Did you expect the type of reaction you got from “U.O.E.N.O.”?
I did, man, I can’t even lie. When I did that song, I was in the studio working on a mixtape, I had this mixtape called Sounds Crazy. I just wanted crazy sounding beats, different sound effects, things just that sounded crazy, crazy sounds. So I was in the studio and Future came, and we were just going through beats. And he wanted to do some beats that we would normally do, and I was like nah man, this is Sounds Crazy, we gotta do beats that sound crazy. So we just going through beats, and I heard that beat, and I was like, “This beat right here sound a little crazy.” So I pulled it up and I was like, “Load it up!” Then he just get to freestyling and shit—that’s why at the beginning of the song you hear, “This sounds craaaaazy,” ’cause it was from the Sounds Crazy mixtape. But everybody that heard it was like, “Hey, what happened to that song you and Future did the other day?” And I was like, “Which one, we did like five of them.” They were like, “That one, that craaaazy one, the one that sound crazy—you don’t even know…” Everyone in the studio was like yeah, I like that, I like that. ‘Cause at the time, I hadn’t even done my verse on it yet, and everybody was talking about it. So I was like, I’m gonna put somebody else on this and then I’m gonna put a verse on it, and we’ll see. So I sent it to Ross, Ross sent it right back, and that forced me to do my verse. I did my verse and then just threw it out. And man, that just—it just blew up.
Was it then that other people started calling to get on the remixes?
I started getting people tweeting it—Kendrick Lamar tweeted it, Wiz tweeted it—so I reached out to them. And then a few people reached out to me, like Chris Brown reached out to me, a few people reached out to me. But Wiz tweeted that it was dope, so I reached out to Wiz and he was like, “Man, I wanna get on it.” So I was like, “I’m about to send it to you.” I sent it to Wiz probably like 9, 10 in the morning and I got it back probably about 1, like he got a studio in his bedroom or something. He sent it right back, immediately, he went in immediately. And Kendrick hit me on Twitter, so I followed him, we followed each other, so I DM’d him and told him to send me his number. We just started talking, and I sent it to him. Actually Kendrick’s verse came in around the same time [as Wiz]. But Wiz verse was so hard; that’s when the controversy first started, so I was like I gotta drop something, that’s why I dropped Wiz’s verse. And I had Kendrick’s verse, and I was saving Kendrick’s verse for the official remix, but I guess he got impatient. He was like, man I want to put mine out while the song is still poppin. But I can’t be mad, that’s a good record. I can’t say I have a favorite, I like everybody’s verse, ’cause everybody did something different, everybody stayed in their lane with it, so I liked everybody’s verse.
Lately Ross has had to apologize, Drake and J. Cole had to apologize, Wayne had to apologize; how do you feel about this trend—hip-hop used to be unapologetic.
Yeah, aw man. I think people are just looking for people to blame for everything these days. Something wrong with this, something wrong with that, blame the rappers, he’s the one who said it! It’s crazy, because like you said, it didn’t used to be like that. So they make me more conscious of what I say on a record too, ’cause I don’t want to apologize. I hate apologizing, you know what I’m saying? But at the end of the day, I understand why they did that, because it is what it is; certain things, when you think about it, you’re like, “Damn, I did say that. I didn’t mean it like that, but I said it.” You always gotta stand up on what you say and your actions, you gotta be accountable for them. So I understand why they apologized.
If anything, it might make rappers focus on setting the lyrical bar a little higher.
Yeah, no doubt. Make you a little more conscious of what you’re saying, no doubt. It’s crazy, ’cause it’s like, being an artist you should be able to say whatever, to say what you’re feeling. The First Amendment, the freedom of speech, you got the freedom to say what you wanna say. But people, you gonna be scrutinized for everything anyway—I might walk with my shoes untied, “Your shoes untied! Your shoes untied!” They try to critique everything. It’s crazy.