(AllHipHop) Since dropping his mixtape EVOL in 2012, southern rapper June has been constantly making steps to advance his budding music career.
The Tennessee native parlayed the attention from EVOL into a slot on the Smoker's Club Tour last year. June's first concert trek saw him sharing a bill with nationally known artists like TDE's Ab-Soul and Pro Era's Joey Bada$$.
June connected with another XXL Freshman alum when Mississippi emcee Big K.R.I.T. added a verse to his "Big Pimpin" single. The duo recently released a J.R. Saints directed video for the track which also included a cameo by Gunplay. Up next for June is an EP with his brother Teddy Walton handling majority of the production.
AllHipHop.com interviewed June as part of the "5 & Done" series. See what the West Memphis-based performer has to say about why he started rapping at 15, how he initially hooked up with K.R.I.T., and what success means for him.
AllHipHop.com: What was it that first attracted you to want to pursue Hip Hop as a career?
June: First thing was to get my story out. I feel like I got something to say, and Hip Hop is a good way to put it out.
How did you first connect with Big K.R.I.T.?
I met up with Big K.R.I.T. and his team in California around November. He was doing a Bay Area tour. Me and his DJ connected. After we connected, he saw me perform. He said, “Yo, you’re hot. I like your performance.” I told him I’ve been listening to Big K.R.I.T. for a long time. That’s big bro to me. He connected with me, I got his number, and everything else has been history.
You went out on the Smoker’s Club Tour last year with Joey Bada$$, Ab-Soul, and others. What moment from that experience stands out for you?
Just being in that league of up-and-comers made me feel like I’m an up-and-comer. That just stood out the most – just being important enough to be on that tour. Just being on a tour and getting my words out to people.
The last few years there have been a lot of indie artists that have been able to break out without major backing. Are you interested in signing with a major or would you prefer to stay independent?
I mean whatever suits me and the team. If everybody on the team agrees to go to a bigger label then I’ll do it. Right now, I’m just staying focused on what I have to do. Just keeping in motion. It’s all in the air.
How do you define success for yourself?
Taking care of my people and my family and being happy. That’s success for me.
[ALSO READ: 5 & Done: BK Brasco]
Follow June on Twitter @JUNE
Listen to June's "Big Pimpin" featuring Big K.R.I.T. below