The Break Presents: Gunna
Atlanta may be loosening the stronghold its maintained over hip-hop over the past decade, but Gunna is carrying the torch for his city. The newest star under Young Thug's YSL imprint has shaken up the industry since the release of his Drip Season mixtape series.
The College Park rapper has been steadily dripping and dropping projects since 2015, the same year his uncle introduced him to Young Thug. Thugger featured Gunna, Gucci Mane and Travis Scott on "Floyd Mayweather" the following year, helping to propel the rookie's career to new heights.
These days you can catch Gunna in the booth with everyone from Metro Boomin to Lil Uzi Vert. Both artists lent a hand on his latest mixtape Drip Season 3, with Metro producing five of 17 tracks and Uzi appearing on "At the Hotel" with Young Jordan. Gunna recently worked with 2017 XXL Freshman and fellow hometown rapper Kap G on "Marvelous Day," which also features Uzi.
"Me and Kap was in there doing the song, and Uzi was in the other room," the 24-year-old rapper tells XXL during a recent visit to the office. "I been knowin' Uzi—that’s like my brother—so when he came in and found out I was in there he just jumped on the song."
With the rapid success of Drip Season 3, Gunna plans to keep up the momentum by pushing a couple of collaboration projects. Drip or Drown 2 and Designer Drip with frequent collaborator Hoodrich Pablo Juan are up next. "We’ve been working on that shit for a while," he says in regards to the latter tape. "It really was done, but then I put 'Mind on a Milli' and 'Almighty' out, and he put out another song on Rich Hood. We kept putting out songs we were doing that we were supposed to save.
"I’ve been driven, and I got a lot of that drip—I can give it away, I can let them steal it and I can get more of it," he says.
Learn more about this melodic spitter on XXL's The Break.
I grew up listening to: "Future, Jim Jones, Cam’ron, [Young] Thug—a lot of different rappers."
My style has been compared to: "Future and [Young] Thug. Somebody DM'd me like, 'Bruh, you remind me so much of Michael Jackson.' I was like, 'What? That's a bar.' [Laughs]"
Most people don’t know: "I’m really chill. I’m funny, [too]—I’m a really funny person."
My standout moment to date has been: "When I was on tour [last summer], I brought Thug out for the first time—that shit was crazy. I was on the Playboi Carti tour. We performed 'Secure the Vibe' and 'Floyd Mayweather.'
"I met [Young Thug] the day he shot the 'With That' video in my neighborhood. My uncle called me like, 'We got Thug out here, he shooting a video. Come down here, make sure he’s good.' We locked in from there.
"My uncle ended up dying, and he had a close relationship with [Thug]. It just brought us closer when he passed. God bless the dead."
My goal in hip-hop is: "I want to be a rap icon."
I’m going to be the next: "XXL Freshman. And Michael Jackson."
Standouts: Drip Season 3
"Drip or Drown"
Young Thug's "Floyd Mayweather" featuring Gunna, Gucci Mane and Travis Scott
"Almighty" featuring Hoodrich Pablo Juan
Kap G's "Marvelous Day" featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Gunna
"Mind on a Milli" featruing Hoodrich Pablo Juan
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