I think that was something I heard when I was 7. It was from the first album “Black Sheep” by Tupac Shakur. There was this guy who was from the Midwest and he started performing with a group called The Hotties. He would always bring his girl with him and start rapping like, “Hey, baby, show me what you got.” The Hottie guy, in fact, introduced me to rap, too. So, it was pretty soon after I heard that. When I was about 12, I started getting into music and by 12 I was actually writing a few songs for a band called Young and the Restless. That’s how I met [K-Ciara]. I used to play in the band when I was younger. We used to get out and do this shit, but that was pretty much it. I was a young kid and I had a lot of aspirations of getting a job and making some money so I went to my mom’s house and she gave me a cassette of rap albums.
How was it that you ended up writing hip-hop for the masses?
Oh, how do I explain this to young people? A couple years later, I got a chance and actually started writing songs around that time like “Loving Sick,” which is an actual song I wrote for the rapper, a member of the rapper’s crew, called “Gusto” (the gangster rap group originally from Chicago).
You and K-Ciara, your mother and your little girl, have been together for 15 years now. Did you feel some pressure to be a family man when you started making music together?
Yeah, I certainly feel pressure to be a family man now. There are certain things that I’ve always wanted to take care of and things I really wanted to spend time with Kiki. I feel pressure to be a family man, but at the same time, I love being with Kiki, my little girl that I love more than anything in the whole world. She’s my little world, and I would never think about letting her feel all alone.
Kiki & the Mamas and The Papas’ “Loving Sick,” 2012
You mentioned your mother a lot earlier this year, but what does she think of the songs you’re doing these days?
She knows that me and Kiki have been getting to be really good friends, which means she knows what they’re doing and she’s
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