Hip-hop has always had a competitive nature mixed into it, from the park jams to diss tracks. An MC like OT The Real, the Philly rapper known for his pure lyrical ability and reputation for killing radio freestyles, always puts his best foot forward when competing with peers or himself.

After proving his skills by rapping on radio stations Power 99, JAMN 94.5, Shade45 and more, OT released a self-titled project on Halloween featuring 15 tracks with appearance from Mir Fontaine, Vinny Paz and Fred da Godson, to name a few. OT shares the knowledge he learned in the streets of Philly from the darker side of hustling ("Bando") to cherishing better days ("I Remember"). With life far better than it used to be, OT just wants to rhyme, and he's come to the right place. The East Coast rhymer visits XXL office to freestyle, speak about how he got his start and what keeps him motivated.

OT's verse is about keeping your eyes open as you climb up the ladder of success. "The game changed, just don't say I never told you, playa/The same crew you rocked with will rob or smoke you later," he raps, offering some useful advice. "Or get you pickled or indicted, if you ain't got the bread to fight it/It's a whole new kinda hell you bout to go through playa."

He continues with some bars about how he used to get to it: "We live by our own rules, we ain't stoppin' for y'all/Since Real World and Road Rules, I was coppin' it raw."

Interestingly enough, OT didn't seriously rap until 2016. "I started really, really pushing it when I first come home from jail," OT shares. "I always wrote, but I didn't really start until these last couple of years."

Using his ability to tear down cyphers in jail, OT translated that same skill to the outside world. "When i was in jail, I shut down yards," he reveals. "So when I came home, dudes were like, 'You need to go do that on Power 99, you need to do that on Shady.'"

He took that advice to heart and built a name for himself over the last few years. But OT can also rap and construct songs, not just freestyle; that's what he's showing off on his latest project, and something that will continue to be clear as time goes on.

Check out OT The Real's XXL freestyle below.

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