YFN Lucci’s surprise 2016 hit “Key to the Streets” catapulted him into the national spotlight. In the newest episode of On The Come Up, Lucci discusses his upbringing in Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood and the incremental steps he’s taken to get where he is today.

Lucci’s childhood was all about sports, until one day when his older brother YFN Kay brought home a song he had recorded. Taking cues from Kay and Lil Wayne, Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Dipset, and R&B singers like Mary J. Blige, Lucci launched a rap career of his own.

At age 16, he started collaborating with Johnny Cinco after Cinco heard one of his songs on Facebook. At age 23, in 2014, he signed a deal with Think It’s a Game Entertainment. He credits Rich Homie Quan for giving him the confidence to stop writing his lyrics down. “I don’t look at it like freestyling, because I still take my time when I go in the booth,” he explains. “I just punch in, punch out, I don’t write though. I’d rather express it on the track.”

Watch Lucci’s episode of On The Come Up above and listen to his new EP Long Live Nut, dedicated to his late mentor.