Watch Southside's 2024 XXL Freshman Cyphers Interview

Southside interview

I love the whole concept of Freshman, ’cause I feel like everybody who come from the Freshman end up being—at least half of ’em—end up being global superstars. It’s like after y’all do that, it’s like their prices just go crazy after that. It’s for the culture. I actually wanted to do it. I started really watching the Freshman the year [that] had 21 Savage, Lil Uzi Vert, like all them that year. G Herbo was on there, too. 2016 [Freshman], all of them is global superstars right now. I was working with most of that class. I made “No Heart” for 21 Savage. I made they hits then. Inspiring.

I love the youth. I always been able to work with like, the Futures and all the big names and stuff. As a producer now, ’cause I accomplished so much, it’s more fun to me now to work with the new kids coming in. I wanna try to make one of their biggest hits. It’s like a new accomplishment for me. Like some Dr. Dre sh*t. Take one of them, go up with them and try to build with them through their whole career.

That’s how me and Skilla Baby is. Skilla Baby come to the studio with me probably three or four times a month. He’s like the coldest one outta all of [them], to me. He don’t do drugs. He don’t drink liquor. He don’t get high. He’s completely sober. And he goes in there and just raps through stuff. I ain’t never seen nothing like that before. That’s why I feel like he’s just dope and his work ethic.

I love BigXthaPlug. I had never met BigX before that. I seen him on stage when he came out with the pink on, doing his dancing sh*t on the sh*t that went viral. He was so like South, you know, we real like, southern hospitality. Real loving. Even when I seen him in the club last night, he was like, “Man, y’all gonna come in my section.” I’m like, “We good, bro. It’s cool.” That made me f**k with him a whole lot how he was.

I love Maiya The Don. Me meeting her just made me love Maiya. I had never heard none of Maiya music or nothing, but when I heard her rap yesterday, I’m like, Damn, she really going crazy. I started looking up [her music], going through sh*t. I love her. I love her personality.

BossMan Dlow, fire. I told him, I said, “Bro, you were my theme song the whole Super Bowl. Your album was the theme album the whole Super Bowl for me.” That’s what I was playing, Dlow in Vegas the whole time. 4batz, fire. Stupid fire. I was actually watching 4batz for a minute, before he just started going super, super crazy. I like how he did the “Act I,” “Act II.”

Hunxho, that’s like my real family. One of my best friends is Hunxho big brother. I knew them growing up, you know what I’m sayin’? So, I knew Hunxho before this sh*t, before he blew up. I was one of the first people to bring Hunxho around and tell Hunxho like, “Hey, bro, you gonna be a star. You gotta open up to people.” You know, ’cause he’s so street, and been through so much stuff. I really know Hunxho. That’s my real little brother.

Lay Bankz, she from Philly. I be in tune. I be having to call Skilla sometimes. Like, I’ll come across something on the internet and send them, be like, “Who is it?” They like, “She hard. Go listen to this, this, this and this.”

Rich Amiri hard. I f**k with him. It’s always unique sh*t when people send me stuff for him. It’s just different, you feel me? ScarLip. That’s like DMX daughter to me. That’s how I feel. I f**k with her. She signed to Epic Records, too, the same label I’m signed to. Cash Cobain, fire. I just did a song with Cash. You know, I rap. I did a song with Cash Cobain in Atlanta like two weeks ago. He just walked in the studio. I was in there recording and sh*t. He just started rapping. He’s like, “I can get on it?” I f**k with Cash. That Mexican OT. I f**k with him. He got a song called “Twisting Fingers.” It’s the South. I love the South. That’s my thing.

For the cyphers, I think I sent like six beats or something at first. Then we sent maybe about 15 and I got another 15. With beats, that sh*t take me like five minutes. Now to the next person, it may take them like three months, you know, to make a beat. I’ll sit in one day and make 60 beats.

I own 808 Mafia [producer collective]. It’s a lot of us, but I got one kid from New York named Smatt that’s like me. He’s Southside all over again, how I was growing up. I make damn near everything with him right now. He really give me my drive right now. He made “Daylight” with Drake with me. He been making a lot of sh*t with me. The two beats for the freestyle, he did ’em with me. He signed to me.

Next up for me is my album. My first compilation album. I got Future on it, Burna Boy, A$AP Rocky. Everybody on it. Travis Scott. Hunxho on it. Skilla Baby. G Herbo, Rob49. Ken Carson and Destroy Lonely, I just dropped a single with them also. I just mixed all the worlds up. I put people on songs with people that you wouldn’t normally hear. I’m working on Mixtape Pluto with Future right now. I’ve been working a lot with Roddy Ricch, too. It’s a new sound, like a whole new vibe.

I’m ready to get these albums out, get this music out, start doing shows. I’m gonna drop my rap project, Free Agent 4, after my [compilation] album. I’m about to step into like the show side of it. DJing and rapping and some of your favorite artists coming out. I’m actually doing the first year of the 808 Fest on August 8. We doing the first year of it in Los Angeles.

See Southside open up about producing the beats for the Freshman cyphers in the video below.

Watch Southside Speak on Making Beats for the 2024 XXL Freshman Class Cyphers

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