DDG is ready for people to put some respect on his music. The 25-year-old has been releasing records since 2016, and in the past six years, his presence in hip hop has continued to grow with his fanbase.

Born Darryl Grandberry, DDG first got a taste of notoriety after successfully becoming known for his YouTube videos. While his influencer status has helped him garner attention, he recently said that his music career has taken a bit of a hit because of the reputation surrounding YouTubers.

“I’m in a space now where I want people to get rid of the stigma that I’m a YouTuber,” he told PEOPLE in an interview published Friday (Oct. 7). As a result, he has made a conscious decision to step away from the platform and instead pour his energy into his craft.

“I’m really just tryna shake that image and that stigma. Even though I am a YouTuber, I feel like it automatically comes with people not wanting to press play on the music or believing in the music. Or being harder on it. People are harder on me than other artists,” said DDG.

The “9 Lives” rapper released his sophomore album, It’s Not Me, It’s You, on Friday. He is confident that since signing with Epic Records in 2018, his records have only gotten better. “If you don’t enjoy my music at this point in my career, it’s not me, it’s you. I feel like I done proved myself over and over again,” he said.

DDG added that his tracks are all hits in their own way, which only proves his belief that he has what it takes to have longevity in the industry. The former Central Michigan University student explained that, “A lot of people go back and they go listen to the old stuff that I’ve been putting out once they recently become fans, and they say, ‘Oh, he’d been making good songs.’”