Drip or Drown
Having already released an EP and multiple mixtapes, including two just last year, and after appearing on tracks with everyone from Travis Scott and Young Thug, to Lil' Baby and Gucci Mane, it’s hard to view Gunna as a rookie, and his work as anything short of pro.
But it was only four years ago that Gunna first met Young Thug on the set of the rapper's "With That" video in Gunna's hometown of College Park, Maryland, and a mere three years since he signed to Thug’s label, YSL. Now, he'll be releasing his sophomore EP through the imprint, and just dropped a new music video, "One Call," earlier today. With a hungry attitude and a ride or die work ethic, it's clear Gunna won't be slowing down any time soon.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you so far in 2019?
I already got my album done for release. I’m also releasing a big single this week.
On Friday, right? I saw it on Instagram.
Yeah, so I’m super excited about that.
It must be a big weight off your shoulders—having your album finished so early on in the year.
Yes, [it's a] big, big, big relief. I’ve been ready to drop music for a while.
I feel like you’ve been dropping music pretty consistently over the past few years, already.
Feature-wise, yes. Good features have been keeping my name going up.
You've been working with Young Thug a lot—how did you guys link up?
Me and Thug linked up at his video shoot. He was shooting "With That" in my neighborhood and he was cool with my Uncle—he died, God bless the dead. But he introduced us that day. We just started being cool, hanging out. After my uncle died, it brought us closer.
Would you consider him a mentor?
Yes, he’s definitely a mentor. He’ll help me improve any of my ideas. He’ll tell me, 'That’s good,' or 'There’s another way you could add to this and make it even bigger.'
What’s one thing you’ve learned from him?
Just stay in the studio every day, all day. He don’t stop working. That’s his main thing—stay in the studio every day like there’s nothing else to do.
You were also recently on tour with Travis Scott—tell me about that.
There was a lot of crazy stories from Travis’ tour. It was super lit—especially New York, Miami, LA and Omaha, Nebraska. They showed me love, too. I had a lot of fun on that tour.
You have such a distinct style—when you start on a track, people immediately know it’s you. You even talk about the downside of it in your track "Style Stealer" from Drip Harder.
[With that song], I was looking at a few rappers doing what I’m doing. It’s nothing personal—I was just was inspired by them.
You and Lil Baby collaborated on that album—what was that creative process like?
Me and Baby? We knew each other before rap. So, it wasn’t hard for us to link up and do music. We pretty much had half them songs from just being in the studio on a normal day.
It sounds like it—effortless. You speak so much about dedication and hard work, how do you keep yourself right through all of it?
I feel like you just really gotta do it and then things won’t effect you as much. Because it’s something I always wanted to do, I never complain about stuff. It’s different with me—I really got a passion for music, so I make myself adjust to everything else. I just went from Australia to Atlanta and seven hours later, I’m back in the studio; then I left the studio and came straight to New York. Then it’s press. Non-stop. I’ve been up for three days. So, it does come with working overtime, but you just have to adjust to it.
How many years does it feel like you’ve been working like this?
Right now, I'd say a strong five years.
And you don’t see it slowing down any time soon, right?
No. I feel it picking up now—I’m just getting started.
That’s crazy! I feel like you’ve consistently put out so much music at this point.
I feel like all that was just practice to get me here now.
What are your remaining goals?
I want my Grammy, my credit and my platinum plaques. That’s what I do it for—going big.
Which rappers have reached the level you're striving for?
From Atlanta and out of the street life? Thug and Future, definitely.
You just released "One Call" and its music video. What can we expect from the rest of Drip or Drown II?
["One Call"] is a real intro to what the project is gonna be about. It’s good music. People like good music—I know I do.
Watch "One Call" now.