we work something?’ and ‘Who Dat’ was the first record I did that had this incredible energy about it. My team in the studio was like, Whoa, this sounds special. I don’t know if it’s a single, but damn this just sounds special. It stood out immediately. My manager, Mark Pitts, always says that on your first one all you gotta do is strike a nerve. It don’t gotta be a No. 1. Even though it wasn’t a smash hit, they’ll never forget “Who Dat.” Mark said, it was like Smoothe Da Hustler’s “Broken Language.” It turns heads.
Still—you weren’t disappointed it wasn’t a big radio record?
The fact is, as many radio stations in as many places that did play ‘Who Dat’ exceeded my expectations. Now that I know the game and I’ve been on these stations, I know who’s gonna play what records, and who’s not. I refuse to be the artist that drops a super-duper great album, but it goes under the radar. Or it sells however many thousands, but there was no radio record so the masses didn’t get a chance to hear it. I refuse to be that artist.
[Drake] sent me a text, said you guys were making a song together called “The Luckiest People.” Can you confirm?
Hell yeah. That shit is dope. I’m recording my verse. Drake is one of the people I really wanted to work with as soon as I got myself to the place where I needed to be. He got himself there. He worked super hard. Those are the type of people I wanna work with. I wanna feel like I earned it.