Since bursting onto the scene in late December of 2012, Trinidad James has made the best of his golden opportunity. The 25-year old Atlanta MC stepped into the spotlight with "All Gold Everything," one of the biggest street-anthems of recent years, but that doesn't mean making it big — and becoming MTV's Artist to Watch — was easy.

When MTV News caught up with James last month, he provided some advice to those taking the steps of the quote-unquote "come-up," or in his case the "turn-up."

"I had to do a lot of growing up, a lot of soul-searching. The industry is way more than what you think it is," he said, explaining that the rap game is no cake walk, and that he's had his own share of criticism.

"When you're actually really in it and you strive to be the person that you are, and not confined to you know whatever people want you to be, it's not easy, so I've been learning a lot and still am right now," he added.

He isn't alone in the process, though. James is currently touring with some of hip-hop's brightest stars like Wiz Khalifa, A$AP Rocky, B.o.B and Joey Bada$$ on the Under the Influence tour. "I met some new people that rock with me and are down for me," he said. "They got my head right."

In the end, he left us with some inspiring albeit vague advice: "Dream, believe and turn up. And you can take that however you want to."