We can't wait to see you on Friday! Are you looking forward to coming out?
Yeah, we should have a ball! We're going to have a lot of fun, a lot of energy and all. It's been a while since I performed out there so I'm going to play a real mixture [of songs].
You've just worked with Chris Brown on a track, Marry Go Round. What was he like to work with?
Chris is real cool. He's like family, you know what I'm saying. We get along and we understand one other. Everyone is an individual but when you work together in this business, being creative and energetic about love and music is a good thing.
When you started out you were one of the few rappers in the Midwest, and some people didn't really get your music. Did this make your more determined to succeed?
No, you do your thing and it's all that you can do. It's not like they don't understand, it's that you hope they feel the music. Sometimes you may not get it straight away because we all come from different backgrounds, we all have different roads that we travel, and I was just hoping that the feeling that I gave off, people would feel the same way.
What do you think of the other artists playing at Atelier/Festival?
I respect every artist to the max. Ciara's great, Craig David's great, 50's dope. I think it's going to be a great show.
You've worked with Ciara in the past. Are you planning any surprise collaborations on stage?
If I was to tell you that it wouldn't be a surprise! [laughs] If it was a surprise, you'd have just ruined it! But I haven't talked to her about it at all.
Read the full interview in next week's issue of Ahlan!, out on Thursday 25 October.
INFO: Atelier/Festival, Dhs350 (regular), Dhs700 (VIP), Dhs1,250 (platinum); 9pm to 3am, Friday 19 October; Atelier/Festival, Meydan Racecourse, Dubai; www.theatelierworld.com.