Did you have a ride growing up?
I did. My Mee-Maw (RIP my angel) bought me my first car - a Mustang - when I was 15. I was kind of obsessed with the stick shift. I felt I was a race car driver and that I was doing more than just driving. As a kid it got me way too excited and that scared my grandmother, too, because she thought I was going to become a race car driver and that wasn’t a path she wanted me to take. She didn’t want me to like it too much. She then ended up letting me drive her car which was a Volkswagen. I wasn’t supposed to be driving yet, either. I was in the pre-permit stage so I wasn’t really worried about the car.
How has your taste in cars evolved since then?
It’s evolved in an amazing way. Growing up in the South, I was all about the old school cars. I fell in love with customizations like Louis Vuitton on the interior of a car door and stuff like that. But as I grew up and matured I realized that those types of customizations are sort of tacky now. I’m more about the class and luxury now and not so much about the crazy customizations. But I’m definitely into sports cars. I love Lamborghini, Aston Martin and other whips like that.
What are you pushing now?
Right now I’m driving a Jeep Wrangler. That was also my favorite car growing up. My mom had one and I always wanted a Jeep because she had a two-door one back in the day. I also have a Range Rover that my brother is driving right now and looking at picking up the Wraith.
Customizing Jeeps is huge right now. Did you do anything to yours?
Yeah, when I first got it, I had it slightly customized. I recently just took it into the shop because it was past due for some new upgrades and I can’t wait to share the photos of the new installments. I definitely wanted to go for that commando look with an Army green to it. I’m not going for a flashy look but more of a rugged, wild-boy look. I want more of an off-road feel to it.
Are there any other cars you have your eyes on?
I definitely love the Lamborghini Aventador and Rolls-Royce Wraith, those are my favorites right now. As far as looks, I love the boxy look like the Jeep, so I love the Mercedes G-Wagon. I hate that they’re not making new ones anymore. But the G-Wagon is definitely something I have my eyes on (but my mom has one, so I’m good ). And I’m not mad at the new Jag XJs. One of my homies has it and I didn’t really like it until I drove it. That’s also a huge thing for me, too. I’m not a fan of anything until I drive it. I became obsessed with the G-Wagon because of the way it drives. It feels cool and different. I felt like I was driving like a mini monster truck.
Are there any must-have customizations for you?
I mean, usually when I first get a car it has to have a tint job just to give it that vibe. I’m not too big on color changes and all that. I like to keep it simple. I’ll do wheels and tire combinations and I’m happy right there. But when certain companies come after me and give me a hook up price, then I’ll go the extra step.
Who’s car game in music do you envy and why?
When I dropped off my Jeep at JC’s Customs, I saw Chris Brown’s custom camo Aventador. It’s crazy… I was admiring the paint job, and Christian of JC’s Customs showed me what he did and I fell in love with the labor of it and how he did it from scratch. At first I thought it was just a wrap. The beauty of it is all the work put into it.
Any cay car-related stories to share?
I haven’t told many people this story, but I was in a high-speed chase one time with this guy. My brother got into a minor altercation with some guy at a gas station and I pulled up like five minutes later and by then, he knocked the guy out already and he was a little woozy. I was looking for my brother but he had left already. I was with some people and got out of my Jeep and that guy was getting up a bit startled. Guess he saw my brother get into a Jeep and thought I was him. The guy literally pulled up next to me got out of his car and tried to break in my window. I sped off and he chased me through L.A., running red lights for at least 30 minutes before I got super scared and called the police. I ain’t trying to die [laughs] or get arrested because some guy is chasing me. It was fun though. Usually I would have just lost him, but I was in the Jeep and his car was definitely faster than mine. He even had driver buddies trying to block me and stuff. It was crazy! Shout out to my boy, Garrian Jones, who was with me that night.
So tell us about the Lincoln Continental.
I actually had one when I was 16. It was a ’64… I was young and I had it for a minute, but I didn’t keep it for too long because it was too flashy and had to be maintained consistently. I drove it a lot for the first couple of months when I got it and then it just started sitting in my garage. Once it was doing that, I thought it was best to sell her. Now that I’m older, I sort of regret it. Oh, well you can’t live in the past. This one right here for the shoot is on-point. It’s a ‘66 that’s dropped low with some air suspension and it has some custom 22” smoothies that make it look real tough.
What about the Wraith?
Even though I grew up around cars like these, I was actually introduced to the Wraith about a month ago. Nick Diamonds has one and I thought it was a Ghost at first. I had to do a double take and I immediately fell in love with it. This car is definitely dope; it’s spacious, smooth, and has that Rolls-Royce feel to it of being chauffeured around in even though its a coupe. It reminds me of my dad’s Maybach and Rolls-Royce Phantom when he did his cover of DUB back in the day. I’m fortunate to be test driving this one right now so I can make a solid decision when the time comes.
So what was it like growing up with P. Diddy as a stepdad?
It was obviously a cool life, but it wasn’t too different from any normal household. I still had chores to do and things I had to do like a normal kid does. I wasn’t homeschooled or anything. Of course, the vacations were amazing. I got to see the world at a young age and I’m still doing that now. I love to travel. I got to see the world with my dad because that’s all he did, whether it was for business or a tour. But our family is fun and cool; we’re really close.
Did growing up in a musical household prompt you to get into the music industry, too?
Being surrounded by music at such a young age, you organically have a love for it. It’s something you don’t really ignore. I wasn’t ignoring it but it really wasn’t a focus of mine at first. My passion was baseball. I moved so much by the time I was in 12th grade and had already moved twice that year. So when it came time to play ball, I got the run around because my transcripts weren’t valid yet and I couldn’t be put on the varsity team. Once that settled in me – that I wouldn’t be able to play baseball - I then looked to music as my rebound. Not just because my dad was in it but because I really liked it, especially the writing aspect of it. Up until the time I was serious with it, I was always messing around with music and everybody would tell me I needed to record something because they thought I had a unique voice. I ignored that for a couple of years until I felt it in my heart. Now I’m mad at myself for not listening to a lot of people but at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. I’m not mad at it. I’m happy where I’m at right now as I progress as an artist and perfect my craft. I have a great team behind me right now.
Do you feel you have an advantage over other musicians because your dad is a famous rapper/record executive?
It’s actually a disadvantage because my father has conquered many things like the clothing industry, music, acting and more. Trying to be an artist and coming under someone like my dad, I have to work twice as hard because the industry will automatically think, “Oh, he should be good.” I gotta be better than good -not that I’m saying I have to be greater than him - I have to capture people’s attention just as good as he did. I don’t have the time he had. I’m already in the spotlight a bit so I have to come out strong. There’s very little room for me to mess up. Timing is everything and so is patience. That’s one thing my dad taught me. I don’t like to rush things and want things to be put out at the right time, but he taught me a lot of strategic ways and I’m taking them into account.
So are you doing things on your own or with your dad helping you?
Of course he’s helping out, but I’m doing this on my own right now. When things get to their final point, that’s when I’ll need his last look and input. At the end of the day, I have to do this on my own just because as an artist, you’re the only one who knows and will believe what’s good for you. I’m not saying having him by my side every step of the way is a bad thing, but I have to learn on my own as well. I have to mess up and learn from my mistakes. But I’m going to definitely utilize him when the time is right because he has that genius mind that people can’t even get to. That’s my advantage I guess you can say.
How would you describe your sound?
I make a lot of feel good music that’s all about positivity. Even if it’s a song about a heartbreak, I like it to come across more happy instead of a downer. I like to tell a story with melodies and small, catchy riffs than purely focusing on production and lyrics. The lyrics will come but the melody is what will drive the song and get you a hit. I don’t like to cuss much on my stuff, either. I don’t have an exact release date for my debut project yet, but I’ve been working on it for about a year and a half now. It’s definitely dropping in the next couple of months, though.
Any special collaborations on it?
Right now I have French Montana on my debut single “Friends First.” I don’t know what’s going to make the project yet, so I don’t want to give names, but I have a few collaborations on it.
What type of goals do you have in music?
I’d like to win a Grammy, go on a world tour, headline and create my own label one day. And once I kind of dive into music and have all that working for me, then I’d like to go and concentrate on acting.
How did you get into acting?
As a kid I was just very energetic and hyper and always acting like somebody, whether it was at school or home. I had this comedic side to me and it wasn’t until I moved to L.A. that I wanted to try out acting seriously. All my friends were actors and being around them motivated me to try it out professionally.
What type of roles are you looking for now?
Right now I’m not trying to push myself so much. I’m looking for that starting point as an actor. I’m just starting to grow and am starting out with mellow roles. But I’d like to soon dive into action flicks and be able to do my own stunts. Pretty much, I want to be a Jackie Chan meets a Jim Carrey, if that makes any sense. I did a movie with Mario Van Peeples called We The Party, it’s a funny movie, and I have another one produced by Queen Latifah’s company Flavor Unit called Brotherly Love.
Are you focusing more on your acting or music career?
Well since I am putting out this album, I’m focusing on music. But I’m in acting classes two to three times a week. So everything is a prime focus for me. Nothing is being favored and I’m sharing the attention. My progress as an actor is a lot slower than with my music because it’s a lot harder to get into, but I’m working on both at the same time. I keep myself pretty busy these days.