Trinidad Jame$ is mad. The typically calm-and-collected Southern MC has been having some attitude problems as of late, seizing every opportunity to call out rappers and critics and threaten to beat their asses. All the negative energy comes from a sensible place, though. Since his ascent and eventual signing to Def Jam off the strength of hit single "All Gold Everything," Jame$ has been written off as a commodified rap star, another one hit wonder in a long line of would-be icons.

But with a backwards come-up story—"Gold" took off nearly two months after he put out his debut mixtape Don't Be S.A.F.E.—Trinidad is playing catch up trying to match his shining star, and in recent months, he's been making a strong case for his longevity. From a supporting slot on Wiz Khalifa's Under The Influence Tour to a stellar guest verse on A$AP Ferg's "Work (Remix)" to his recent 10 Pc. Mild mixtape—a ten-track project as left-field as it is party-starting—the 2013 XXL Freshman is slowly and effectively proving his worth as an emerging contender.

In an intimate sit-down at Mighty Quinn's Barbeque in New York City's East Village, Trinidad spoke with XXL about the wild success of "All Gold Everything," battling expectations, and of course, why he's ready to beat your ass. Watch it above, and check out some behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot below.

[Photos by Lauren Gesswein]