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Zaytoven’s Life Lessons – The Best of the Bay and the A

Growing up in San Francisco was a good experience for me and helped prepare me for what I’m doing today; little to my knowledge at the time.

The Bay was the place that taught me the business of hustlin’ and grindin’. Out there, it wasn’t about looking fly or anything too superficial, it was about surviving and getting yours by any means necessary.

I remember having a bucket for a car out there, but it was getting me from A to B, which is all I cared about. As long as I was driving to pick up money from making a beat or to go work in somebody’s studio, it was all good. My car even broke down on me right on the Bay Bridge and I didn’t really have a whole lot of money—I couldn’t even afford to pay the tow truck driver that came to tow me. He literally got behind my car and bumped me across the bridge to the other side and dipped.

I had to figure it out from there.

It was all about making moves and handling business. Now, when I came to the “A;” man, was it on some lights, camera, action-type of stuff. Atlanta is where I went to the school of fly and flashy. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always considered myself a pretty fly dude, I was even voted “best dressed” in high school, but not on the level they were doing it down here. When me and Gucci saw some of our first big checks, we both went straight to the jewelry store and got these big iced-out chains. I don’t really do that now, but, at the time, it was just a part of being young.

It made me realize about having a “look.” That image you projected was almost as important as having the talent to back it up because people wanted to associate with others who they felt were successful—whether that was the case or not.

The whole industry here was about jewelry, cars and clothes and showing it all off at the same time. I look at it now like I needed both sides to make it. I needed to have that hunger and drive I learned from the Bay in order to survive the time period when I was new to the southern market and was trying to get on. I also appreciate how Atlanta made me have fun along the way and just enjoy the ride. In other words, the Bay taught me how to grind, while the A taught me how to shine.

What have you learned from your hometown and how have those experiences made you the person you are today?

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