Being acknowledged for your work is always a great accomplishment, whether it's people in my city, kids in the street, all the way up to the Grammys.
The worst part of success is, to me, adapting to it. It's scary.
Sometimes you have the trends that's not that cool. You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don't really have that lifestyle, and then it gives off the wrong thing. And it becomes kinda corny after awhile. It's really about keeping hip-hop original and pushing away the corniness in it.
My parents were fairly young in the city of Compton. So the things that they played - you know, that was the hip crowd. So I was being exposed to all these ideas, from Big Daddy Kane to Eazy-E to the Bay Area - Too Short, E-40 - you know, back to Marvin Gaye and the Isley Brothers.
My folks ain't graduated from high school or nothing like that, so we always had to struggle in the family - and I come from a big family.
Tupac, Biggie, Jay. Your usual suspects. These were the people that was played in my household.
Groups break up because they never got across what they wanted to do personally, and they have creative differences, and egos start to clash.
I think my worst problem is actually living in the moment and understanding everything that's going on. I feel like I'm in my own bubble.
Me, as a person, I grow. I'm like a chameleon. You know? That is a gift and a curse for me. But more so a gift, because it never puts me in a box.
I'm Machiavelli's offspring, I'm the king of New York, king of the coast, one hand, I juggle them both.
My passion is bringing storylines around and constructing a full body of work rather than just a 16-bar verse.
At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out. Now I'll talk about being beaten up or robbed or making a stupid decision because of a girl or whatever.
Since day one, since the first time I touched the pen, I wanted to be the best at what I do.
Temptation is just the feeling that you're the most independent person on planet Earth. That you know everything. That's something that we all go through as a kid. Now, this lifestyle that I'm in, the same thing exists! But it's 10 times worse, because everything is at my disposal. When you're in the limelight, you can get anything you want.
When you go on your Twitter or look down your Timeline and it's all great positivity - I love that. But at the same time, it can really divert you from what your purpose is or what you're trying to do. And I've seen artists get caught up in that.
From the moment I started writing raps, I was always aware of the pressure. I always wanted to live up to how huge Snoop got, how huge Dre got, how huge Pac got. I was always aware.
I've got an extra-specific story about Dr. Dre. I saw him when I was 9 years old in Compton - him and Tupac. They were shooting the second 'California Love' video. My pops had seen him and ran back to the house and got me, put me on his neck, and we stood there watching Dre and Pac in a Bentley.
When I went back to my old high school, all these kids looking at me like I'm the real big homie, the same way I look at Jay Z, Nas, or Dr. Dre. You would've thought Michael Jackson walked through that joint off the excitement that they had.
Sonnymoon and Quadrants are a couple of bands that really inspire me in terms of the melodics of things and certain tones and just what feels good. It takes me back to the type of music that I grew up on in my household. We played a lot of gangsta rap, but we also played a lot of oldies, and I think that mix is part of what inspires my sound.
The majority of my interactions with police were not good. There were a few good ones who were actually protecting the community. But then you have ones from the Valley. They never met me in their life, but since I'm a kid in basketball shorts and a white T-shirt, they wanna slam me on the hood of the car. Sixteen years old.