Over the last few months, Safaree Samuels, Nicki Minaj's longtime ex-boyfriend, has been constantly plastered on headlines around the world for his relationship. But despite the high-profile breakup, he has really been pushing for a music career of his own, especially since parting ways with the Young Money superstar. After releasing two singles, "Burner" and "I'm Dope," in a short period following the breakup, it seems Safaree doesn't plan on slowing down anytime soon.

With talk of a really personal EP on the way and several record deals on the table, Safaree seems intent on taking his talent to new heights. In a recent conversation with XXL, the rapper clarified his upcoming plans and briefly touched on his current standing with Nicki Minaj. All in all, one thing is clear and that is Sarafee's main focus is undeniably the music, and all the other "nonsense," as he calls it, can take a backseat. —Miranda J.

XXL: Why did you choose now to start going hard with your music career now?
Safaree Samuels: Well, before I wasn’t really in the position to focus on myself. It seemed like shit all had to do with timing, it wasn’t a place where I could do both at the same time. Now that I’m free to do it, I’m going to do it.

So did you want to pursue this for a while and being in the relationship kind of held you back?
No, I wouldn’t say it held me back, I just had to prioritize things. I just had to take care of what took precedence over what I was trying to do.

Are you looking to put out a project? What’s going on there?
Yeah, I’m going to put out an EP. It’s going to be called I Am Safaree.

What can we expect on the project? I’ve been hearing a lot about your single “Burner.”
I’m looking for people to be extremely surprised with my versatility. When people hear it... I’m a very tough critic. When people hear my stuff they are going to be very surprised. I definitely know that. They’re going to be like, "Wow." They’re going to be like, "I cannot believe all this time, he was able to do this. I’m glad he’s doing it now." Lyrically, people are going to be surprised about my capability on the stuff that I’m putting out. I definitely believe so.

What’s the feedback you’ve been getting so far? You released “Burner,” what’s the feedback on that?
The feedback on “Burner” has been the best feedback on anything I’ve ever done. People are re-making the video. Kids are putting on fur coats and re-enacting the video scenes. People are outside in the snow putting on fur coats and riding on trains re-enacting scenes from the video.

I saw the K. Michelle twerk video to “Burner,” too. What was that about?
I don’t know. I was half asleep, it was 4 o’clock in the morning and my notifications were just blowing up a little more than usual. Then I saw that. At first, I didn’t know who the hell it was and then I had to look at it another time. I saw who it was and I said, "Oh shit, that’s her." People are just feeling the song.

People were hyping it up like a K. Michelle/Nicki Minaj beef because of the twerk video. So, you’re just as confused as everyone else is?
I don’t know K. Michelle, so I don’t know about any of that other nonsense. I just know she made a video dancing to my song. She’s not the only person to make a video dancing to my song, but you know how people are. They like to take things and pull it out of context. I have little kids making videos to my songs, I have guys [making them] too. People take to what sounds good.

So aside from “Burner” what else can we expect from your EP?
There’s definitely going to be some personal stuff on there. That’s another thing, too. People are going to really be able to hear where I’m coming from. It’s not just going to be your typical rapper, I’m going to have a couple of things in there that’s going to be personal.

As far as the date and time, I don’t have a time on it but I’m going to gauge it off of the next song that I drop. I put a snippet out of [my next song], and people are hitting me every day. I let some big people who’s thoughts and feelings that I really trust, hear the song. When people hear [my next song], they’re going to be blown away. It’s a really dope song. It’s called “Bruce Wayne.”

What is it about?
It’s about a guy who’s talking to a girl; he’s just telling the girl how he wants to make her feel good, but it’s in a sarcastic, funny way. Also just letting a girl know, "Hey, I like you but don’t get it twisted." It’s a fun record. It’ll make sense for the spring time.

Are you looking to sign a deal somewhere?
Oh, I definitely have deals on the table already but I’m not going to jump and rush the gun. Yeah, I got messaged yesterday about two more labels that are interested besides some other ones, that were hitting me up prior. There’s definitely people who are showing interest and I’m grateful for that.

Can you tell me a little bit about your new music?
I’m Jamaican, so there’s some things in there of the Jamaican culture. There’s a big Jamaican influence. I’m from Brooklyn, I’m from New York, so they’ll be feel good N.Y. music. There’s going to be down South music. It’s not even going to be... I’m not your typical New York artist. I’m not out here trying to act like I’m a thug who’s going to shoot you and kill you. Because people that are shooting are not free doing music, they’re in jail. I’m not even trying to portray that. I want people to feel good and I want people to enjoy what I’m putting out.

Do you want to touch on Nicki at all?
They’ll hear it in the music coming up.

I get the vibe that you’re trying to distance yourself from the Nicki stuff and focus on the music.
I’m just working on myself. You work on yourself everyday, right?

No doubt about it.
Exactly, that’s what you have to do. You have to work on yourself.

Are you and Nicki on good terms?
We’re on great terms.

Anything else you want to add?
Health, wealth and positivity. You get what you put out.