Throughout his career, MMG emcee Meek Mill has made his Philadelphia roots well known to listeners. Now, in an exclusive interview with XXL, Meek explains how three rappers from Yonkers actually helped him make it out of his native South Philadelphia.

According to Meek, it was the L.O.X. – the then-Bad Boy signed trio of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch – who served as a figure of guidance for the young emcee. He explained that their music helped him traverse his crime-ridden environment of South Philly and pick up the necessary skills to survive.

“In Philly, a lot of people die; most people they die from is people the grew up with they whole life,” he explained. “My dad was dead since I was five, so I tell [Jada]kiss, Styles [P], all them guys – I was out in the streets at a young age with no guidance, and so I was listening to ‘Kiss and them, and some people say them guys say a lot of bad things or whatever, but them guys can teach you how to stay alive. Like ‘Kiss said: ‘Them niggas that you went to school with/Will catch you while in your new whip/And turn your brains into Cool Whip.’ In Philadelphia, most of them guys are really untouchable. They’re so wild that nobody could get up on them and when they end up dying, nine times out of ten it’s their friend…just seeing that, you grow cold to making new friends and trusting people now…I’ve seen so many people die, I fe[lt] as though I needed a gun and I had to survive, so I was doing anything, any means necessary.”

Check out the full interview below.

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