Meek Mill is the cover star for the June/July issue of FADER. In the summer issue, he discusses a variety of topics including his upbringing in Philly, his relationship with Nicki Minaj, and how Rick Ross changed his family’s life. Read excerpts below from the cover story.

On relationship with Nicki Minaj:

Since his release, Meek has also become a person of interest to the tabloid press, who have been enthusiastically tracking his movements with half-true stories about parties he threw and grudges he holds. Most recently, his relationship with Nicki Minaj has been the subject of rigorous speculation, with various outlets reporting that a ring he bought her in Miami was an engagement ring. It wasn’t. “It’s definitely real,” he says of their relationship, “but it ain’t really time to get married yet. We’re still learning each other, feeling each other out.” Not that it matters: the story has been printed. Meek’s grandmother has been calling him about that one (“Whatever she sees on TV, she believes,” he says), and other celebrities, most notably Drake, have started congratulating them publicly, lending credence to the idea.

Like most people Meek has crossed paths with lately, T.I. excitedly congratulates him on his engagement. “I ain’t engaged,” Meek says sheepishly, but T.I. isn’t having any of it. “You never asked her, ‘Will you be my girlfriend?’ But she is your girlfriend,” he says. “You may not have asked her, ‘Will you marry me?’ But you are engaged.” Meek shrugs, unable to argue with this logic. “I’ve said my part,” T.I. says, backing away with his hands up. “As long as you know what’s going on.”

On How Ross changed his life: 

“Ross changed my life. He changed my whole family’s lives,” Meek says over a plate of roasted crab and garlic noodles. “Ross met my grandma a lot of times. She thinks Rick Ross is her boyfriend. She’s like, ‘Where my baby at?’” Ross smiles. “That’s my baby girl,” he says, taking a bite out of a crab puff. When Meek returned to prison last year, Ross visited him. He recalls trudging along the fence with Meek, who wore a yellow jumpsuit and was openly despondent. “I heard his disappointment,” Ross says. “The rage he felt that he couldn’t communicate his situation in the courtroom. I remember telling him, ‘You’re not going to make this a personal fight.’” As they walked the yard, the other inmates noticed the two rappers together and began banging on the walls in tribute. “You just started hearing that beating go around the whole building,” Ross says. The guards requested that he leave.

On growing up in Philly:

“My dad got killed in South Philly,” he explains. “Ain’t nobody save him. The cops didn’t save him, and I don’t even think about the cops saving me, so I just took action to protect myself.” Ever since then, he says, he’s been trapped in a structure that makes no effort to appreciate his sacrifices, his worth, or his ambition. “When you’re telling me I’m not shit,” he says, “you got to look at it from my point of view. I always wanted to say this to the judge: ‘Think about your son. If your son grew up in the neighborhood, and his father was dead, but he’s able to rise up above it all and start taking care of you, your mother, and your whole family? He’s taking responsibility.’ So when you got a white lady in a courtroom, who don’t know you from a can of paint, saying I’m not shit and I need to be put in jail? That’s offensive to me. I look at that as racism. I take that personally.”