I’m good, man. I’m hustling. Another day, another dollar.
Your first song on HipHopGame, “The City Is Mine,” got a lot of positive feedback. “The City Is Mine” is a pretty cocky statement for you to make.
Yeah. I feel like that’s where I’m at right now. I’m a young dude. I’m a new dude. The city is open for anyone and I’m just staking my claim. The city is mine.
What kind of response have you gotten from other Fresno artists like Planet Asia?
It’s crazy. I met Asia when I was 14. I spit for him and he said I was nice. I’ve been doing my thing for a minute and he said he had a lot of respect for me. Diego Redd’s another one. Hearing them say I’m nice means the world to me. It’s been positive responses with anything.
If you said, “The city is mine” in New York, you would have problems. How come you don’t have problems saying that in Fresno?
It’s open land out here. Niggas are coming up the same. It’s for anybody out here. The world is yours, the city is mine.
What’s the Fresno scene like today?
Coming up in Fresno is crazy because we get overlooked a lot. The city itself gets overlooked a lot. You have to rhyme that much harder to get noticed. You have to have relentlessness just to get out and let the world hear what you have to say. I grew up here all my life and we have everything here. There’s rich motherfuckers and poverty.
You talk about being a genius and not having to come with punchlines on “Back On the Block.” Talk about that.
Nowadays there’s this emphasis on punchlines. I’m more of a songwriter and poet. I don’t need no fucking drumroll and punchline. I just want to speak to the people and let them feel where I’m coming from.
How was it recording the “We Takin’ Over” freestyle with Planet Asia, Shake da Mayor and Diego Redd?
It was wonderful. These are legends out here. I’m the hottest of who I go to school with and I hear their names all the time. It’s crazy to be put in the lane with them and for me to be able to hold my own was a great experience. It’s crazy. I was kind of star-struck. We’re all from Fresno and we’re all connected even though we’re from different ‘hoods. It wasn’t too foreign for me.
You had a line in that song where you said, “15 more years to go.” What did you mean by that?
Everyone on that song is 10 years older than me. They’re the big homies and I have 15 more years to go. I have a long way to go. You know how Muhammad was in his prime? He was chilling for a long time. I feel like I’m in my prime right now. I might have limited myself by saying 15 years, but it’s what I meant though. A lot of niggas’ careers don’t even last the summer or a month. I plan to be around for awhile. That’s why I said that. I plan to be around for at least 15 more years. I plan to be around for awhile and have that longevity.
What’s the Grizzly City Movement?
That’s my movement. Everybody calls it “‘No” or “the ‘No.” I call it “Grizzly City.” This is the youngest in Fresno and it’s a new way of thinking. I’m bringing my area to the world. A lot of people in Fresno know where I’m from and they know my ‘hood. They know when I say “Grizzly City” that it relates to me and my ‘hood. That’s my movement.
You’ve dropped two mixtapes recently. What’s the response been?
It was good. The people said I was nice off the first one. Everybody was just grabbing for the second one. They loved it. The skaters, gangsters and chicks were loving it. It’s a good look. Both mixtapes were a good look. I had mixtapes previous to those two but those were ones I did in the basement that nobody’s heard. I have a lot of material.
Being 17 years-old has it’s benefits in this game, but there’s also a downside to it where people say, “What can he rhyme about? He’s only 17.” Have you experienced that?
What I’ve had to do is gain those people’s respect. I have to be fresh and new. That’s the hardest part. I love being young. I enjoy it.
Have you started working on your debut album?
I’m trying to put out an album, but I have to establish my fanbase first. I don’t want to drop an album and only sell 1,000 copies. I have to get them strong with me first because I’m a new artist. I’m trying to hit every ‘hood and reach the people.
What’s going on with your crew Section 8?
We’re working on a project right now called Government Cheese. We’re trying to drop it nationwide. I’ve already done two mixtapes with my crew, For My People and The Young and the Reckless.
What’s your focus going to be for the next couple of months?
I’m looking to do these shows and I’m trying to reach these people. I’m trying to get as much publicity as I possibly can and bring the town to the forefront. I’m trying to shine some light on the valley. That’s my main focus right now.
Where do you want to be two years from now?
I want to have the same drive, hunger and determination. I don’t want to be chilling and thinking about what I should be doing. I want to be on my hustle. I don’t want to be sitting back.
What do you want to say to everybody?
Have open ears and feel where I’m coming from. Feel my story and embrace me because I’m going to be here for awhile. As long as I’m alive I’m going to be here, so embrace me.