Goonew is in his own lane with his own unique sound. Nowadays, it’s hard to stand out in the rap game. Everybody sounds like each other, everybody tries to chase that #1 hit, everyone is rapping about the same s##t. But Goonew enters with what some people call his “whisper rap flow,” bringing listeners into his environment in Maryland and putting on for his city of Forrest Creek any chance he can.
Boasting 135K followers on Instagram and counting, Goonew is nicknamed “the biggest goon,” a name that was given to him by his mother when he was a little boy. Overall, he describes himself as “a normal, regular person who likes to get money off rap.” In fact, he’s achieved much success doing things independently — with fans voicing their opinion on not wanting him to sign to a major.
Now, Goonew unleashes his most meaningful project to date: Big 64 2. Off the rip, the intro track “Life Story” speaks volumes, offering an introspective look into his real life. AllHipHop caught up with Goonew via Instagram Live to discuss his upbringing in Maryland, his fanbase back home, friendship with Lil Dude, friendship with G Herbo, and more!
AllHipHop: How are things over there in Maryland?
Goonew: It’s good. It’s a cool day today, everyone’s out here having a good time. We be outside every day, even on Sundays. I’ll be in the studio in a little bit.
AllHipHop: You just released Big 64 2, how’s the fan reception been?
Goonew: I’m feeling alright, I have to promote it more. I got a video shoot tomorrow. I have to shoot 2 videos, then I should be done with that s##t. I’m about to drop another tape in July. I’m working hard.
AllHipHop: On the intro track “Life Story,” you reminisce on “selling crack rock running the streets.” What’s the reality of growing up in Forrest Creek, Maryland?
Goonew: It’s like any hood neighborhood that’s tough growing up. Police mess with you all day, there’s shootouts, robbery, all types of stuff going on. You have to move and know what you’re doing.
AllHipHop: At what point did you realize you wanted to do music as a career?
Goonew: End of 2017, I was 19. My brother kept saying “bro you gotta rap.” I said “nah, I can’t do that s##t.” I just tried that s##t, I made a song with my brother. After that, I said “s##t, I’m about to do this.” N*ggas f##ked with it.
AllHipHop: Did you know what you were doing recording?
Goonew: Nah, I didn’t even know what I was doing forreal. I was new to everything, I wasn’t even listening to rap forreal. I gave off an old vibe when I was rapping. I listen to Boosie still, I still listen to Webbie. I listen to Nipsey, all types of s##t. I listen to old music, I listen to singing stuff.
AllHipHop: What do you like about Boosie and Webbie?
Goonew: It was their beats back in the day. That’s what I was going on because that’s what my mama was listening to.
AllHipHop: You have a very distinct style of rapping, Pitchfork described it as “whisper rapping.” How would you describe your sound?
Goonew: I just be high, that’s my voice. I was never into all that screaming rap s##t. I rap how I sound, that’s me. They’re not screaming now, but a lot of people used to be screaming coming up. Waka Flocka, everybody.
AllHipHop: What made you keep a low tone?
Goonew: I’m being myself, that’s all I was doing. That’s what I do. If you be yourself, I’m going to f##k with you. I don’t link up with too many people, n**gas be fake. I f##k with certains rappers in the industry like Durk, Herbo, Trippie Redd, Ian Connor, Lil Yatchy, they’re the only people I really know and be talking to sometimes. N*ggas be fake though.
AllHipHop: On “Saks Fifth,” you say “in my city I feel like the mayor.” What’s your hometown fanbase like?
Goonew: My hometown, we’re turnt up. I’m the only one in the city in Maryland right now. I don’t see anyone else making noise like me. Not on no hating s##t, I don’t even watch n*ggas. I don’t even watch when nobody mentions me anyway. If someone mentions me right now like “what the f##k you doing?”, I don’t see none of that.
AllHipHop: How did you build a following?
Goonew: It just came to me. I was being myself, that’s it. Even before I was rapping, I had 10K followers. I was always a known person on Twitter. I used to be doing crazy stuff, like crazy. I used to be talking to people crazy. In 2014/2015, my tweets were crazy as hell. I used to tweet crazy, dumb s##t. I can’t really explain it.
AllHipHop: Best encounter you had with a fan?
Goonew: I actually love my fans, they don’t want me to sign a deal. I don’t really want to sign a deal. They mention me all the time, “I hope Goonew doesn’t sign a deal.” Not that it’s bad to sign a deal, people are really getting f##ked out of their deals. I know a couple people trying to get out of their deals right now. I know a person who got dropped from their label. That’s not me, I’ll stay independent and keep getting my money how I get it.
AllHipHop: Do you think you can be where you want to be independently?
Goonew: Yeah, you got to push yourself. You got to want that s##t. It got to be the right numbers and the right contract. Labels be making you try to do this, do that. I’m not that, I like to do my own thing. I know if I get a label somewhere, I’m probably going to be breaking their rules. I have to stay independent.
AllHipHop: I know you wanted to inspire people with this project, what songs mean the most to you & why?
Goonew: “Life Story” and “Saks 5th,” those are my favorite. Those are old songs, from 2015. I always do that though. Unless I drop a single, I be chillin’. I don’t like to drop when everybody else is dropping. I drop when nobody else is dropping so everyone can pay attention to my s##t, instead of everyone else’s. I drop out the cut.
AllHipHop: Was it supposed to drop way earlier during quarantine?
Goonew: It was, but me and Lil Dude dropped Homicide Boyz 2. We dropped that, then I dropped this. He’s about to drop a solo tape.
AllHipHop: You were featured on Lil Dude’s “Hoodrich” from 2017. What’s your guys’ relationship?
Goonew: It ain’t really too much. It ain’t no beef with him or nothing. N*ggas know, all you have to do is pay me. If you owe me money, pay a n*gga. It doesn’t have to be big. N*ggas saying they’re getting all this money, you owe me $50K that s##t ain’t nothing. I want my money, I’m not beefing about s##t. N*ggas can’t take nothing from me so I don’t really give a f##k.
AllHipHop: What does brotherhood and loyalty mean to you?
Goonew: It means a lot. Loyalty means a lot to me. If you’re loyal, you can stay around me forever. Get whatever from me. All you have to do is be loyal to me, you can get whatever you want. All my friends know that.
AllHipHop: Talk about your friendships with Yachty & G Herbo.
Goonew: Everything good with them. I talk to them, they be giving me good motivation. Tell me how to drop, tell me when to drop, tell me how to do certain s##t. I linked up with Herbo through his homies, his homies f##k with my music. They showed Herbo my songs, he was f##king with it. I linked up with him when he came out here, it was regular. I don’t be geeking to link up with n*ggas, unless they try to link up with me. If they’re not trying to link up, I’m not saying nothing to you.
AllHipHop: Your fans are asking about linking up with Xanman.
Goonew: I always link up with Xanman, he got his own thing going on right now. Everybody got their own thing going on, it’s time.
AllHipHop: You rap a lot about designer, how would you describe your drip?
Goonew: S##t, all I do is wear Chanel shoes, Balenciagas, Amiris, and a black or a white shirt. I don’t too much anymore. I don’t be spending my racks like that. All I do is buy Amiris and shoes all day, that’s it. I’m a regular n*gga.
AllHipHop: How do you create a vibe in the studio?
Goonew: All I need is my drink, a Percocet and some good weed. I’ma make a hundred songs. I don’t need too many n*ggas in the studio. I don’t need nobody in the studio. I be thinking everyone in the studio is distracting me, n*ggas be doing a lot of talking. Sometimes, I be doing s##t by myself. I go somewhere to record by myself.
AllHipHop: Goals at this point of your career?
Goonew: My goal is to get millions of dollars. That’s all I think about, getting millions of dollars off rap. You see everyone else doing it.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Goonew: Go tune into my new album, that’s all.