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Cordae is his own man now. A year after he was nominated for a Grammy for his debut album, The Lost Boy, the North Carolina MC is hard at work on his follow-up and already has 100 songs potentially lined up for it!

Cordae chats with J Mac from the Houston BMW Studios to detail why he’s prepared to not deal with the sophomore jinx, why he’s been empowered to become more of an activist in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s death in Lousiville, impacting his young fans to care about voting and becoming part of the process and why 2021 is the year he feels everything is going to come together.

In July, he along with several others including Houston Texans wide receiver Kenny Stills and Porsha Williams were arrested outside of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron‘s home in protest of Cameron’s then inaction in the death of Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT who was shot and killed during the botched execution of a no-knock warrant on her apartment. A grand jury in late September determined that one officer be tried — but not in connection with Taylor’s death but rather shooting into an adjourning apartment.

A month after the arrest, Cordae simply dropped the YBN from his name, splitting from the YBN camp with no ill will wished whatsoever. In September, he was there, front and center with a “DEFUND THE POLICE” T-shirt, rooting for his girlfriend Naomi Osaka as she won her second U.S. Open title. Cordae has been out here, and he’s not slowing up anytime soon.

“Before I’m an artist, I’m a young Black man in America, first and foremost,” Cordae says in regards to being on the front lines. “I feel like I have a responsibility to speak on what I believe in and what affects me and doing what’s right and making an impact and change in my community. Whether it’s speaking on certain topics, whether it’s charity or community work. Whichever way I can inspire somebody, in any way sort of format, I try to do that within the best of my abilities. I feel like I got a responsibility to do it and I feel like that’s embedded in my DNA.”

Watch the full interview up top!

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