Truth on Being a 2017 XXL Freshman: “I feel like I was chosen to be a XXL Freshman because I’m positive, bring good energy, good vibes. I really don’t be giving a fuck but at the same time I care so much. I’m more of an organic person. I’m all about vibes. I make music for the culture. Without me, I feel like it’s something missing.

I feel like I just bring a different sound, a unique sound, my own type of sound. I just feel like my music is very for the culture. My sound is laid-back and fly. I was excited when I found out I was going to be a freshman and I just kept it a secret. I looked at it like, Damn, XXL! I gotta do it. I’m a fan of XXL myself. Coming up, I had all the issues, you know what I’m sayin’? XXL, that’s the big boys. I appreciate it.

I was more into [XXL Freshman] this year than last year. This year, I’ve been more active. I honestly don’t feel like it had nothing to do with music. I just felt like it was, if I really wanted to do it and how much effort I was gonna put into being a XXL Freshman. This year, I put in way more effort to be a freshman, you feel me?

I feel like the cover, it can go both ways. I just look at it like it’s monumental in an artist’s career. That’s something I feel like every artist should [do]. You don’t have to do it but you should do it. If you get the opportunity, you should most definitely take it, you know what I’m sayin’? A lot of the best MCs have done it.

For people who don’t know about me, being on the cover, it will enlighten them. The cover is a way to be more iconic, putting me into a different category. Really moving away from that SoundCloud shit. I don’t really want to move away from it, but in order for me to be successful, I got to. It’s not even about being mainstream. As an artist, you always want to never forget where you come from. A lot of my fans come from the SoundCloud platform. I just want to make both crowds happy.

I want my impact to be legendary. I want everyone to remember me as just a mogul. A young dude that just lit forever. I feel like it’s important for me to expand, to create my own label. With a label, I can just give someone the opportunity that I was given, you know? That’s what it’s all about, just helping. It’s not even about me just helping someone out; they can help me out too. I’m looking for singers, songwriters, all that. It’s all about moving on to the next level.”—Georgette Cline

See Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Playboi Carti at 2017 XXL Freshman Shoot