Stat Quo released his latest EP, ATLA: All This Life Allows, Vol. 1 today (February 25). In an exclusive conversation with HipHopDX, the former Shady/Aftermath/Interscope emcee details the motivation behind taking a more revealing approach to his music.

“One of the guys that works here at HipHopDX—a friend of mine—Soren Baker, he used to tell me all the time, ‘You know, you worked with Dr. Dre,” Stat Quo says. “’You worked with all these different people. People want to know how that feels. They want access. That’s why the internet is so key. They want access. They want to see what’s going on behind the velvet rope—the curtains. They want to know the real shit.’

“With this album, I’m telling you the real shit,” he continues. “Yes, I got tax problems. Yes, I got some foreclosures on my house. Yes, I’ve been cheated on. Yes, I have cheated. Yes, me and my baby mama have problems. Yes, I don’t see my son enough. I’m going there. I’m opening up. The façade is over. It’s been lifted. I’m free.”

Stat Quo Says Hip Hop Is More Than “Bottles & B*tches”

The Statlanta artist explains that ATLA will be released in two volumes. Volume one delves into his life in Atlanta before signing to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope. The second volume (to be released later this year) will focus on his life after signing and moving to Los Angeles, California.

“That’s why I call ATLA “All This Life Allows,” because it’s a chronological order of my life,” Stat Quo says. “A lot of my friends that were around with me when I was at Shady/Aftermath I don’t even talk to anymore. A lot of my family I don’t communicate with. It’s like a lot of casualties, I would say. They say the road to success is paved with dead bodies and carcasses and shit on there. It’s like a lot of my friends at the time, I don’t even communicate with them anymore. It’s crazy.”

Stat Quo describes ATLA as “pain and perseverance” and hopes to help teach the youth that there is a downside to music industry success.

“It’s important that kids know that this shit isn’t all bottles and bitches,” Stat Quo continues. “This shit is pain and perseverance. That’s what this album is. I want you to see and watch my evolution. Watch me evolve as somebody who thought, ‘OK, I’m gonna go to college and maybe I’ll get a job. Well OK, I can’t get a job. I’m selling drugs again. OK, I’m gonna rap. I’m gonna be the biggest rapper. Oh, rapping ain’t working out. Oh fuck it, I’m gonna fuckin’ work behind the scenes in music.’ See the evolution. It’s the evolution. It’s about going there. That’s what this album is. February 25, by the way. [Laughs]”

Stat Quo was signed to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope from 2003 to 2008. He is the only artist other than 50 Cent who was signed to both Eminem’s Shady Records and Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment.

Stat Quo’s latest EP, ATLA (All This Life Allows) is available on iTunes today (February 25). The project is also available for stream exclusively through DJBooth

Related: Stat Quo: How Long Was 50 Cent Going To Stay Under Eminem & Dr. Dre?