I usually get approached by older white ladies of a certain class, with their pearls and, you know, their Talbots on and everything, and they're like, 'We just have to say, we know we're not your demographic, but we love Paper Boi; we really love this show, and we love what you're doing.' It's totally cool.
On top of trying to find my way in this business and losing my mother and trying to figure out what family meant to me and everything - 2016, there was a lot of anger from me and a lot of anger all around. I think the hardest part was to really realize that all these things, it's worth it.
I think that's the best thing about being black is that we find a way to make our own communities and always give room for people to pull up to our tables. We always provide a way for other people from different walks of life to come into the communities that we have built because we're so used to being excluded.
Just to say 'woke' is to always be in a constant stream of consciousness where you don't feel like the wool is pulled over your eyes so much. You question your belief that everything should just be presented to you on this beautiful plate. Everything is not as it seems.
Acting really started for me because I was in a house full of adults. They never shielded their lives from me. They were adults going through this world doing what they had to do. I used to like to watch them and imitate them. They all have their own distinct personalities; even though they're family, we couldn't be more different people.
There's no redemption in being robbed. Yeah, maybe you can replace that thing, but it will never be the way it was when you got it the first time. It'll never have the same weight and preciousness again.
I was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is where J. Cole is from. I went up to Washington, D.C., where my mother moved, to stay with her, and then moved back to North Carolina to finish junior high and high school.
After my mother and father separated when I was 5, my mother moved to Washington, D.C., and my father remained in North Carolina. Later, I moved to New York and would often drive down to D.C. to see her. We'd ride around together talking and listening to music.
My father was retired military, and my mother was an educator. She was incredibly creative. I used to love going to her school during the summer and helping her decorate her classroom. I would draw Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck. She was a sixth grade teacher. She and my father are the ones that got me into my love of music.
This is the city that kind of formulated who I am. And, not only that, but to be black in Atlanta is one of the greatest things because you can go anywhere and feel familiar with anyone who's right next to you, from Bankhead to Buckhead.
When people ask me, 'Are you a singer?' I say, 'No, I'm not a 'singer' - but I love the craft of singing,' going in and finding out what that means or why the hell I'm singing in the first place. My thing is really the craft of it.