Make no mistake — since he was released from prison in February of last year, Bobby Shmurda has been a lightning rod of positive energy. Every time the Brooklyn star made an appearance, whether it be during a celebratory function, promotional sit-down, or through an Instagram post within his private confines, it was virtually impossible not to crack a smile at the fact that Shmurda is living his life his way. This is in spite of the more recent obstacles that he’s faced — from battles with his then-record label to criticism from so-called fans.

Now fully independent, Shmurda has his foot on the floor in regards to his music career, with some new singles, an EP, and his official debut LP coming a lot sooner than we probably think. The GS9 talent is also further expanding his reach into a variety of other businesses, including the now-goliath cannabis industry. Simply put, there is no chance at stopping Shmurda‘s forward movement.

REVOLT had an opportunity to speak with Bobby Shmurda about the music, the business moves, his take on hip hop and his fellow peers, and much more — he also opened up about the attacks on our culture that’s affected both his hometown and rap’s southern capital. Read on below.

Just to kind of break the ice, you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and — given the energy that we’ve seen from you, including during your recent Funk Flex freestyle and on social media — I just want to ask you, how do you maintain that level of positivity, especially in this industry that you’re in right now?

Live, love, life, I feel because, you know I’m big on mental health, I’m big on mental health because I’ve been through it, like psych wards and stuff like that, so I know how that shit is, and how serious that shit is. I feel like love yourself, like, that’s the biggest thing. Once you love yourself, it’s nothing else… like insecurities [are] a serious thing sometimes, it could lead to suicide and all that other shit, and I feel like once you loving yourself, you won’t have no problems with that shit. So just like, everyday, wake up, tell yourself you’re fire, tell yourself you’re beautiful, don’t give a fuck with nobody say, and don’t, don’t, don’t put your attention on badness. When you see badness and negativity, don’t point your attention at negativity and then you’ll see how your mind is positive all the time.

The first time we really heard you back on wax was on the “TATA (Remix)” with Eladio Carrión, J Balvin, and Daddy Yankee.

Oh, yea, yea, yea.

Carrión said in an interview that he was writing to you, trying to connect with you while you were still in prison. How does it feel to have so many supporters and peers like that from all walks of life?

I mean, I don’t know if he sent me [letters] in prison, but was hittin’ me when I came out, so … just having the whole Latin community behind me is important too. You know I fuck with them heavy. You know I’m from Brooklyn…you know we run around here … you know I be uptown, downtown, all types of shit. Don’t tell nobody, you heard (laughs)! That support, that support was fire, especially how we came in like my first Latin mix, like my first Latin song, with them especially. They named Daddy Yankee, all of ’em, J. Balvin, everybody, the whole team, bro. It was just crazy.

Now you’re officially independent following your recent departure from Epic Records.

You hear the difference, right? You hear the difference in the music, right?

I was about to say! You touched ground with “They Don’t Know,” I was like, okay, I’m starting to understand what you meant.

Eyes open!

Precisely. So we hear that you have a couple of songs that’s on the way out following this one. Can you speak on those songs and what we can expect?

“Getting ‘Em Back”! That’s how I’m feeling. “Getting ‘Em Back,” you heard, the whole summer, we gonna be gettin’ em back. I got a song called “Badmon” for the ladies. (Starts singing the song’s lyrics) ‘Said she want a badmon, all right, okay…‘ You know what I’m saying? So, I got that poppin’ for the ladies… It’s gonna be a whole movie.”

I already know you’re gonna have the clubs and the dance floors packed.

You know it! Everybody gonna be acting ratchet, everybody gonna be sweatin’ in the club… sweatin’ like a motherfucker (laughs).

Are you only focused on recording and getting your album ready? Or will be also be doing shows and festivals.

Yea, we’re gonna be hittin’ some festivals for the summer. The EP is ready right now. Actually, the EP is gonna be dropping like next month and the album is gonna be dropping in the summer.

I saw that you recently partnered with Elevated Cannabis. Was this a venture that you have been working on for a while?

Man, I got into the cannabis industry because I’ve been smoking weed since I was 10. This shit been costing me, I’m here to get all my money back that I done spent all my motherfuckin’ [money] with drug dealers on the street (laughs). I’m here to get all my money!

I’m in love with weed. It keeps me, like, balanced and calm, it keeps me happy a lot … and, you know, just being able to sell it legally and make other people happy with legal weed is important to me. It’s just as legal as, you know, the candy business. It’s a billion dollar business that people don’t even know about, people just be buying weed everyday. Everybody buy weed everyday. It’s something that motherfuckers need every day. Shit, I need it when I wake up and when I sleep…So, it’s like, that whole thing, just getting involved in that and being in that shit, I’m like, ‘I ain’t got to pay for no weed no more neither’ (laughs).

Are there any other ventures you’re in outside of the music?

You know I got the rentals popping down in Miami now. I got some other shit jumpin’ off [that] I’m ’bout to get poppin’ in the few. So, you know, we got a clothing line we working on right now … besides music, it’s a whole bunch of other shit. Talkin’ to some film motherfuckers, too. We got some films coming out, documentaries … all types of shit.

It’s dope to see you showing love to other artists as well. For example, when a social media post showed you vibing out to Jack Harlow’s new music. Not counting what we’ve already heard, who might be the next big collaborations that we can expect to hear?

I like all them artists. Right now, you know I worked with DaBaby, I worked with Meek [Mill], I worked with Rowdy [Rebel], I worked with [Quavo], I worked with Rich the Kid, 42 [Dugg]. Key Glock, Fivio [Foreign], couple people on the album. So, you know, I worked with everybody. I’m still getting out [and] making my way around. I’m still making my rounds too.

I know you said in the past that you don’t make drill music, you make your music. But I am curious to know your take on the so-called war against that sound that’s taking place in New York, as well as how drill artists are currently working with NYC Mayor Eric Adams to combat the violence currently taking place. Has anyone reached out to you to take part in that situation?

I ran into the mayor of New York. I talked to the mayor of New York, I’ve had talks with him. I’m fucking with the movement. I support the whole mayor movement to stop the violence thing and getting that poppin’. I’m heavy on that shit too, I respect that whole vibe. I forgot what party we was at…I think it was a press conference, but it was his birthday that night or some shit … and I told him that we’re going to do some work with him, too. But, he running around, I’m running around. So, we never get into it, but his son (actor and filmmaker Jason Coleman), I was talking with his son heavily on the documentaries…[about working] with me on the documentaries. So you know that’s right around the corner. I feel like once it get into motion, and it get up and jumpin’, I’ll be right there.

I definitely understand if you don’t want to answer this question, but I did want to get your reaction to what’s happening down in Atlanta with Young Thug and the YSL collective…

Free the guys, you heard. Fuck outta here, they’re innocent. I don’t wanna hear that bullshit. I don’t wanna hear none of that shit. They innocent.

That’s what I’m jackin’, any time they ask me, I need everybody to be screaming that they innocent and they’re just getting targeted ’cause of their music. I need everybody to scream that ’cause that’s what gotta be the narrative ’cause people like pushing narratives and all this other shit … man, they innocent. They rich, young, Black motherfuckers. They innocent, they made it out the hood, they talkin’ ’bout some shit from 2015. Fuck outta here. You know what I’m sayin’? They should be the narrative that need to be pushed. Shit, I wish they did that with me. I probably wouldn’t’ve had to have did seven [years], you feel me?

Anything else you’d like to say to the fans?

I luh y’allllll (laughs)! All that gang shit, I love everybody and I highly appreciate it, highly appreciate everybody that support me. Even that I’m independent, knowing that I’m independent and still supporting me … every time I see the love I know it’s straight from y’all. So, I respect it, thank you. I appreciate everything.