For an MC like Trae tha Truth, music is the least of his problems and with a forthcoming LP on the way, the Houston native proves again why he's one of the hardest working rappers in all of hip-hop.

Looking to continue the momentum of last year's album, Tha Truth, Trae gears up to release the sequel to his buzz-worthy project, Tha Truth, Pt. 2, on Feb. 5 via ABN Entertainment/Grand Hustle Records/Empire Distribution. Boosted by guest appearances from Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, Quentin Miller, Young Thug and more, Trae recruits one of his frequent producers and engineers, Watson the Great, for the musical backdrop here. The 35-year-old rhymer aims to gain the respect of rap critics and fans once again with Tha Truth Part 2.

XXL recently sat down with Trae tha Truth to discuss the new album, his hard work ethic, the best advice he's received from T.I. and this year's Trae Day event in Houston.

XXL: How long did it take you to record your latest project, Tha Truth, Pt. 2?

Trae tha Truth: Originally, Tha Truth Part 1 was a double CD. I was talked out of doing the double CD so the majority of it was done when I finished the first part. I was able to go in the studio and put some finishing touches with my engineer, Watson the Great and I think I added two or three more songs to the project.

What's the difference then between last year's Tha Truth and the one dropping this year?

Me, personally, I thought it was a tad more darker and personal. And then at first, I don't know how people would react to it but everybody to this present time who have heard the album love part one and felt that part one couldn't be outdone, but after they continue to part two, they're going to be amazed and they'll love part two as well.

How did you end up linking with Quentin Miller for your single "Takers"?

We were in the studio and that record that we made wasn't even for the album because we were just doing records. It was just the vibe, you know what I'm saying. The vibe of the record fit and I felt like I was missing that on the album because there's a lot more seriousness and other type records but as far just that young, just don’t give a damn, feel-good record, we needed that for the album.

Listen to Trae tha Truth's "Takers" Feat. Quentin Miller

Did you face any challenges during the recording process of the album?

When it comes to music, I never face challenges. I tell people all the time when I do my music it's just me venting. I'm not going in there to make a certain type of record, or make a certain song, or catch up with a fad that everyone is doing. I just go in there and do me. Music probably be the least of my problems.

Who are some of the producers and artists featured on this Tha Truth Pt. 2?

I'm proud to say my engineer we built a lot together, Watson the Great, he's on over half the album. Feature-wise, you know I got T.I., Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, the homie Price from Audio Push, Young Thug, Quentin Miller, Kid Ink and Liz Rodriguez. I got a different variety on this project.

Talk to me about the chemistry between you and Watson the Great?

He knows my sound very well. Any two ways I record it has to be sent to him to let him touch it, you know what I'm saying, because he knows how it supposed to sound and how I sound on a record. Sometimes it's to the point where I can do something and I put all my trust on him because I know it's going to be handled the correct way, the way I want it to sound. We come together really good when it comes to music. We make that music that can be felt for real. for real.

Do you feel like you give away too much music for free?

That's what J. Cole made me understand. I didn't get it at first, I can honestly say I do now. People take an album way more serious than a mixtape, always. I felt like all my mixtapes worth are like albums, and I don't think there was much difference, but I seen the reaction from when I first started campaigning for Tha Truth Part 1 all the way up to now. People take it a lot more serious. You gotta think about it, I wasn't really doing interviews with y'all when it was time for mixtapes, but when it comes time for an album, we're working.

How many songs recorded do you think your have in your stash?

I have over 1,700 songs hidden away. I have four hard drives just sitting up at Tree Sound studios. I kind of have that 'Pac ethic. Just work, work, work and work. It's a good thing, you know what I'm saying? The bad thing is people feel I hold on to way too much music lately.

Talk to me about this year's Trae Day and how the special day came about?

It'll be on July 22 this year. I got the day from the mayor. It was a day to celebrate me for lots of stuff that I do in the community but instead of celebrating for me, I wanted to make it a day for the city where I can do everything and anything I can for them. So I made a celebration for all of us you know, instead of taking the time to put the light on me and it turned out to be amazing.

What's been the piece of advice you've received from T.I.?

Think, because I can move off anger in a blast of a second. He can calm me down sometimes to the point I'll be pissed like, "Why, the fuck am I on the phone with you?" because he can talk me out of it and I want to be pissed off right now. I get it. I understand.

What else should fans expect from you this year?

Tha Truth Part 2 in February, followed by another album after that. You know I have my cartoon on Fuse right now, it's part of a show called Explicit Language. Hopefully, it'll land a deal with Cartoon Network. Of course, I'm getting ready to shoot my own film when I can finally take a break and just more work. I'm trying to do little bit of everything and just keep the work coming.

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