Instead, he was able to return to New York City as a (relatively) normal teenager.
He stayed out past curfew with his friends and got in trouble with his mom, discovered he loved the Wu-Tang Clan and just generally had the kind of real life experiences that can make for great music.
And so great music is what he started making. His Deadbeats & Lazy Lyrics mixtape was full of the kind of storytelling and complex flows that must have been shocking to anyone who had unfairly dismissed him as a "reality show" rapper. With the release of his Computer Era album, last week, he's confidently striding into the world of grown-man rap.
Not only are his skills on the mic continuing to improve, but you can hear him learning to truly make music.
Image: Ben Miller