• Exclusive Interview

    iLoveMakonnen Talks Drake, Girl Problems & The Future Of His Music

    The up-and-comer also explains swagger jacking and the origins of his musical career

    iLoveMakonnen seems like he's come out of nowhere, but the rapper has Drake's blessing and that's no small feat. Drizzy even remixed his banger "Club Going Up on a Tuesday," launching the up-and-comer into the limelight. "I don't think that was a swagger jack. For the album to feel like a swagger jack would be if Drake made a completely different song with my whole concept and my whole flow and all of that and nobody knew who I was. Drake did a compliment," Makonnen explained. "He showed respect, and it was great. That was a really big thing for me, and I was glad that he did that. Swagger jacking is a gift and a curse. You're excited that somebody is inspired by you. Then it could be that that person has an audience so much broader than yours that when people see you do it, people are going to think that you copied them." 

    So what's the best way to handle the whole swagger jacking situation? "I say good artists should just contact the person they're trying to swagger jack and say, 'Hey, I'm really interested in this that you're doing. Can you help me be myself with a little bit of sauce?'"

    Many of iLoveMakonnen's songs deal with an inability to foster healthy relationships with women. "I'm glad that Chris Brown and I had a song on the same type of topic, I guess. I hate to bash women, but it's girls that I know from my experience from being in relationships, and girls would, you know, cheat on you," the rapper told Fuse. "They're not exclusive, and they're not loyal. Hopefully we can talk more girls into being more loyal and more exclusive."

    It's not his lack of luck with the ladies that inspired him to make music in the first place, however. That comes from a much, much darker place. "I graduated high school, and the day after high school I was out hanging out with my friends," he recalled. "A situation happened where somebody lost their life. It was just a very unfortunate accident. I had to go through the whole court system and all that. What happened was I was on two years house arrest and seven years probation and all that. When I was on house arrest and probation, that's when I really started focusing in on my music because I had time to really do it. I wanted to do something wise with my time, rather than just sit around. I just turned the tragedy into a positive, a negative into a positive."

    The result? A lot of music, all at once. "I chose to release so much music so fast to put a good amount of product in the market. Due to that I didn't have, I guess, backing or the popularity, I had to put out a lot of product to make sure it gets seen somewhere. When people caught on, they had a good body of work to go back to and catch up. I have a lot of songs that I've already done that I'm going to be releasing. I think the major label debut is going to be at the top of the year," he revealed. "I'm probably going to do one more release, a mixtape, before the year's out, in the fall sometime. We're working on an EP. It's actually me, Trinidad James, Fatman Key and Sonny Digital. Sonny Digital is making all the beats."

    Watch the exclusive interview above!

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