On Problem's recently released S2 album—his first on Rostrum Records—the Compton rapper put a newfound emphasis on production, playing maestro by matching up unexpected cameos. He says it's just a step in a longterm transition into a role as a producer, in which he plans to provide guidance to other artists while amplifying their abilities.

“I want to make everybody else shit better,” Problem tells XXL. “I want to make their shit bang. I want people to be the best they can be on their project and in their lane.”

The 33-year-old artist doesn't just have his sights set on hip-hop acts. Problem says he's been concocting a song idea for Rihanna that he would like to cook up for the Bajan megastar.

“The way she is all the time—I want that to come out in a song,” says Problem, who describes his concept as a "ratchet-ass record.” "That I don’t give a fuck about no nigga, no chick—I’m Rihanna. I do what I want to do. That’s the vibe I want to give her."

Problem brought a variety of vibes on his S2 album (the sequel to 2017's Selfish), thanks to contributions from the likes of YBN Cordae, Diddy, 03 Greedo and Fabolous, as well as constructive feedback from a tight inner circle.

“The trust of others is what made this project what it is,” he says. “I kind of lock myself away musically and my ideas stay here and I just want them here. I want to hold them and make them do what they do and then show them. This one was more like, let me send to the homies and see what they think and that made it way better.”

After announcing a partnership with Rostrum Records in November, Problem is adjusting to operating with an imprint supporting his own Diamond Lane Music Group.

“They made the call and we’re running the play,” he says. “I’m excited to see what happens. This is the first time being in bed with somebody else, so it’s an exciting place to be.”

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