A lot was accomplished in my mixtape career. But I still needed a few things: I needed to be recognized. I need to have radio. I need to have a real retail machine that can get us where we need to get that.
'Victory Lap,' even the title. It's the accumulation of trial and error; that's what I represent; trial and error.
I think everybody's trying to get to a place in themselves where they conquer what they was afraid of; they achieve some of their life goals, kept their word about what they were trying to do.
When you say 'follow me on Twitter,' and you get 10 million people to follow you - you just leveraged your influence to add value to an app that you have no ownership in.
When you talk about black entrepreneurship, you're talking about addressing the foundation of what's going on with our people when we don't have any financial power. Our basic needs aren't being met in a lot of cases, so there's no way we're going to be able to tap into our potential until we address those bottom-level base needs.
Looking at 2014, I look back: we made more money off 'Mailbox Money' than we would have made off taking an advance from anybody. We made more money letting our fans buy the stuff directly from us than what any label could have offered us.
As much as I'm a black person from America, I'm a black person from Africa, too.
As I got older, my pops tried to keep me involved with the culture by telling me the stories of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, how he came to America, and about our family back home, because all that side of my family - my aunties, grandparents - is in Africa.
I will never say something I don't agree with or believe in... even if the reward is massive!
I got an album concept called 'Exit Strategy,' that might be one of my last ones. It's a term they use in business when you build companies. You create an exit strategy as you make a company. You don't wait till you're five years in it; you create a exit strategy as you make the company.
I always wanted to operate at the highest altitude, just in terms of hip-hop and the music.
The artist part of me always wants to be appreciated. I read every review. But I never wanted to seek validation by awards or anything controlled by politics.
In 2013, the week before I dropped 'Crenshaw,' 'Complex' wrote an article that said that Nipsey Hussle is one of the top 25 underperforming artists. I was so offended that I responded with my own opinion about these journalists - their point of view is not validated in our culture.
I would say that the Nipsey Hussle 'Crenshaw' release was an example of All Money In creating an artificial scarcity campaign for the physical side of 'Crenshaw.'
I think you can give a pure artistic product if you understand how to build your own industry.
I seen a lot of artists be hot for a minute, and then that's it, and somebody else come in.
I think that every artist - or anybody that's in business - could benefit from a direct-to-consumer strategy, so I think that that applies to us as artists and content creators, too.
You listen to Charlie Parker or John Coltrane before they found their voice, they sounded different. And when you listen to them after they found their voice on their instruments, they sound more confident and in control. Artists have that, too.
I believe that we should own the fruits of our labor and the assets of our creations.
As an artist, as a brand, as a rapper, as a musician, you know you got a window and a lot of people, even an athlete; they don't have no exit strategy. It's just living in the false reality that it's going to be like this forever.