"A lot of people stick to being rough, but I'm more of a player when I freestyle," Chingy told AOL during a taping of an exclusive 16 Bars freestyle segment in our New York studios. "Freestyling is important to me because that's what a lot of cats did back in the '80s .. flippin words back and forth ... It's the root of hip-hop."

The 28-year-old's memories of the '80s and old school rap may be a bit scarce, but Chingy claims he still gains inspiration from those who came before him. "Ice Cube and DJ Kwik are two people that I kind of really was inspired by back in the days. 'Cause they've been doing it for decades and they're still relevant ... they're still around to this day," he said.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately -- the St. Louis native doesn't go West Coast on his new album, 'Hate It Or Love It.' Instead, the rapper took a stab at some more "conscious" subject matter on 'They Don't Know,' featuring Anthony Hamilton. The track addresses "politicians overlooking what's going on in these 'hoods and these ghettos," Chingy explained. But a Chingy album wouldn't be complete without a track dedicated to the ladies. "I have fun making songs about women. Whether it's me talking about women, chasing them down, trying to talk to them or whatever. I just love... love songs."

Check out Chingy's performance and interview after the jump.