If you scroll down your favorite rapper's Instagram account, it's likely you'll see a number of flicks featuring fellow rappers. From the outside looking in, these images convey the idea that the rap community is one great, big happy family where friendship among collaborators is the norm, but according to rising star 21 Savage, it's not like that at all.
On Wednesday (January 18), Rap Radar released the latest episode of their popular podcast, which features an hour-long interview with the ATL native. In addition to revealing that he's the latest artist to sign a deal with L.A. Reid at Epic Records, joining an artist roster that now includes A Tribe Called Quest, Big Boi, DJ Khaled, French Montana, Future, Rick Ross and Travis Scott, 21 pulled back the curtain on his working relationships with fellow rap artists.
"I fuck with a lot of rappers, I just don't look for friendships with a lot of rappers," he told Rap Radar hosts Elliott Wilson and Brian "B Dot" Miller. "A lot of niggas take it too far, like, this is just business. We can come together, do a song—that don't mean I have to look at you like my friend. Cause I know niggas is fake. A lot of these niggas ain't real so I don't expect that from them. You hot, I'm hot, let's do a song and make this motherfuckin' [money], know what I'm saying?"
Immediately following 21's answer, Elliott asked if his working relationship with Drake is different, a question brought on by their recent collaboration "Sneakin'," and Drake gifting 21 a car for his birthday.
"Yeah. Because of his level of success, he ain't gotta do no song with me. He ain't gotta do nothing that he did. That's deeper than rap."
When photos of Drake's gift, a drop-top Ferrari, started to make the rounds online, social media was aflutter with speculation that Drake was only working with 21 to capitalize on his growing buzz—a tactic he's been accused of employing in the past—but 21 made clear it wasn't like that at all.
"I've been talking to Drake before Savage Mode, so it ain't like he just jumped on when I was hot," said 21. "We been fuckin' with each other before Slaughter King even came out."
In rap, much like in real life, what you see on social media isn't always true. Similarly, you don't need to be friends with someone to work with them and make money together. Sure, 21 Savage's commentary might close a few collaborative doors, but it's clear his eyes are wide open.