You’ve been fortunate to be around veterans like T.I. at Grand Hustle Records and Nas, who you toured with. What are the greatest lessons they’ve taught you?
Nas encourages me to take risks. He’s made me be less afraid and even more unapologetic. Even with “Bounce,” I was like, “It’s a pop record. I don’t know.” He was like, “Just fucking do it. It’s something different. It’s one song, what’s the big deal?” I couldn’t believe Nas was telling me to do a hip-pop record. The thing that I learned from both of them is to be unaffected by everything. There were a lot of sad days in that studio, and T.I. would be like, “Look, shawty…” and give me a spiel about how he went to prison and if something’s not going to send you to prison or kill you, you shouldn’t worry about it. Career-wise, I used to compete with certain other people I had issues with. He sat me down and said, “You run your own race, like you’re a horse and you have blinders on. Don’t look at who’s on either side of you or who’s coming up.” That’s helped me a lot because even last year a lot of people would have chalked me up and said I was a wrap. I sometimes feel like I’m the turtle and other people are the hare. They win their race and finish or burn out and I just slowly run my own race. It works out in the end.