Shy Glizzy initially slept on the biggest news of his music career: his first Grammy nomination.

"It came out early in the morning—I had like 1,000 text messages, my shit going was going off," the 25-year-old rapper remembers about learning that he's up for a golden gramophone for "Crew," the lead single from GoldLink's major label debut, At What Cost. "I got on the internet and I seen that and I was like, 'Damn!'"

Up until then, the Washington, D.C. lyricist (and former XXL Freshman) had made a name for himself with songs like his breakout single "Awwsome," which Beyoncé danced to at the 2015 Global Citizen Festival. But "Crew," which pairs Glizzy's goonish-yet-charismatic charm with GoldLink's dexterous flow and singer Brent Faiyaz's impassioned vocals, really put him on the mainstream radar. Glizzy's verse takes the Teddy Walton-produced track's energy to a crescendo, helping "Crew" earn a Grammy nod for Best Rap/Sung Performance.

In addition to guest starring alongside his DMV peers, Shy Glizzy has also been busy building his own brand and entity, Glizzy Gang. In December, he dropped Quiet Storm, which sought to capitalize on the surrounding buzz and service his fans with songs that detail the life of a hustler and paint a visceral picture of Chocolate City.

XXL hopped on the phone with Shy Glizzy to speak about the incredible impact of "Crew," his Quiet Storm project and plans for 2018.

XXL: 2017 has been a landmark year for you. How did this past year impact you as an artist or a person?

Shy Glizzy: In good and bad ways. It's been an incredible year, but also it's been some downfalls. But that's life. Overall in my music career, it's been progressing and getting better and better.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment so far?

My Grammy nomination [for GoldLink's "Crew"]. First it was the platinum thing but that gold award—ain't nothing like that Grammy. To be in a category with some of the greats, that was a major moment for me. I wasn't even stressing the issue of it cause I'm a humble guy, but everywhere I go, that's all I hear: "Grammy-nominated." So that's ill. That's my biggest accomplishment.

Are you gonna go to the ceremony?

I think we gonna go. I ain't ever been to no awards, but I think that one is worth it.

How do you plan to celebrate if you win?

Pour up some [Don Julio] 1942 [tequila], get drunk and enjoy myself.

There have been videos floating around on social media of crowds chanting the verse word-for-word. How would you explain feeling of seeing a crowd's energy and reaction to your verse?

It's wonderful to have people fucking with me and supporting my shit. Ain't no better feeling than that.

Does the fact that you, GoldLink and Brent Faiyaz are from the DMV make the nomination even sweeter?

It's a cool feeling to have people from where I'm from and from around the area I'm from experiencing the same thing or just giving me that alley-oop, that opportunity to be in the same situation with 'em. I salute 'em for that.

After introducing the world to Jefe, you reverted to the name Shy Glizzy for December's Quiet Storm. What was the reason for the change? 

It was always Glizzy Gang, Glizzy. People gonna call me Shy Glizzy regardless. Like how Wayne got Tunechi, everybody got they alias. That's my alias. I just feel like I built up too much of a brand [as Shy Glizzy], which everyone agrees [with], you know. My brand too big.

One of the first songs you released from the project is "Take Me Away," which is produced by TM88. What was the inspiration behind that song?

The inspiration was my everyday lifestyle, that's all. That's what inspired me. It wasn't really like no certain situation or nothing that I was going through at the moment, it was just my everyday situations and the reality of the life that I'm facing and just letting people know that.

How did you and TM88 hook up to make the song?

That's been my boy for a minute. We been seeing each other, chopping it up, bumping into each other, but we ain't ever get nothing in. That was the first one. Then my mental was already there and one of my A&Rs brought me the beat and I did what I do, I just talked my real-life shit on there.

Another single you recently released is "Dope Boy Magic," which features A Boogie and Trey Songz. What led to that collaboration coming to life?

Me and Songz been together for a minute, we been rocking. He from, like, an hour or so up the street and we just bonded on a whole other personal, not even [just] on a music level. So we had the song and A Boogie—that's my partner, I fuck with A Boogie too, I got a lot of respect. So I sent it to him like, "I got the perfect record for you" and he did what he did on it.

Talk about working with Dave East on "Get it Again."

That's my brother there, my Muslim brother. He the homie, we been connecting. I built personal relationships with niggas, I don't just [be] like, "You're a good artist, let's get in the studio, let's do this." I don't really be dealing with too many rappers. So me and East, we been connecting, he been in my city and I been in his city and we Muslim at the end of the day so we had to do something together. He just pulled up on me at the studio and the rest was history. Organic vibes, it all be happening organically for me and I don't do too much reaching out. I fuck with who I fuck with.

What are three songs from Quiet Storm that mean a lot to you that you want the fans to hear?

"Haters Anthem" with my brother 30 Glizzy and my other brother 3 Glizzy, that's one of my top favorite joints. It's the last song I made with my brother [Ed note: 30 Glizzy was killed in September]. Amazing verses—it showcased the talent that I built up within my movement and within my brand, like how we got better and how we was 'bout to take it to the next level. And then we got "Dope Boy Magic"—I love that one. You know, it's just personal 'cause of everything Trey saying on the hook and just the vibes we was creating, it was just too real. Making beautiful music with someone like Trey Songz, not ever doing a record with no R&B guy except for Brent, I just feel like that's my type of vibe. I found my lane with those type of records. And another one would be "GG Worldwide," because I'm telling 'em basically it's bigger than what they think, what they see, or what they hear. It's bigger than life. Which people know, but I'm just giving people a reminder on there and pouring my heart into that song about how strongly I love my brand and my movement.

What are your goals for 2018?

Basically just to keep going hard, crushing it. Hoping for success, keep striving and get the money, man, that's my goal every year, you know. I set high standards, but that's the only way I can go up and up, if I set bigger standards for myself than what everybody else see. Just achieving goals and getting these bags, getting this money, you know. That's what it's all about.

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