It's been nearly two years since Young Dro released an album, but that hasn't stopped his musical output. Over his retail hiatus, the rapper released a host of mixtapes, with three coming last year, and the Grand Hustle signee doesn't plan on slowing anytime soon. He's now gearing up for his fourth studio album, Reality Show, and with a quirky yet simple concept behind it, the LP may just be his most individual work yet.

Dro, taking notes from his boss, T.I., plans to capitalize off of the fad of reality TV, but in a much more realistic fashion. More than ever before, with this effort Dro will expose and dissect the raw aspects of his life. From how fame affected his ego to how the wealth changed those around him, Dro insists he lays it all out on the tracks, and will later accompany the LP with an actual video series.

When Dro stopped by the XXL office, he not only told us all about his upcoming project but we also touched on the current state of the hip-hop industry and the violence in American society. —Miranda J

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XXL: I listened to your new single “We In Da City.” Is that the  start for a new project?
Young Dro: It’s the single for a new album. The album is called Reality Show. I need to have my own reality show.

It’s been almost two years since you dropped an album, now you have Reality Show. Why did you go with that concept? Do you actually want your own reality show?
I’ve had so many offers that I just took it upon myself to name it that. You can look through [my life], like a reality show. I got a little camera guy following me around to piece it together and I’m going to package it up along with the album.

So when are you looking to drop the album?
This summer. It fits perfect. Nothing is like reality.

Would you ever be interested in going on an actual reality show, like Love & Hip-Hop or any of those?
Nah, I wouldn’t want to take the shine from other people. I think my story is a good story. I don’t want nothing to distract that because I’ve actually been through hell and high water. I wouldn’t want to mix it in, because we’re some real Atlanta people. Before I give that information and it be overlooked, [I wouldn’t do it] because it means a lot to me. If I did get a show, it would just have to be about me. Also, because my partner Tip got his own.

T.I.'s reality show is different from everyone else’s. It focuses on family and real life, while other reality shows tend to focus on fuckery. You would want yours to be similar in that way, just serving up the real Young Dro?
If I did, it’s going to like a mini movie. It dates back to a long time ago. I have a very good history in Atlanta, Georgia.

You’ve been in the game for 10 years now. What’s one of the biggest things you've learned? What’s a piece of advice that you always take along with you?
The biggest piece of advice I learned is you have to control that power once you get to where you’re going, when you have a number one hit and all that. I changed, and it led to me mistreating people. That kind of tore me up. It broke a lot of friendships. My attitude needed to adjust.

When people look at fame, they need pay attention to that type of thing. They’ll just see the perks and the riches, thinking that it’s all sweet.
You’re transitioning, from getting your daddy’s cigarette shorts. So I had my flaws too, but I lashed out in the wrong way. It went on for years and it came back to haunt me.

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I saw your tweets about Chinx and Doe B. What do you think about all the recent violence in hip-hop? What are your thoughts?
This business we’re in, a lot of people think it’s a walk in the park. But every person that shakes your hand doesn’t like you. There’s some people that like you so much that I think they want to get rid of you so they could be [you]. There’s more than that. You’re successful, you make it out the hood and a lot of people think you owe them. It’s a lot of people that are less fortunate, and we’re from the hood, so riding through, you have to protect yourself.

Then you have the cops. It’s very scary. I don’t want my daughter to get shot by no cop. It scares me because of how they’re handling it. It’s like we’re not anything. How could you shoot somebody in the top of the head and get off? They overlook that. Like in Florida, a guy killed a cop and I think they got the gas chamber at his house. [Laughs]

As a celebrity it’s so much harder, because not only do you have to worry about all these predators, but as a Black man, you’ve even got to worry about the cops, too.
Yup. Those who hate you out number the hairs on your head.

Tell me if you agree, but I always think to myself that rappers are the leaders of young urban culture. Do you believe that?
Yes, because that’s us. Obama wouldn’t be a right runner of urban culture, so we’re appointed to that. We have to promote that.

I always think that the rappers have the ability to preach better and help stop the killings.
I respect what you just said, but if you take it upon yourself to follow me, I suggest you don’t do that. I think you should follow God. I’m just a human. I’m never intentionally leading someone like, “Come here and shoot this guy.” I’m telling you what I saw and what I’ve been through and what’s capable of happening. You should be smart enough not to focus on me. I think you should focus on a higher power.

So it’s kind of too much pressure in a sense?
Yeah, you’re putting your destiny in my hands. "Dro said." Now you’re in hell. [Laughs]

What’s something that the urban community could do as a whole to make things better? Cops are killing people. What’s a step that we could take to focus on being unified?
I mean, that sounds almost impossible, because we’re not shaped and built like Martin Luther King. We’re not taking walks and standing up for stuff and singing, "We shall overcome." They’re not doing it because the money changes. It’s all these emotions going on: "He has a bigger car." These people don’t want to join hands. Jealously is one of the worst traits you can ever have.

So it’s the pride. I would love for it to happen. I have a dream just like Martin Luther King. Plus my birthday is January 15. Let me throw that out there. Even back in the day, with “Self Destruction,” that was a song to try to get us to [get together] but it didn’t work. We didn’t listen because of the money. It rules all evil. Some people don’t know how to deal with money and some people don’t know how to deal with fame. You don’t know what page they’re on.

Me and you might feel like angels, but we might be sitting in the room with two devils. Some people will listen, but it’s going to take time. Martin Luther King died and years later [things worked out]. You have to really spend time on that. I’m not spending time on these fools who are not listening.