Cordae has explained why he turned down a pop collaboration which ultimately ended up becoming a huge hit.

During an episode of Uninterrupted’s The Shop on Thursday (March 23), the Grammy-nominated rapper responded to Maverick Carter’s question of whether or not labels push artists in different directions or not.

“No,” Cordae responded. “It’s like the same with brands. Like what Druski was saying, just make it authentic as possible. The engine that drives everything and makes the brands possible that makes things like this possible is the music, you know? So I try to keep that as authentic to me as possible. I only play [the label] the music that I already heard 10,000 times that I already know I’m in love with these songs. They know better than to try that with me.”

He continued: “I be tryna find that balance cause I say no to probably 95% of everything. But, it’s also like, we still gotta get to the bread but also like, I just say no to 95% of things now because I just try to make like, on brand to who I am as a human being. I know it sounds cliche but I can’t ever lose that foundation because then I’ll lose the people.

The “Have Mercy” rapper then explained his thought process behind passing on the pop duo track with Maroon 5.

“It was this Maroon 5 song called ‘Memories,'” Cordae said. “It was like two or three months after my first album and again, I thought about it. My initial feeling was, imma cut this mothafucka, I did it. But then I thought about like, is it too early in my career to do a pop record this big, if that makes sense.”

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“The managers talked, and they said the song is called ‘Memories’ and they had it plugged into the iPhone before the song came out, like when you open up the Photos app on your phone and memories, this song is going to play on every iPhone so we knew it was going to be a smash. I still don’t regret it, I have no regrets whatsoever but I just wonder what would be different if I did do that.”

Check out the full interview below:

Cordae may have turned down a pop track but he certainly isn’t turning down any apparel collaborations. Last month, the DMV artist and PUMA teamed up to launch the HI-LEVEL collection filled with eight pieces made up of sneakers and cozy apparel.

The fresh capsule was released at Foot Locker locations and on PUMA’s website on Thursday (February 23). Cordae designed a pair of sneakers with the HI-LEVEL Suede and HI-LEVEL RS-X models while the rest of the collection includes a jacket, hoodie, sweatpants and three different graphic tees.

“I gotta represent PUMA — it’s bigger than me,” Cordae told Nice Kicks. “I gotta represent the brand well. They gave me a lot of creative control and let me bring some of my friends, it turned out dope.”