While Drake isn’t the first artist to come out of Toronto, he certainly has helped to shed light on a city that is seeming to breed some of the finest talent nowadays in regards to Hip Hop and R&B.

One of those artists is budding emcee ShaqIsDope. Having just released his mixtape, Black Frames, the Toronto based rapper uses this space to reflect on his struggles within, and talks about the daily temptations we all face, from women to the streets.

With a theme of staying above falling victim to moral failure, we decided to do a fast chat with the artist. Make sure you check out his first visual from the mixtape below.

How would you describe your sound?

Conscious with a little bounce. I try to be very creative, but I want my music to always have substance.

What are your goals for the next five years?

I want to signed to a record deal and headline my first world tour.

What artists have influenced you?

Fabolous inspired me to rap, but Big Pun is my all time favorite artist.

What’s the record making process like for you?

I like to work from home. I write all my music in my room. Once I have all the lyrics that I want to use, I record myself on the iPhone’s voice memo feature. If I like the direction of the song, then I will record it at the studio.

How do you determine what your visuals or concepts for songs will be like?

I usually draw off from inspiration or vibe off the instrumental. I know I have something really good when I can mumble a few words instantly.

How would you describe your musical journey thus far?

It’s been a learning curve. There’s no school for learning how to become a successful rapper. Each day brings on a different lesson. Though I have seen some success, there’s still more I want to do. I’m not content.

What’s coming next for you?

I have two projects that I’m working on. Expect new music from me very soon. I’m planning on going on a small tour, either as an headliner or a supporting act.