Who was the 1st rapper?

The 1st rap group was the Harlem R&B Boys. We had a group who had two members who came from South Carolina. They’re from the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana. We’re from the Great Plains Tribe, so like me and T.I., we had three very different things.
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How long did it take for your first album to be released?

I started working with Dr. Dre, who’s from California, in November of ’09.

Did you have a relationship with him?

We just had a shared belief system. They did a lot of work on the video for “We Just Do It.” I just kind of let it happen. They told me, “We wanna put this out.” I don’t really know how they did it. They had three producers do the beats, one of whom was a hip-hop artist, one of whom was an art teacher. [They had] about three producers come in and help them put the tape together. This is where I became really good friends with Dre. I think I really got to know him before I met him on the phone. He had a couple of good stories to tell. One of them was on the phone and I was calling a female friend, she was on the phone, but I had the music and that’s all. I knew all of her background. Dre said, “I have a record out.” So he starts rapping, so I got to listen to the tapes. I just started reading Dre’s music, reading Dr. Dre stuff and he told me that was what was really going on.

So you had some kind of relationship with T.I. that’s why you and T.I. collaborated on “Dre Day,” but weren’t even close for the song?

I never played drums on that song. I did a couple rap bits on that.

I heard you were working on another solo project. What can we expect from it?

I just started doing a production thing at the beginning of this year. We have a guy out in Los Angeles that just did an album with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, but he’s coming to Chicago in May and I just start up the production there. So now I have three full-time jobs at the same time. I just love doing my music. I’m really just into it. I love to do the production. I like being in a space where I can create and be in control of