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August Alsina

@AugustAlsina

21

New Orleans


Singles: “I Luv This Shit,” “Downtown,” “Ghetto”; Mixtapes: The Product 2; EPs: Downtown: Life Under The Gun; Albums: Testimony

                                                       

NNTME/Def Jam


Promoting his major label debut album, Testimony


“I feel like if you grinding and you made people see then you’re here.”


“Musically I think you get inspired from everywhere. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to come from an artist. Just like this moment, walking up to XXL and the environment.”


“I didn’t have a lot of shit that a lot of other kids had. My freshman year I think I was in Houston at the time and kind of just changing schools a few times. I guess that’s when I started to realize that all these niggas got Jays on and my wardrobe wasn’t up to par. I was just going to school and dealing with family issues. Overall, throughout the wack ass clothes and bullshit, it was still cool.”


TRUTH: On Being A 2014 XXL Freshman: “I went and looked at the artists like Future and watched the people that XXL chose go off and do some special shit and maintain their grind. I had to go chop it up with the staff at XXL. It was a thing like, ‘You a singer. How can you be a Freshman? We don’t do singers.’ For me, it’s like, of course XXL has catered to rappers. I know what hip-hop is, a nigga story, a nigga struggle put into a song.

I remember that meeting, and I clicked out on them because I feel like, let me get the same opportunity as the next man. I spoke my piece, and they felt my heart, and at that point I said, ‘If I don’t get it, I swear y’all muthafuckas are going to be mad at me because I’m going to speak on it.’ We’re breaking barriers.

My definition of hip-hop is the individual. Hip-hop is a nigga story, a nigga background, a nigga culture…my life, where I come from and what’s in my heart. It’s all of that. I don’t rap. You can either take that or leave it. But I know one thing you can’t take away from me: what I do. Talent prevails over everything. You can’t take that away from me. [I bring] something that’s never been on the cover of XXL. I don’t do what these other niggas do, and they don’t do what I do. I bring me to the table. Ain’t no other nigga like me. I say that in the most humble way, but I just know. I’m humble enough to know I’m not better than the next man, wise enough to know that these niggas ain’t like me and we are not the same. I just want to give back more than I took.

It’s an honor to be a part of this. This is something that I always wanted, and now that I got it, let me go double up on these niggas and just work, don’t make it a failure type. I’m going to go hard as ever before. I got too much other shit to be worried about this putting pressure on me. It’s just about show and prove. That’s it. I don’t feel surprised because deep down, I don’t really feel that I’ve blown up yet. I feel that people feel my presence, but it’s still a whole lot to do. Not even prove, just a lot to do. Hopefully this will put a stop to people marginalizing and putting people in a box because you can’t do that. It’s just so many opportunities. XXL Freshmen opens a lot of doors. It gives people an opportunity to really see what they fucking with.”—As Told To Emmanuel Maduakolam

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Usher Brings Out August Alsina And Chris Brown in L.A.

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