Pittsburgh has harbored rap talent for quite some time, even outside of the obvious names like Wiz Khalifa and the late Mac Miller. Hardo, a 26-year-old MC from the Pennsylvania city, actually recorded his first song at Mac's crib, kicking off a career where he found himself caught between the booth and the block.

"I always knew I could rap, but May 2011, is when I knew this is what I wanted to do," he tells XXL, with that being the first time when he really dropped music. With a few jail stints behind him, Hardo made a name for himself in the city, collaborating with Wiz and the fallen Jimmy Wopo on "Today's a Good Day," a cut off Hardo and Wopo's 2016 collab project, Trapnese.

Hardo also has older material with Meek Mill ("Love Foreal") and Ty Dolla $ign ("New Bitch") under his belt. Fast forward to 2018, Hardo dropped an album, The Fame or Feds Story, and is only picking up speed from here. To showcase what he's bringing to the game, the rapper stopped by the XXL office to freestyle for our What I Do series.

Hardo starts off his verse with flashbacks to his days in the street. "Check cleared before I came off stage/Gettin' money, still having stress box days/Out here slingin' iron during them meth block days," he spits. "Movin' out in silence like a game of charades, trap/I grabbed some grams in 12th grade, then I painted my J's/Bricks ain't build no house on hills, it created a maze."

Even when things get shaky, Hardo still sees the bigger picture. "No please, I ain't signing shit/Tryna beat this case, my fans want me signed and shit," he delivers.

The rhymer has been through a lot but uses those rough experiences to keep him on the right path. "I feel like a lot of people who ain't go through a lot, they tend to think everything is a given, or they can just act any type way," Hardo explains. "But I know it can be taken away at any moment, just as fast as I obtained it."

Catch Hardo's freestyle up top.

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