I think it’s one of those places where, because we didn’t grow up in New York, because we didn’t grow up on the West Coast, we had time to soak both of those things in. Because no one expected anything from the South, except, you know, maybe fast, booty-shake club music. The door was wide open, so we had an open palette. And one thing I can say about Atlanta is you can do anything from Atlanta. Like, I think it would’ve been harder for us to come out from New York because they would’ve expected us to do a certain thing. We would have to rap a certain way, you know. So I think Atlanta is almost like a freedom land because we had no ties to anything. It was just open, like, open field.
The books—the generous friends who met me without suspicion—the merciful masters who never used me ill! The only years of my life that I can look back on with something like pride… Early and late, through the long winter nights and the quiet summer days, I drank at the fountain of knowledge, and never wearied of the draught.