RFD Pioneer inherited a love for music from his mother. A proud choir boy, he had a voice that lent itself to lead parts. Family, however, believed his free time would be better spent on the football field. Robust in build, Pioneer was good at football but didn’t enjoy playing the sport. At school, his singing and rapping became legendary. Still, it’d be some time before he could begin to actualize his destiny.

At 15, Pioneer was kicked out of the house. Homeless, he found himself eating out of trashcans. He was embarrassed, but never hesitates to talk about the experience. The same goes for staggering weight gain, which led to him tipping the scale at 405 lbs. As he began exploring show business, his stature led to missed opportunities. He was even booed by a crowd in Atlanta while performing competitively. A judge later advised him that his appearance–not his delivery–was to blame.

He survived the setback, losing upward of 200 lbs. – his greatest accomplishment to-date. Since, he’s been featured in major movies like Terminator Genesis and Fantastic 4 as a stunt actor, and the Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard. He’s also appeared with Peyton Manning in a Nationwide commercial. Acting, Pioneer says, is like mom – you have to love your mother. Music, however, is like his wife.

Just as losing weight was a process that called for Pioneer to study nutrition, he continues to develop his craft by studying the industry — constantly listening to new beats and checking out different producers. In Pioneer’s music, listeners find a sense of hope, a source of motivation, and the message to never let the “here and now” determine who you are. Citing Ice Cube, DMX, and LL Cool J as major influences, he’s been inspired by how they came into the game and then moved beyond music.

Pioneer’s lead single off his upcoming project, “Haha,” was inspired by the YG, Rich Homie Quan, and Young Jeezy collaboration “My Hitta.” The energy of the song led him to sit down with his in-house producer and reflect on his meeting with Larry Hoover Jr., who talked to him about clowns in the industry. Add in inspiration from Jadakiss’ signature laugh, and “Haha” was born.

His album will be a reintroduction of himself, and a reminder to live the hustle. His new single, “Come Right Back,” is about perseverance in the face of adversity. Pioneer also recently completed a short film. However, he has put the brakes on acting to focus on music 100%. To that end, he is working on establishing his foundation and managing opportunities so he can bring in revenue and continue to do what he loves.

Musically, Pioneer wants to have the impact on the nation that he had on his home state of Mississippi. Children in Wal-Mart would come up and ask him to take pictures, thanking him for visiting their school and telling them to follow their dreams. As he prioritizes developing his craft, he holds onto the dream of costarring with Ice Cube in a film. Whatever challenges come, he’s reminded that his spirit and hustle have brought him this far.