[Editor’s Note: The former XXL freshman journals his second week on the road discussing the experience performing for a sold out New York City crowd with Kanye West, rocking Pace University with Busta Rhymes, intense promotional tours, and being late to the stage because of a Tigers game.]


[Performing at the Best Buy Theater] was fun definitely a great time. I'm glad everything went well. I just wanted [Kanye] to come through and watch the show. He hit me the day before and was like, "You want me to come out and do "Marvin & Chardonnay?" I was like, "Hell Yeah!" It was great. Just to see the progression from selling out SOBs a couple times, to Irving Plaza, to the Best Buy Theater. It means a lot. It's [also] great to see other people's shows sold out so far in advance, I saw J. Cole's show for later on this month for his tour sold out, Mac Miller's show which is in December is already sold out. It's great to see and be a part of that new generation of hip-hop that's really a driving force for today. It makes me wanna go even harder and push the envelopes more and more. Having my mom pull up in Manhattan [and] seeing her son's name across [that] big marquee for the Best Buy Theater just really felt good. I couldn't ask for [anything] better.

It was weird ‘cause I never performed ["All I Know" before] and I had just [recorded] it. It was something I wanted to do for New York, something special that's possibly gonna be on the next album. It’s just a very fun track.

[When I perform] I get more excited than nervous because you know everybody is gonna be rocking with you if they're there to see you. All you gotta do is your thing. When I open up for [the] Watch the Throne [tour] in Detroit, I may be a little nervous ['cause] it's at Auburn Hills. When it’s your show and everyone's there to see you, you're just more excited. You just wanna make sure you do well. I had a show last night (October 13th) with Busta [at Pace University's annual Homecoming], he's a great performer, man. He controls the crowd very well. My number one concern [when on the stage] is just making sure people have a good time. That's like the first thing I ask when I get off stage, “Man you think people had a good time?" [I’ve] really been practicing, trying to get better as a performer, [realizing] when you're a good artist and great performer, it takes you so much further in your career.

[The best experience I had on the road this past week] was doing the show in New York, honestly, just because it was just a great show. I had all my managers, my mom, my brother, and everybody there with me. It was just a great experience man, walking back to my dressing room and having six bottles of champagne just ready, and just toasting, sipping. It's just a great time I really enjoyed it.

[The Detroit Lions and Tigers are] fucking killing. The Lions been coming out to my song, "I Do It" ever since then they been winning, so I can't even be mad. Now people are putting their money on 'em. [I don’t really get a chance to catch any of the games] but I be watching some, like one night before I went on stage, I was looking at the Tigers and Yankees game. I was like five minutes late because I just had to watch the end of the game. I get a chance to catch like the end of shit, you know, a couple innings, a quarter here and there. I never get to watch the whole shit. But [I do] get to watch the highlights on SportsCenter so it’s [all] good.

Promotion on tour gets intense, but it's better than not doing anything. Even when I personally don't feel like doing it. I always remember how it was to not have shit at all and remember like, "Yo, just shut up and do it and be happy." [There's] people who would kill their own family to be in the position I'm in. I just gotta take [it] to higher levels even just with muthafuckas who just don't know. I just can't wait to prove a lot of people wrong and win more people over. That's kind of the story of my whole career, just winning people over, over time. I just can't wait to continue to keep doing that, put out more music, put out more great things. The urge is there but the thing is the time is what isn't always there. To me as an artist, I just feel like the time is ticking and you gotta get it done right now, or else I'm a fall off.