Yesterday (February 28), the internet was abuzz following the release of the 2012 XXL Freshmen cover. Amidst the love and the hate from fans about the ten selected, some said that Houston native Kirko Bangz should have made the final cut. The Warner Bros. signee spoke with XXL about not being chosen for the cover.

"I don't feel no certain type of way on it," said the rapper, who rose to fame behind his singles "What Yo Name Iz" and "Drank In My Cup." "I feel like, I wanted to [be on it]. I feel like that was one of my dreams, you feel me, like, as a milestone being an artist. But I didn't make it. Shit, that just means I gotta work harder, so I can be on the cover by my damn self next time. Ain't no slack. I'm grinding. Only so many people y'all can choose from, so it ain't no thing. Congrats to everybody on there. With it or not, I know I gotta keep on going hard with what I'm doing."

During the interview, he also spoke on what it's been like to be embraced by some of the respected veterans from his home state. His most recent mixtape, Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa, featured Paul Wall, while Bun B hopped on the official remix for "What Yo Name Iz."

"That right there means a lot to me," he said. "It's cool to get love nationwide, international. But to me, to the main thing, not the main thing, but the nigga thing, is to get that love from home. Not only support from people, but to get it from veterans. They tell you stuff about the game, and how this shit happened. They tell you stories about [DJ] Screw and Big Moe and Rap-A-Lot and Swisha House and shit like that. That shit mean a lot to me, so I appreciate it."

Watch the entire interview below, where Kirko also touches on Eminem being his favorite rapper, Drake comparisons, going to college, focusing on basketball instead of music growing up, and more. —Adam Fleischer