It's not easy being the first to do something, but sometimes you just have to take control - like St.Paul Minnesota rapper, Taylor J. Moving from the capital of Minnesota to the Hip-Hop capital of Georgia, "ATL", the 21-year-old has made some impressive moves, including having his latest mixtape hosted by Hip-Hop journalist Shaheem Reid, collaborations with Gucci Mane, and opening up for Wale.
AllHipHop.com got Taylor J to discuss the new mixtape, growing up in the Midwest, and more:
AllHipHop.com: What is it like living and growing up in Minnesota?
Taylor J: Pretty chill. It's pretty regular. Like nothing really going on. It's dead, really. Growing up was cool. I was just your average only kid, single mom, etc. Just chasing dreams, trying to get up out of there. Using music as my only focus to keep away from the "nothingness" going on.
AllHipHop.com: How's is the rap scene in Minnesota?
Taylor J: Like crabs in the bucket. Their really is no rap scene. It's just a bunch n*ggas rapping.
AllHipHop.com: What did you do before rap?
Taylor J: Just out in the streets, doing whatever I wanted. I never had a job more than three months. My mom would be on my *ss. I would get a job than lose it, 'cause I'm not a job type of n*gga. I been rapping so long, I really didn't have that much time not to rap.
AllHipHop.com: When did you start rapping full time?
Taylor J: My big brother was doing the music, but he got locked up. He told me about him rapping, and I just got into. I started rapping to him everyday over the phone, and I decided I would pick up from where he left off.
AllHipHop.com: What was your strategy for getting on?
Taylor J: Just getting out of [Minnesota]. Not really looking at the crabs, just keeping it moving. I did everything I could back home - shows and open mics.
AllHipHop.com: You got some heavy features on your mixtape, Control. Who did you enjoy working the most?
Taylor J: Jazze Pha.
AllHipHop.com: What was it like?
Taylor J: I like working with him; he's really a good person. He's really a artist. His energy is just so positive. Him and Shaheem Reid. Shaheem [is] like a mentor to me.
AllHipHop.com: What was is like meeting Shaheem Reid?
Taylor J: That sh*t was amazing. I was shook; it was dope. I played a couple of songs for him, and then the second or third time he came in town, I brought up the idea of the mixtape, and he was down.
AllHipHop.com: What's different about you from all other rappers?
Taylor J: Just my rawness. I'm genuine in what I'm talking about. I come with a different approach than you average artist. I feel like I'm really on a different level.
AllHipHop.com: What's the one song on the tape that means the most to you?
Taylor J: "Darwin's Theory". I'm really just giving people a story about when I first started to today, when I moved to Atlanta.
AllHipHop.com: What labels are you talking to?
Taylor J: I'm not signing to no major but Jay or Dre. I just feel those are the only two people that can understand me on the artist side and business side.
AllHipHop.com: What's next?
Taylor J: I just got a session with Roscoe Dash. I have a new mixtape coming soon called Hoodie Season. That's what I'm working on right now.
AllHipHop.com: In five years, where do you hope to be?
Taylor J: On the moon. Just somewhere happy.
Follow Taylor J on Twitter (@TaylorJTakeover).