Truth on Being a 2017 XXL Freshman: “As an artist, [becoming a Freshman] is just a dream, so you never really know what could come of it, but I know it gives artists a bigger platform to get your name out there. Everything I have is organic. Everything is real. I built everything by myself. My following is real, my fan base is crazy. I’m a genuine person—can’t see through it.

I feel like I gotta start carrying myself different, because this is a bigger realm than I’ve been on, so I had to prepare myself for it mentally. Getting picked for the cover is like a life goal. For the people who don’t know who you are, they’ll know who you are, and regardless if they like your music or not, they have to automatically put respect on your name.

I think the Freshman cover will give me a bigger platform, put my name out there for people who might not know who I am and give me a boost, give me a bigger chance, a bigger opportunity. I want this to be not just something that was an internet sensation or a thing in the moment. I want it to be something that helps me get to where I am in a few years.

I’m one of the few that really don’t watch what I say. Not in a disrespectful way, but I don’t try to meet any standard or statistic of any other rapper. I say what I want freely. It may hurt feelings, some people may feel some type of way, some people may feel like it’s not hip-hop. Fuck it.

It feels great to be surrounded by the 2017 Freshman Class. A lot of talent, a lot of competition. I see what’s going on. I trust XXL’s picks, they know what’s next, so I can see my competition, see the market. Being a XXL Freshman, it fills in a blank space. Just as soon as I got as far as I could for an artist, XXL is a big-ass boost. For people that don’t know me, XXL just makes sure they do know me, whether they like me or not. Makes me a household name.

It’s just a doorway. It means a lot. It’s just a realm I never would have touched without XXL. It makes me more marketable. Being a XXL Freshman, you automatically have credentials. Being an artist, that’s like every nigga’s goal. Every rap nigga’s goal is to be on that fucking cover. It’s like, a big-ass milestone. Picking 10 niggas out of millions of niggas that rap, it’s like a plaque. Everybody can’t get that. See, I got millions of plays on SoundCloud, other people doing that too, but everybody can’t be a Freshman.”

See Behind-the-Scenes Photos of Ugly God at 2017 XXL Freshman Shoot