“Last Kings is about carrying yourself like royalty. What we're doing is not some artist attaching his name to some screenprinted shirts. We're really running a warehouse with cut-and-sew products. Even our t-shirts are custom silhouettes—not blanks. We have everything from high quality denim to socks. So it’s the real deal. Our customers are the trendsetters, not necessarily the people who are just buying the stuff they see in the mall. They are the people who like streetwear and high fashion and want to maintain some individuality.
We're just gonna keep pushing. We're opening a flagship store on Melrose in Los Angeles this month and already talking about expanding to other cities. We're open to collabs if it feels right. We've kicked around ideas with the Been Trill guys about a collab so that could be cool. We'll see!
I like to be hands on with things that I put my name on. I didn’t wanna be one of those celebs who just slapped a logo on something I didn’t believe in. I sat with [the Reebok team] and really came up with something that I would want to wear. And something that represents where I'm from.
[If I could collaborate with anyone, past or present, it would probably be] Michael Jackson or 2Pac. Obviously Lil' Wayne has been a big influence. When I first met him and started seeing him in the studio (and his work ethic), it was very inspiring. He really showed me what it takes to be successful. People that know me know that I'm not really out in the clubs or anything. Usually at 5 a.m. you can find me in the studio working still. I learned that from Wayne. Also seeing people like Kanye [West] in the studio and how he works has opened me up to different approaches. He's very collaborative and it's all about getting a ton of ideas out and picking through the best ones. So I try to take little lessons from all these guys and apply it to what I do.
There have been a few key moments so far. I think when me and Chris Brown put out 'Deuces' that was a big moment; that really started to put my career in overdrive. Then obviously ‘Rack City’ changed things and kind of defined the sound of radio for a while. But I try to grow every day and I feel like these are all steps on the journey. I think there are more big moments coming. As far as Kanye… people will have to wait and see what happens with that. I actually don’t even know what you're talking about. Ha!
The best advice I've ever gotten was about not to worry about winning over everybody. When I first started, I would get caught up in the negative comments, but now I realize that my fans like me for what I do so I'm going to go even harder in that direction. I make music for them. Fans of certain styles of rap may not like what I do and I'm ok with that because I’m good. I'd tell young people trying to break in that it's about perseverance. No one is going to hand you anything, but you get what you put in.”