Let’s start by discussing the album’s title. What’s the story behind Pluto?
It’s going against the grain from what albums are always titled. Rap albums, especially. You can usually define or identify it based on the title. It’s bigger than that as far as the music I am trying to have come across. At first I thought about it as my sign for Scorpio, because Pluto is the sign for Scorpios. It also became a metaphor of me being in my own zone and in another place when it comes to music.

You were raised in the Kirkwood area of Atlanta. For those who have never experienced it, what was it like for you growing up there?
When I was coming up, dudes were hanging out everywhere and you would see junkies and regular people just living their everyday life. When you live in that type of drug-infested environment, you don’t think about being from the streets. It’s just your regular life. But when you leave and come back, it’s real street s—, all in your face. Now, they’ve renovated everything around there. They tore down everything and it’s in the process of being rebuilt.

Although Rico Wade is your cousin, you never pressed the issue with him about helping you get into the industry. When did he begin to reach out and support you?
When he found out I could make money on my own and be my own man. He knew that I didn’t want to walk in his shoes. I never threw his name out in any of my interviews. I never walked to the radio station like, “I’m Rico Wade’s cousin.” The reason I am here today is based off listening [to him] and learning [about] life experiences from him. But at the time, he was my support system as my cousin. I learned a lot; I just [took] the best out of everybody and applied it to my situation and made it work for me. Rico hasn’t produced a record on any of my mixtapes. At the end of the day, he’s going to support me no matter what.

Will you be working with any Dungeon Family members in the near future?
I am gradually getting there. Just because Rico Wade is my cousin, I’m not going to just make a song with Cee Lo. There is going to come a time when me and Cee Lo will work [together]. Cee Lo recently called me and we talked, but it’s all about timing. I want my fans to feel like they’re growing with me. I know he’ll be there for me at the time when I need him. Future Hendrix is coming by the end and the top of the year. Rico Wade will be creating live music.

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents music, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.