Boldy James had a big SXSW, performing a handful of shows—including opening for Nas at the Mass Appeal showcase—and even coming out on stage with Escobar to perform "I Sold Dope All My Life" during his headlining set that night. Before he brought Boldy on, Nas let everybody know he supported what the Detroit spitter was up to and let him do his thing. Prior to his set with Nas that night, XXL caught up with Boldy backstage at Austin Music Hall to talk about the response to his indie album with Alchemist, My 1st Chemistry Set, as well as the nod from Queens' Finest and what he's got cookin' up this year. —Dan Rys (@danrys)

How are you feeling about the response you got from My 1st Chemistry Set with The Alchemist?
I mean, it's a slow burn because it's not club music, and that's pretty much where the fans are. But I'm just taking it back to the roots. I gotta be comfortable with the music before I give it to the fans and let them be the judge of it at the end of the day, anyway. Al, always loved the music he made, so it was a no-brainer, you know? Alchemist, Boldy, let's do it. This is a great introduction to the game for me, bro, that's all. It's going according to plan right now.

How do you feel about getting a co-sign from Nas?
Whatchu mean how I feel? It's amazing. How would you feel? I grew up on God's Son, you feel me? I grew up on Nas, he's one of my favorite lyricists, and for him to tell me that what I'm doing is, you know, in the target, hitting the bull's eye possibly one day, that's just a blessing, man. And I'm on sight. I'm on target. For him to let me know that, it feels great. It feels worth it.

What's your favorite Nas track?
Maybe "Street Dreams." It's just the truth. Like, everybody's looking for somethin', you know? "Drug dealer's destiny is reachin' a key / Everybody's looking for something." "My man put me up for the share / One fourth of a square / Headed for Delaware / With one change of gear." I can relate to that, you know what I mean? I grew up on that Escobar, that Nas shit, that's my guy. And AZ, that's my favorite duo, even though they never were officially a duo, they was my favorite tag team.

We spoke to AZ a couple months ago about his best verses of all time—so many classics.
On my album that I'm trying to do, I would love to have them two on the same song. If I could even be recognized or somethin', it would be like all of my dreams coming true, slowly but surely. Shoutout to my man Ced Louie, my whole team man, they just workin' hard, man, and we tryin' to pull it off for the team.

What do you got coming up for the year?
'Bout to work on this album. And this time, I'm gonna mix it up with the producers and the songs, so this time it'll be a lot more of a balanced album. It is what it is—that's [My 1st Chemistry Set] how I wanted to come in the game, with Al. His songs are the shit to me. So for me to be able to do an album with him, that's dope. And everything he was cookin' up, to me was crackin'. I didn't even have to pick the beat, and he didn't even have to tell me what he heard on the beat—it was just, he made the beat, I wrote on it, we put it together, it was boom-boom-bam, you know what I'm sayin'? It wasn't hard at all; it was a piece of cake, Al is easy to work with.