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Q&A | SAVIII 3RD

February 24, 2020

Read the full interview on Flaunt.com!

Saviii 3rd is finally a free man. Completely independent, the East Side Long Beach Crip is determined to be one of the greatests, with the same amount of respect his peers hold such as Nipsey Hussle and Dom Kennedy. The 24-year-old describes himself as “a visionary, definitely a dreamchaser.”

His raspy voice allows him to be distinguishable from the others, his flow is deliberately aggressive, his bars tell stories from his past including the struggles of the streets, and his music resonates deeply with all those who hear it. Saviii doesn’t care about money or fame, he wants to leave behind a legacy where audiences can remember him for who he is and what he’s done for the rap game.

His journey in the music industry is far beyond ordinary, initially gaining the attention of fellow Long Beach native Warren G before eventually landing in the hands of Wack 100 and Birdman. While he was the first artist signed to Stunna’s new imprint Cash Money West, a sudden arrest landed him back in jail. The timing was crucial because in those two months he was behind bars, Blueface had arrived on the label and catapulted to the front of mainstream rap.

Saviii is definitely living in this social media area, paying close attention to all those who fuck with him and those who don’t. Not one to hold back at tongue, our hour-long conversation began with a short rant getting at Uncle Snoop for not giving him the guidance he felt he deserved. He states “I don’t want nothing from you. You literally look over me and do this to other artists that are beneath me or where I’m at.” The two have collaborated in the past, and Snoop even mentioned he’s “watching from afar and letting Saviii learn the game.” Saviii respects it, but that doesn’t disguise his frustrations.

“Man, that shit fake. It has to be real. There’s no reason you shouldn’t help me out, with a resource or anything. I’m not asking for no handout, I just need guidance. I just got out of my deal, I don’t know what the fuck to do. I don’t got a manager.”

When asked who his immediate manager was, he answers, “Wack. The fuck? Fuck out of here.”

But things are looking up. His single “Batter Up” just went Gold (serving as his second Gold record), he recently dropped his Snowboy 2 mixtape, crushed Rolling Loud Los Angeles, and is working on a forthcoming EP with Dom Kennedy slaed for July. I sat with Saviii 3rd at the Kandypens house to discuss his journey from Warren G to Birdman, the life lessons he’s learned along the way, working with Dom Kennedy, and encounters with Nipsey Hussle.

Btw, Saviii is a hood term where he’s from, translating to “I’m cool” or “I’m good.”

Being from East Side, Long Beach, what were you seeing growing up?

The typical shit that you see in a hood movie: guns, gang violence. But I was heading towards sports at that time. At 13, I was playing football and basketball. My passion was football.

Were you nice with it?

Dummy nice. I played for Snoop’s Youth Football League. I went to the All-Star game and everything. Snoop actually went to the prom with my auntie. I got the picture and showed it to him at the Snooper Bowl, he said “Bridget’s yo auntie?” I said “that’s my mom’s sister.” He said “wow, tell her I said hi!” Crazy.

At what point did it become music?

My freshman year, ninth grade. That’s when sports became serious, but I was distracted. I had bad grades, so I couldn’t play sports. I wasn’t fully in the gang life, but I had one foot in. I was fucking around with my friends, dropped a song on Myspace. It was all of us. I wrote the hooks, had somebody else say it, and that shit fucking blew up city-wide. That was the jerkin’ days, when Tayf3rd was still poppin’.

You fuck with him?

I fuck with him. I don’t got no problem with him, but it’s fake love. I’m not about to sugar coat these n*ggas. I done seen them talk all this shit about me before. I heard it, so don’t try to act like this now. It’s just envy, and I see it. When you were in my position, I didn’t envy you. I embraced you.

What’s the reality of being a Crip?

It depends on what type of Crip you are. In this generation, it’s a lot of Crips. Now with the impression that the world gives because of social media, they’re automatically going to think you’re not the authentic Crip. Because most people, it’s just a phase. It’s a fad. They’re not really doing it for a meaning. Being a Crip really doesn’t mean nothing.

When it comes to me, I’m probably the last of a dying breed of people my age and that generation where it wasn’t something we did to be cool. It became cool off of me going by the rules. For an authentic Crip like me, there’s really two differences and I take that shit serious.

What does it mean to be an authentic Crip?

Everybody can get put on the hood. You might be official, you might really be from there. But because you’re from there, that’s it! You’re just from there. If there’s something going on and a problem needs to be resolved, you won’t be able to have an input. You can’t even say nothing. But then someone of the same age or same bracket can go dictate that because they’re respected more, due to the work he;s put in.

It’s not always shooting guns. It’s not always fighting. You stand out as the leader by taking control of whatever’s going on, because transparency prevails every time. They’ll know who’s the real one because every time it’s time do stuff, these people do this and these people do that. It happens multiple times so eventually, they get separated. “Alright these the top people, these the people just under them.” In Long Beach, it’s way different because it’s all Crips. No Bloods. We beef heavy with the Mexicans too. They’re notorious, super notorious. But my Asians, you got the Asians.

Photo Courtesy

Photo Courtesy

Saviii 3rd is finally a free man. Completely independent, the East Side Long Beach Crip is determined to be one of the greatests, with the same amount of respect his peers hold such as Nipsey Hussle and Dom Kennedy. The 24-year-old describes himself as “a visionary, definitely a dreamchaser.”

His raspy voice allows him to be distinguishable from the others, his flow is deliberately aggressive, his bars tell stories from his past including the struggles of the streets, and his music resonates deeply with all those who hear it. Saviii doesn’t care about money or fame, he wants to leave behind a legacy where audiences can remember him for who he is and what he’s done for the rap game.

His journey in the music industry is far beyond ordinary, initially gaining the attention of fellow Long Beach native Warren G before eventually landing in the hands of Wack 100 and Birdman. While he was the first artist signed to Stunna’s new imprint Cash Money West, a sudden arrest landed him back in jail. The timing was crucial because in those two months he was behind bars, Blueface had arrived on the label and catapulted to the front of mainstream rap.

Saviii is definitely living in this social media area, paying close attention to all those who fuck with him and those who don’t. Not one to hold back at tongue, our hour-long conversation began with a short rant getting at Uncle Snoop for not giving him the guidance he felt he deserved. He states “I don’t want nothing from you. You literally look over me and do this to other artists that are beneath me or where I’m at.” The two have collaborated in the past, and Snoop even mentioned he’s “watching from afar and letting Saviii learn the game.” Saviii respects it, but that doesn’t disguise his frustrations.

“Man, that shit fake. It has to be real. There’s no reason you shouldn’t help me out, with a resource or anything. I’m not asking for no handout, I just need guidance. I just got out of my deal, I don’t know what the fuck to do. I don’t got a manager.”

When asked who his immediate manager was, he answers, “Wack. The fuck? Fuck out of here.”

But things are looking up. His single “Batter Up” just went Gold (serving as his second Gold record), he recently dropped his Snowboy 2 mixtape, crushed Rolling Loud Los Angeles, and is working on a forthcoming EP with Dom Kennedy slaed for July. I sat with Saviii 3rd at the Kandypens house to discuss his journey from Warren G to Birdman, the life lessons he’s learned along the way, working with Dom Kennedy, and encounters with Nipsey Hussle.

Btw, Saviii is a hood term where he’s from, translating to “I’m cool” or “I’m good.”

Being from East Side, Long Beach, what were you seeing growing up?

The typical shit that you see in a hood movie: guns, gang violence. But I was heading towards sports at that time. At 13, I was playing football and basketball. My passion was football.

Were you nice with it?

Dummy nice. I played for Snoop’s Youth Football League. I went to the All-Star game and everything. Snoop actually went to the prom with my auntie. I got the picture and showed it to him at the Snooper Bowl, he said “Bridget’s yo auntie?” I said “that’s my mom’s sister.” He said “wow, tell her I said hi!” Crazy.

At what point did it become music?

My freshman year, ninth grade. That’s when sports became serious, but I was distracted. I had bad grades, so I couldn’t play sports. I wasn’t fully in the gang life, but I had one foot in. I was fucking around with my friends, dropped a song on Myspace. It was all of us. I wrote the hooks, had somebody else say it, and that shit fucking blew up city-wide. That was the jerkin’ days, when Tayf3rd was still poppin’.

You fuck with him?

I fuck with him. I don’t got no problem with him, but it’s fake love. I’m not about to sugar coat these n*ggas. I done seen them talk all this shit about me before. I heard it, so don’t try to act like this now. It’s just envy, and I see it. When you were in my position, I didn’t envy you. I embraced you.

What’s the reality of being a Crip?

It depends on what type of Crip you are. In this generation, it’s a lot of Crips. Now with the impression that the world gives because of social media, they’re automatically going to think you’re not the authentic Crip. Because most people, it’s just a phase. It’s a fad. They’re not really doing it for a meaning. Being a Crip really doesn’t mean nothing.

When it comes to me, I’m probably the last of a dying breed of people my age and that generation where it wasn’t something we did to be cool. It became cool off of me going by the rules. For an authentic Crip like me, there’s really two differences and I take that shit serious.

What does it mean to be an authentic Crip?

Everybody can get put on the hood. You might be official, you might really be from there. But because you’re from there, that’s it! You’re just from there. If there’s something going on and a problem needs to be resolved, you won’t be able to have an input. You can’t even say nothing. But then someone of the same age or same bracket can go dictate that because they’re respected more, due to the work he;s put in.

It’s not always shooting guns. It’s not always fighting. You stand out as the leader by taking control of whatever’s going on, because transparency prevails every time. They’ll know who’s the real one because every time it’s time do stuff, these people do this and these people do that. It happens multiple times so eventually, they get separated. “Alright these the top people, these the people just under them.” In Long Beach, it’s way different because it’s all Crips. No Bloods. We beef heavy with the Mexicans too. They’re notorious, super notorious. But my Asians, you got the Asians.

I saw Stupid Young in your “Another Day” visual! 

That’s my boy! Stupid Young is authentic man. He’s a real one. I was in prison with him, before I knew his name was Stupid Young. It was Young Shadow.

What were you locked up for?

I was down for a robbery and burglary. I did 4 years, fresh 18. He came a year later, he had two and a half. He went home before me and came after me too. I knew him off of that “Hard In The Paint” video. I’d never met him then we met right there. We had the same buzz. When I went down, I barely had a buzz. That’s when I was fucking with D.O.C. That’s who started me off. He did a lot for me, but I went to jail.

When did you go to jail?

2013. Got out 2017, the day before my birthday. I did four years straight. Fuck, that shit’s serious.

Biggest lesson you learned in jail?

To stay down. I’m telling, I know every person in that position felt the same way I felt. After a certain time, you really feel like you’re not getting out of this place. No matter what your belief is, that shit will change your mind. After a year, you’ll still be kind of the same. But after a year, that’s when the trauma starts.

How did it feel when you got out?

Man, it was my birthday. My first day waking up on the streets in four years was on my birthday. That shit felt amazing. There’s no feeling like it. Only other feeling I got like that was when I signed my deal, as far as happiness compares. I was happy as fuck. I felt great, I didn’t even want to smoke or drink or nothing. [sighs] Man, shit was crazy.

Can you talk about your deal with Birdman?

We can talk about it. I just hate when it’s headlines. “He talks about Birdman,” they don’t even care about the music anymore. The deal was great, honestly. The deal was a good ass deal, it was just fucking Wack.

Was anyone else on Cash Money West at the time?

Nah, just me. Blueface got signed two weeks after me. I know all the insides, they didn’t announce Blueface until November. I was signed to Warren G, signed a contract February or March 2018. A bullshit ass contract. Money-wise, he was fucking penny pinching me. I was loyal to him because when it all first started, I was emailing this A&R called Dart Parker from Def Jam. That’s my boy. I was procrastinating, giving him the runaround thinking he was bullshitting.

He ended up being the real deal, flew me and two of my homies out to New York. Got us a hotel for three days, we had a meeting. When we get to the Def Jam building, he tells me “Paul’s ready to meet you.” I thought “‘Paul Rosenberg? Oh fuck, this is a serious meeting.” Immediately my mindset changed, because I already signed paperwork with Warren G. I came for the fun, I didn’t think it was a real serious meeting. Fuck! They paid for everything, all expenses paid. I literally had 0 dollars, 0 cents when I went out there.

By that time, I already had a bit of a local buzz and online. I had met Jim Jones early, Young Buck, they all were in New York the same time. This is my first time in New York ever. Jim Jones comes and gets me, I tell him “I gotta be at the studio for a meeting” and he dropped me back off. So I go back to the Def Jam building, there’s four guys: Pusha T’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, the owner of Complex, and Dart. I played “One of them nights” for Paul Rosenberg, he loved it. That’s his favorite one.

I played “Batter Up,” these are all unreleased or had just come out. They’re blown away. They say “we want to get started now. You don’t need any seasoning, any preparation, nothing. We’ll have a proposal for you ready on Saturday.” I’m like “alright bet.” Immediately soon as I left the office, before I even got to the elevator, I thought “fuck, I gotta tell them about Warren.” I call Dart “aye bro, can you step out? Need to talk to you.” I told him I got a contract with Warren G. “I can’t leave him the blind, I didn’t know the seriousness of this meeting.” He said “oh don’t worry. Trust me, they want you so bad, they’ll find a way to cut him in. Plus, he’s been a friend of the family of Def Jam for 20 years.” Cool, I thought the deal was going to be flat out done after I told him. He’s like “trust me bro, they’re super interested.”

So we’re doing Warren G’s tour for his album, he takes me and my homies on tour. We’re in New York and I still ain’t said nothing. Whole time I got a meeting scheduled at 4 o’clock, these people think I already told Warren what’s going on. I ask Warren “hey, you know a guy named Dart Parker?” He said “nah,” but I knew how bad Warren wanted to get close to Dre. Warren wants to fucking get close to Dre so bad, and that’s Dart’s stepbrother. He knows Dre can make so much happen for him. I say “he’s an A&R for Def Jam. Him and Paul Rosenberg are in the office, he said I should slide through.” He says “Paul Rosenberg?” I said “yeah!” He says “n*gga, you know he talks to Dre every day. Let’s go right now.” We go, boom. It’s the same exact meeting we had alone, but with Warren G present. I’m like “it’s on!”

After that, Warren G just cut me out. He ain’t give me no information, nothing. He kept saying “they got the bag for you.” I said “how much?” They’re being secretive, Dart not replying now. That’s the first flag, then me and Warren were falling out. He was trying to be too controlling, telling me where I should and shouldn’t go. I had a baseball game, the one for “Batter Up.” He’s like “don’t go to the park.” I’m 23 years old at the time. I’m not your son. I was an active gang member three months ago before I linked up with you. I’m not doing dumb shit. He’s getting mad, we’re bumping heads.

The first day of the tour, Wack is in my DMs and texts. Because him and one of my OGs from my hood are super tight, they were in prison. I start talking to Wack through him. I’m thinking Wack’s lying: “Birdman gave me the say so for this new label coming out Cash Money West, we start it with you. He’s giving me complete control.” I thought “man, you’re bullshitting.” He’s texting me numbers on the tour bus. I’m fucking with him like “double them numbers bro, they not looking good.” [Laughs]

You didn’t know him then?

Not at all. I swear to God he comes back with the numbers doubled. I thought he’s bullshitting for sure. Fast forward, me and Warren G bumping heads. This is how the universe work. This is exactly what changed everything. I’m parked in the back of my house with my ex. In her car, she used the bluetooth. Me, I’m connected to the bluetooth listening to music. The phone starts ringing, she immediately answers. I’ve been dodging Wack. I look at the number on the thing, I’m like “[silent] FUCK!” Because I heard it. She’s like “hello?” “Hello? Hello? Don’t hang up! [imitates Wack]” She put it on mute, I’m like “don’t hang up now!” She put me on, I’m like “hey.” He’s like “Hey hey hey, don’t hang up! Since you think I’m bullshitting, I got Stunna on the line. Hold on.”

He merged the call. “I heard “nephew!” [Birdman’s voice] Wack’s like “hello, you there? Stunna on the phone.” I said “hello?” He goes “yeah, 100.” I immediately start smiling looking at her like “[flutters lips] this n*gga’s not lying!” The whole time she’s been with me, she knows I’ve been thinking he’s lying. Stunna said “everything coming out of his mouth is coming out of my mouth, that’s 100. I’m going to make you a star. I’m going to change your life, I’ma make you rich.”

When was this?

June 2018. We set up a meeting at the Fox Hill Mall, I met them at Lucille’s. For some reason, Wack knows my numbers from the Warren G contract because he comes with the printed out contract from Birdman. He’s like “them numbers? He’s doing you wrong. Them n*ggas wrong for letting him do you like that. It’s the same exact deal we got, with the numbers quadrupled. That’s fucked up. Some of your own OGs, whoopty whoop.”

I already know exactly who gave him this info, because him and Fave talk. Fave is Warren G’s close brother and my OG from my hood. That’s the only way he got that insight to my deal. He shows me everything. I knew the full terms of my Warren G shit because I had the lawyer look. With this one, I didn’t really look into the terms but as far as the numbers and albums, it was exactly what they said: quadrupled. Warren G was trying to give me $25K for an album, that advance was bullshit.

My first album with Cash Money, they’re trying to give me $275K. Every album, it goes up $50K. With Warren G, every album goes up $25K. At the most, I’d be making $70K for a four-album deal. What the fuck? I thought, “there’s gotta be something within y’all shit!” I didn’t want to believe it. I had the lawyer look, he told me “nah, Warren just didn’t want to pay you. He doesn’t have that.” At the same time, me and Warren ain’t getting along. On top of that, Birdman had to give him $50K.

I can’t lie about it because my lawyer told me and I signed the release form. This n*gga Warren G asked for $50K. I got $7500 from him. I bought a grill, a Challenger and a rope chain, then went broke. Warren got 50 bands off me fast, and he’s trying to get some points on my next album. They gave me 50 flat and really gave it to him, plus my advance! I thought “okay, they got some faith in me.”

Did Birdman pay you? They say he doesn’t pay people. 

Hell yeah! That’s bullshit. I really fuck with Birdman for real, he’s doing shit he didn’t have to do. He flew me plus 13 of my homies on flights to Miami for the BET awards, we all stayed on the Fontainebleau. All for free. I went to jail, he’s sending me $2000 a week just because. And he’s answering the phone. If he didn’t answer the phone, he’ll text.

Was this jail the first time or second?

Not the penitentiary, not the four years. This was when I went last year for two months, but it was a crucial two months. That’s when Blueface blew up. Two days after I dropped my first single under the label, I got locked up for a high speed chase. I had bought me a brand new 2015 550, it came with the deal. I got that shit, two days later went on a high speed space. Crashed it. I had to. If I didn’t, I’d be in jail for a gun right now. For sure. That shit changed my career right there. That two months, Blueface blew the fuck up. [Snaps]

What happened with Wack? Is that the reason the deal is over?

Hell nah, it was his personal… I’m a super stubborn guy when it comes to fucking with people. I’ll say “fuck it” and back out. But with this, it’s my career so I’m trying to make it work anyway I can. I bend and broke for Wack, there’s nothing else I could do. He always wants to find some type of reason to not fuck with me.

And he’s the one who hit you up.

Literally bro. He could be a good guy, but fuck. All our conversations would be an hour long of him rambling. Call him right now, you’ll hear exactly how every single conversation went for the past year and a half. One convo, I tell him “look Wack, I completely bow down. I know exactly where I went wrong. I take responsibility.” I went to jail. Before that, I wasn’t allowing myself to be managed because I’m so used to being independent. Nobody has my passwords to nothing. I do everything by myself. “I need to adjust my mindset to the business and I’m ready for that. It’s not too late. We need to go! There’s no reason you shouldn’t have two of the hottest mothafuckers in the world right there.” No reason bro.

But what was he doing? 

Nothing to do with music man. I’m in the studio, I’m rapping. I tell one of my right hands to call for some weed. We call, a guy comes and brings weed to the studio. As usual, nothing out of the ordinary. The next day I wake up in the morning, Wack texts me “you ain’t never gon’ get it huh? You always fucking with the enemy. Your circle gon’ crash our empire. How am I supposed to trust you?” He’s talking about the n*gga that brought the weed. I’m literally in the booth the whole time. When I get out the shit, he’s sleep.

First of all, I don’t even know they didn’t get along. J3 is always here, and he’s a fucking Blood! He’s a Piru, just like Wack. Come to find out, J3 knew some shit about the bitch that Wack’s fucking with on with his wife. He hates them for some reason. I had no clue. First he thought I called the n*gga over here, that’s why he stopped talking to me. Then he found out I didn’t call him, the n*gga that I was with called him. So now, he stopped talking to me over the n*gga that I was with. Bro, I give up.

How long ago was this?

This was when I first got out of jail, literally a year ago. Now, he’s prolonging it. I didn’t get out of my contract until October. I was trying to make it work.

What was your relationship with Birdman?

Birdman, it wasn’t the same. He never didn’t answer my calls or texts. I used to talk to that n*gga a lot. He’s always giving me advice. He just stopped talking to me cold turkey. I’d DM him, he’d keep it going with the runaround like “nah never neph, you Cash Money for life. I got you for life. Studio tonight, we gon’ link when I get there.” He fucking had me anxious as fuck. It fell through again. He never came. I gave up. I still call that n*gga to this day, it still just rings. I swear he’d never change his number. I don’t know how you just stop talking to me like that. Fuck, I never pictured my shit going like this.

Your contract was four albums, and you only put one out. You were able to get out, so that’s a good thing.

I was able to get out because they breached. There was a loophole that they signed me under the name Saviii.

And you’re Saviii 3rd.

That shit makes a big difference in music. I didn’t know, the lawyer told me. I had this white investor friend back in Chicago, a close friend I met through Warren G. He owns half of the Cubs. He said “bro I don’t know nothing about the music, but I got the money and I want you to succeed. Because I know that you’re supposed to succeed, so whatever I gotta do…” I hate taking shit from people and asking people for shit. I went to him, “bro I got this much, I need this.”

So you invested in yourself?

Yes, to get out of the contract! I settled with not Wack, but that n*gga Greg over there. This the only thing Wack wouldn’t respond to, and Birdman wasn’t responding. Because he knows they fucked up. I had no clue. My dad told me when I was in jail, they kept asking “we need him to re-sign this new contract. We signed him under the wrong name, that’s a totally different person.” My dad said “in my head, they fucked up!” That’s how sloppy it is. That’s how sloppy they are over there.

What was your relationship with Blueface?

Me and Blueface are fucking cool. We never had a problem, ever. I fuck with Blueface the long way. I hate that what makes us distant is the fact the media and everyone puts us against each other. There’s two people signed to this label. I had people see me like “fuck Blueface!” I’m like “nah, what did he do?!” They’d start talking about Blueface. Man, stop talking about him. I fucking love Blueface, he’s dope as fuck. I’m not going to lie, I slept on Blueface. I left him on seen for the “Dead Locs” track.

Almighty [Suspect] said the same shit.

Oh yeah, he really did too. Now they beefing and shit. I just met him, he’s cool. He’s hard as fuck, that n*gga knows how to rap. I fuck with him. I’m just trying to learn him more. As far as people in the game, I fuck with Chike, Rucci, 1Take and them tough. They my boys. Blueface, I still have his number. We still talk.

Why don’t you have a team?

I don’t know where to start. I never had team. I can’t find that in me to hit somebody I don’t know. All I know is that when it came to me and my team, I wanted it bad. But I didn’t know where to start. I don’t know how to go fucking look for a manager. I have people who try, but who’s going to orchestrate that? Put me in that position.

What’s your priority right now? Looking for a team? Looking for a deal?

I don’t need it [another deal] right now. I don’t need the money. I literally studied the music industry, everything. I studied my streaming to where I could make — I figured out how to never go broke off of my name. My name’s a walking dollar sign. I use the merch, I use the streaming, everything. I became obsessed with it because I refuse to lose. Tell myself “what I seen is not what it is.” I never pictured my first deal going like this, ever. There’s a reason I don’t have that team right now, the universe is telling me it’s not time. Like I’m Kendrick status!

How did you link with Kendrick? 

That was the fucking universe! Warren G. Kendrick’s birthday on June 17th, 2018, Warren and Kendrick were in Pittsburg the same night. Warren’s telling me “I’ma call in on TDE and see if we can slide in on these n*ggas.” We had an off day the next day, no shows. He called and they escorted me, the homies, and Warren to the fucking Damn Tour.

We all go, I’m pissed off that day at something. But the homies are having fun, all at the concert. We go backstage and Kendrick walks out with his big ass bodyguard. He walked up to me singing my song, “Damn cuz, the spot’s gettin’ hot!” He’s like “I work out to your music everyday.” Warren G told the story on Big Boy. That shit’s dope, I was dumbfounded. He said they work out to All Eyes on 3, the original one. Every day.

He broke down my whole project, seven songs. He shook my hand, we looked in each other’s eyes. He said “it’s different when you got one or two songs that’s cool, but when you got that whole body of work… yeah. You know what I’m talking about.” I said “man yeah, we know!” I said “we aliens,” he said “we aliens!” He says “come on, let’s go flick it up.” We go around the corner in the other room, we had a full-blown photoshoot.

Did you guys work together?

Yeah, but I didn’t hear nothing from Kendrick. We’re in the studio, I laid down something. He promised me, that’s all I’m waiting for. I have no contact on him. I get at him through his bodyguard or Jay Rock. I got contacts on every single staff member except for Big B and Kendrick, the only two people from TDE who’s numbers I don’t have on call.

TDE wanted to sign me, but nah. I felt Kendrick wanted me to say no because I’m the Kendrick of my own team. I know Kendrick’s already established but I want to be on my flight. When you think about TDE, you think about Kendrick Lamar. I know Jay Rock was the first one, but Kendrick Lamar paved the way. I didn’t feel right about it. That’s when Def Jam was still on the board, then that didn’t work. Still, I don’t think I would’ve signed with TDE. They got a great platform but I seen something else for me.

How’d you end up working with Dom for your new EP? That’s an LA legend.

It was more meaningful than anything. Everybody who knows me, knows that meeting Dom was a milestone for me. Because of him and Nip’s relationship, those two dudes carved out my summers. When I finally met him, crazy. But nothing could top meeting Kendrick, that’s my complete idol. I was with Dom last night, we made a fucking banger. I’ma play a snippet for you. Dom don’t fuck around, he doesn’t send out his songs. The only way you gon’ hear that shit is in that studio. I’m pissed, “fuck! I gotta listen to all the fucking shit.”

How did you tap in with him?

I saw him shout me out on Cruz Show. Somebody tweeted “Dom shouted out AzChike and Saviii 3rd.” So I went looking all over Youtube, it’s nowhere to be found. [Laughs] I wanted to post it bad. The next day, the interview came out. Somebody DM’ed me the clip, I mentioned him on my story and he DM’ed me back. I forgot the exact words but he said “I see you doing your thing, we gon’ work soon definitely.” Because we were never sure if we’re going to go through with the EP or not. He came to day two of Rolling Loud just to watch my set, by himself. I’m in my trailer afterwards, he’s literally by himself chilling with the Hennesy. He said “want some?” [Dom voice] Crazy, this n*gga Dom.

What’s it like with him executive producing versus rapping?

He showed me how to be more simplistic, but great at the same time. Not to add too much or overthink it all the time. He’s not too much of a perfectionist, but he loves the originality. For example, I’ll say “nah, let me do that over.” He’ll be like “hold on!” He’ll play it back, “man that’s sweet, I like how you said that.” He’s smooth in all aspects. For sure, I see nothing but patience in him. He’s super patient. I aspire to get to that level of patience one day. He’s real humble, just great company.

You say you cried when Nipsey died. Did you know Nip?

I met him once, one time. It was a feeling of relief! We had only met on Twitter, way back in 2012 when he followed me. That’s when I had a whole different sound to my music, trying to rap like Chief Keef and them. He told me to send him a track, but we never followed up after that. He’d retweet some stuff. I paid attention to all of that when it came from Nip.

Fast forward, I go to jail. Get out, my buzz grows a lot. At this point, there’s no big artists on the West Coast that don’t fuck with me at the time. I’m like “Nip’s doing this on purpose. Nip’s not acknowledging me on purpose.” Boom, he finally followed me. I go to jail and I post a pic from the county jail. I had the county blues on, I told myself “I guarantee Nipsey comment on my picture.”

I told my mom when she goes back and gets service, put this as the caption. I wrote it down, it was the first bars of the second verse from “Victory Lap.” “I’m finna take it there, this time around I’ma make it clear. Spoke some things into the universe and they appeared. I say it’s worth it, I won’t say it’s fair.” It was that caption of me behind the glass at Visionary. Nip commented on it: “keep your head up young homie, you gon’ come home and bubble.” I cried. My mom called me from jail, she told me “Nipsey commented on your picture!”

First of all, I didn’t know how people were posting from jail.

Yeah, that’s how they do it. They sneak ‘em in because they put it in they bra. You know the bra got the wire? That’s how you sneak the phone in. I got out and I met Nip in February, right after I shot “The Glory.” Then he died in March.

What’s next for Saviii 3rd? What are some goals for yourself?

To grow. To grow right though, and not shrink again.

Damn, sucks they made you feel like that! 

Yeah, but it was the best life lesson in the world. I’ll never get down on myself again. I was trying to figure out what I did wrong. I knew what I did wrong, which was let the shit get to your head and start moving too fast. But before it was over, I got bumped on my head not realizing. Then I corrected my own. Now, it’s out of my hands. I gave a person too much power over me, he had that ability to shut some shit down. Everybody in the world will immediately be like “oh nah, he fucks with Wack? I ain’t fucking with him.” I’m like “I’ma ride with Wack, fuck it. He got me to the next level and that’s who I’ma rock with.” It’s just what it seemed at the time.

What do you want your legacy to be? 

I want to leave the kind of message where I’ma always get back in your mind. I want you to think of me and only me when you get in these types of situations. That all comes from resonating with people and people’s souls. I want my legacy to define resonation, like resonate! They felt me. I want them to feel me for real. When I say feel, I mean understand me. I try my hardest to break it down to every piece so you won’t have a problem understanding me.

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