Troy Ave on Being Major Without a Deal

Brooklyn rapper breaks down how he got with Ma$e for his "Your Style" remix and why he wants to sign with a big label.

Posted: 07/12/2014 10:00 AM EDT

Brooklyn’s own Troy Ave continues to prove he can hold his own while making moves with some of the top names in hip hop. The 2014 XXL Freshman has released 10 mixtapes and one album since 2009, all on his own as an independent artist on his BSB Records.

But even with all the success he has had working with vets like RaekwonDiddy and N.O.R.E, Troy still sees the bigger picture and believes that signing to a major label is in the near future.

“The pros of signing a major deal for me, I look at it like this: you get to hustle on more blocks. But you gotta give them a piece," Troy Ave told BET.com before he performed at Barcardi Rum's Flavor at the Rucker event at the famed Harlem basketball court on Thursday (June 10).

He recently shut down rumors he signed to T.I.'s Grand Hustle after a May Instagram post followed by a joint performance at Hot 97’s Summer Jam ignited buzz that the two were discussing a deal, but that deosn't mean he's not interested in a getting a big deal.

"None of the greats have ever been independent, and I am trying to be great. So I am just following tradition," he said.

Surely offers from major labels are coming left and right as Troy's work ethic and talent has inspired collaborations and reunions. He dropped the remix to his radio smash hit "Your Style" featuring Tip, Diddy and Ma$e in June.

"Ma$e actually hit me to get on the track," Troy explained. "He said, 'You have a hot a-- record I need to get on that.'"

For Troy, working with Ma$e was a no-brainer since he grew up a huge fan of the Harlem lyricist. "Everyone loves M-A-Dollar Sign-E. He was one of my favorite rappers as a kid," Troy said.

Besides working with rappers he admired as a youth, Troy is also in support of rappers who are on the come up. Outside of his BSB fam, which includes Avon Blocksdale, King Sevin and Young Lito, Flatbush rapper Bobby Shmurda has also caught Ave's attention.  

“I think Bobby Shmurda is good. He's doing what he should do," he said. "...I want everybody to do their thing, it's about time we all do." As for if we can expect a BSB and Shmurda collab coming soon, Troy is optimistic. "We haven't spoken about it yet. But we're both from Brooklyn, so why not?"

Troy is planning on releasing his second independent album, Major Without a Deal, later this year.

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(Photo: PEARCEY PROPER)

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