By: Shirley Ju (@shirju)
Guap Tarantino is far more than just an artist on Future’s Freebandz. Equipped with his own distinct, one-of-a-kind sound paired with the realness in his lyrics, the 22-year-old is not only a product of the Zone 6 in Atlanta, but a testament to all those who wish to make it out the mud.
His versatility shines through in his ability to rap on any beat, influenced by the same work ethic that’s ingrained in his blood cousin Future’s blood.
AllHipHop caught up with Guap in Los Angeles to discuss walking away from the streets, getting shot, and working with Thugger.
AllHipHop: How does being from the Zone 6 in the A play into your life and career?
Guap Tarantino: Even when we moved away from Zone 6 — if it’s still hood or you got a household, that’s just your house. It don’t matter where you move to. I stayed in a real hood household. I was outside all the time. Doing stuff you’re not supposed to. Just growing up, doing stupid s##t. Did that until I was about 16 when I got my first car.
AllHipHop: Were you making money off the streets or music?
Guap Tarantino: I was making money gambling. Getting money at a young age.
AllHipHop: What’s the best part of being signed to Future’s Freebandz?
Guap Tarantino: The people around, we all family for real. We really love each other, are loyal to each other. Everybody come from around each other. It ain’t just business, we really care about each other. Help each other.
AllHipHop: You just dropped the visual for “Fader." Talk about bringing that record to life.
Guap Tarantino: I was on Instagram and I was looking at Fader. I asked my friends who I was in the studio with, “what was so important about Fader?” The beat was on, they’re telling me about what it was. I was like “I’ve never been on that s##t and I’m poppin’.” I just started saying it with the beat. They’re like “make the song,” so I did. That’s how “Fader” came. That’s how a lot of my songs come.
AllHipHop: What are some goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
Guap Tarantino: I’m trying to just run the bag up. Get the big Guap lifestyle all the way together, how it needs to be. I want to be richer than I was last year, that’s the first mood for me.
AllHipHop: What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
Guap Tarantino: Wake up, grab my tea, get it all the way together. I’ll probably go to the hood for a little bit, kick s##t. But every night gon’ to end in the studio, or afternoon. I really try to be in studio as much as I can just to stay away from the streets. Keep my mind right, focus on just music. I be having the studio booked a lot. 24 hours in a day, I be in the studio majority of the time.
AllHipHop: How hard was it to walk away from the streets?
Guap Tarantino: It wasn’t super hard, ‘cause I graduated high school and everything. I managed the regular life and still made my money in the streets. It’s just when you’re focused on something, you gotta goddamn be focused on it. Not get distracted, ‘cause you’ll lose focus and f##k up. Everybody I was around has been locked up, I’ve never been locked up. I’ve been in the back of a police car a million times. God was giving me a sign like “I really want you to do this man, just stay focused.” I just left it alone, then it was really after I got shot.
AllHipHop: When’d you get shot?
Guap Tarantino: When I was 19, a week before I turned 20. It’s crazy. I got shot on the side of my stomach on the East Side of Atlanta. It wasn’t nothing.
AllHipHop: That’s traumatic as hell.
Guap Tarantino: Yeah it was. Me being who I am, the type of person I am, I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. It wasn’t no beef or nothing. Gotta handle business. I couldn’t walk or anything. It hurt, but it was nothing crazy. I was in the hospital, I got out in a wheelchair. I couldn’t really do anything for 2 to 3 weeks. Really all summer from my birthday end of May, I couldn’t do anything until August.
AllHipHop: How’d you bounce back?
Guap Tarantino: I was at the studio 2 or 3 days after I got shot. It didn’t stop anything man, it just made me open my eyes about different s##t. It didn’t f##k my life up real crazy. It won’t happen again, but it was an eye opener.
AllHipHop: What’s your thoughts on Nipsey Hussle getting shot in LA?
Guap Tarantino: That you always gotta be on your P’s and Q’s. I really don’t even want to speak on that. I met him once, but I didn’t really know him. I met him through Future.
AllHipHop: How’d Future take it?
Guap Tarantino: That was his buddy. How would you feel if your friend passed? How would you take it?
AllHipHop: Dream collab?
Guap Tarantino: I already did that. It was Future and Young Thug, already did both of them. I got a lot of collab on the way.
AllHipHop: What’s it’s like working with Young Thug?
Guap Tarantino: Funny. He’s funny as hell, he a real n##ga though. He just be saying funny s##t. He got all the lingo, like “the beauty of it.” There will be moments.