The last year has presented its fair share of challenges for Quando Rondo, but in defiance of it all, the Savannah, Ga.-bred rapper is focused on keeping his head above water. “I just stand on praying and keeping faith," he says speaking with XXL in an exclusive Instagram Live interview in late March. "That keeps me pushing through the day."

Violence has attempted to put a cloud over Quando's life. Over the last few years, it's also affected members of his entourage in a series of news stories that have followed the loss of Lul Pab to a shooting and Lul Tim dealing with the judicial system as a result of King Von's death. However, the 24-year-old rapper has been dodging bullets literally and figuratively with the bigger picture in mind. "I also sit back and try my best to know that it's people out here that really ain't got nothing, who really living in poverty and going through things," he shares. "But at the same time, I know I'm blessed with the position I'm in, and I try to take that very seriously."

As an artist, Quando's hardships have been public-facing, but these days, he’s in a much better place mentally and physically, hence the title of his latest album, Recovery. This is the first solo project Quando has released since 2021, when he dropped Still Taking Risks. In 2022, he and YoungBoy Never Broke Again put out the joint project 3860. Quando chose the title Recovery because "that's something that everybody in this universe on planet Earth are going to have to face, a recovery from something. It don't matter what it is, how big or small. And I know that's something a lot of people can adapt to."

His 20-song, sophomore album includes street gospel like "Speeding," "Where Would I Be” and "Tear It Down," among others. All those tracks display his navel-gazing lyrics about staying prayed up, ducking the grave, flagging with his set and elevating his craft. "My main thing for this album was for when I put it out, people listen to it and sit back and notice that I moved on from a lot of things," he says. "I'm so ready for everybody else to move on."

From a technical standpoint, Rondo’s modulations are error-free throughout the listen, something that he’s been working at since he first came into the rap game in 2017. "I done been through so many things with music, so many thoughts, so many ups and downs and stressed out days about music," he reflects. "Man, I done shook all that." Most fans would agree, he's getting better by the year. "I feel like I'ma vet," Quando adds. "I'ma OG to music. You can't put me on no charger, plug me into a wall and gas me up. I'ma do this all the way myself."

Later on in the interview, Quando speaks on his loyalty to the Never Broke Again Collective. NBA YoungBoy is the sole feature on Recovery. The two collaborated for "Give Me A Sign," which also appears on last year’s joint effort 3860. On the record, Rondo pleads with higher powers that be, crooning, "I say, 'Lord, give me a sign'/Show mercy when it's time/Between the feds and the bitch niggas want me dead/I don't know if I should quit or kill ’em all instead." Though his bars present an on-edge type of energy, Quando notes that YB is one of the people who encourage him to keep it pushing and remain at peace in light of it all: "He’s hella motivational. That brother is just a real one in my eyes. I always think bro, he could’ve changed on me and he didn't."

Recovery is currently marinating well among the people, getting its due respect in a musical climate where music is more likely to fade than stick. But Quando plans on continuing to apply pressure with new releases. Teasing the remainder of 2023, he announces, "I'm coming hard this year. I’m trying to come back in the next 50-60 [days] if I could, with some pressure." Building on that, he voices, "I'ma keep dropping tapes back to back and show these folks that a nigga is really spitting."

So people can be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, check out Quando Rondo’s candid conversion with XXL about new mindsets, moves, music and much more. Watch the full interview below.

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