Maryland's YBN Cordae is a rapper's rapper in every sense of the word, using an array of flows and sharp lyrics to come out of seemingly nowhere. As a member of the already buzzing YBN crew, the 21-year-old MC entered the public consciousness in 2017, after his teammates Almighty Jay and Nahmir made a name for themselves. Cordae had a lot to prove but killing it at Rolling Loud and bodying his share of freestyles and cyphers surely did the trick. Now he sits down with XXL to dispel some of the mystery behind his come up and and reveal the wild story of how he copped his first studio in our Who Am I? series.

Cordae picked up his craft very early. "I started rappin', shit when I was 10 for real for real, I was just rappin' to the family and shit," the Maryland native explains. "Nas, Big L, Rakim, Jay-Z, Eminem, those was all my influences, but I didn't start recording until I was 16." Six years deep before he hit the studio means he's a true student of the game.

Once the rhymer hit 16, he started to take music seriously, thanks to his cousins' skill for "finding" things. "My cousins robbed a nigga and stole all his shoes and shit and gave me like 10 pairs of shoes," Cordae admits. "I sold the shoes and bought my studio. I bought an audio technician mic and Pro Tools SE, the demo version and was recording in the basement." Talk about using what you got to get what you want.

Watch Cordae discuss how cool he was in high school, bonding with Nahmir and working at Old Navy while selling weed at the same time above. Yeah, it's as wild as it sounds. Enjoy the watch.

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