You don't think neighborhood fixtures will ever go full expat. But recently, New York stalwart Cormega spoke with Rethunk and Wordplay Magazine from London, which he praised as a hotbed of culture and creativity. "I don't know what it is," Mega says of the city. "It's just something out here that resonates with artists." Not only have singers like Marvin Gaye and Mary J. Blige done some of their best work there, the Queens rapper says, but there are "white artists [in London] who have more respect for soul than some black [American] singers who are soul artists."

On the topic of his hometown, Mega was less enthusiastic. Criticizing the tendency toward Southern beats and vocal inflections, the Realness rapper did reserve praise for one young New Yawker: Joey Bada$$. Saying that he sounds like "early Black Moon," Mega also said he admires the young rapper's eagerness. "I have a newfound respect for him," he added. "He's rapping and representing like a New Yorker."

Mega Philosophy is out now.