The Wichita rapper talks about linking up with K.Dot and why Biggie and ‘Face are two of his favorite emcees.
HardKnock TV recently caught up with Warner Music Bros. signee XV to talk about his latest mixtape Zero Heroes and his career so far. During the interview, the Kansas-born emcee spoke on his relationship with Compton upstart Kendrick Lamar and their work together on the song “Textbook Stuff.” XV explained that although the two previously knew of each others work through the Internet, they actually first met at last year’s SXSW, which ultimately led to their collaboration on XV’s recent mixape.
“I met Kendrick [Lamar] at SXSW this year, me and him were kicking at this joint called the Illmore [Mansion] with Ill Roots and Score More. He was just there kicking it, I walked in and saw him,” he recalled. “The thing about the new generation of artists is we all kinda know each other because we’re all on the same websites and we all get Tweeted by the same kinda fans and all that, so right when I seen him, he just showed so much love…it was after the  XXL Freshman list came out, and he said, ‘Yo, I just wanna tell you you’re your thing regardless, point blank’…and then, maybe like a month [after] finishing up Zero Heroes, my manager…was like, ‘You should put “Textbook Stuff” on the mixtape’…I had ‘Textbook Stuff’ done a while ago and it had always had a blank verse…and I was like, ‘If I do, I either need to write a new verse or put somebody on it,’ and it just sounded like some joint that Kendrick would body…I re-recorded [my first verse]; it was different when we first worked on it. After [K.Dot] did his, I was like, ‘Nah, nah’…we have some more joints coming.”
XV also talked about his musical influences, placing mainstays like Outkast as Biggie next to left field selections like Scarface and Crucial Conflict. He explained that growing up in Wichita, Kansas gave him the chance to explore Hip Hop from all different regions more fully instead of simply being drawn in by his hometown’s heroes.
“My influences were automatically Notorious B.I.G., Outkast of course, Crucial Conflict, which is really weird, but somehow that CD came across my tape deck and I just rocked with it, and also Scarface. I’m a huge Scarface fan,” he said. “It’s really weird because you would never think those things shaped me up to be the rapper that I am, but the thing that’s dope about Kansas is everybody can kinda pick from everything; it’s like a buffet. We didn’t grow up on Jay-Z or B.I.G. or Wu-Tang or Mobb Deep. We didn’t grow up on Pac, Cube, Snoop or Dre…in so many different regions, you have that big artist that you can look to. Kansas didn’t have that, so it’s kind of like whatever you picked that you identified with…all the people I like, they’re all individuals. They’re all their own type of artists…they all did their own thing.”
The full interview video can be seen below.