It's not every day that T. Mills greets a rapper by lifting up his shirt.

It was the first day on tour, the 23-year-old artist in question was the headliner -- someone you may have heard of named Bizzy Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony -- and the flash of skin was no wardrobe malfunction.

The instance is the only time the rapper, born Travis Mills, will admit to fanning out over an artist.

"I was watching him soundcheck [for] 'First of the Month' and all these songs I grew up listening to," T. Mills explains to The BoomBox. "He came up to me right after he was done and we shook hands and hung out the whole tour."

The rapper subsequently showed Bizzy the ink on his chest, which was lyrics for Bone Thugs' song "Only Time Will Tell."

And how telling that sentiment is.

In just a few short years, the California native went from making music in his parents' house to working crowds all over the world with songs like "Vans On" and the legacy-defining "Diemonds." While T. Mills initially declines to cite one standout collaboration -- "It wouldn't be fair of me to say one person because literally everyone that's been on my dream producer list, with the exception of a few people, I've had the opportunity to work with" -- he eventually relents.

"James Fauntleroy, he's on the song 'Clique' by Kanye West, is one person that I was such a huge fan of as an artist," the rapper says. The two met as T. Mills was leaving a studio session with mutual friend Brody Brown.

"We became friends and he just started coming to my sessions and writing with me," T. Mills recalls. "The dude's literally genius. His song structure, his wordplay -- I listen to everything he's said because he really knows what he's talking about. He's written some of the biggest songs for some of the biggest artists and he just really challenges me and puts my brain to the test."

Fauntleroy worked on the rapper's upcoming track, "Somebody to Miss You," and while T. Mills says each studio session as a whole is a learning experience, he did learn something from the producer.

"James was one of those first people that I played 'Diemonds' for and was he like, 'Yo, just be dope. When you die, you don't want to do no wack shit. You want to just be dope.'"

T. Mills, consider it mission accomplished.

Watch T. Mills' "Vans On" Video

Watch "Learn About the History of Rap"

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