Define Me
Interview: Peter A. Berry
Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of XXL Magazine, on stands now.

Guapdad 4000’s in the middle of leveling up. Since bursting onto the scene with songs like “Scamboy,” the video for which features the durag-clad Oakland, Calif. native preaching the virtues of scamming in church, Guap has continued building a buzz. He’s done so through multiple appearances on Dreamville Records’ Revenge of the Dreamers III, his October 2019 project Dior Deposits and continuing to build his online presence through eccentric music videos that define his colorful brand of Bay Area hip-hop. For the second edition of XXL’s Define Me—a series in which new artists describe the songs that explain who they are—Guapdad opens up about his career-defining songs.

“It was definitely when I’d finally found a stride. I felt confident that I sounded like me. I was completely biting off Ma$e for the flow and shit but it’s my own version of that! That’s where I finally started to develop some on-record personality.”

“I sampled The O’Jays and it’s just like, 60 bars. I’m going stupid the whole time, and that’s a song that got me on because it was the only song that was out when I first started going viral. People was like, ‘Holy shit! This dude could rap!’ So that’s what that was. That was a song that really had niggas on they toes like, ‘Oh, hold on! He going stupid!’”

“I’m in L.A., I’m out here broke, I’m sleeping in the studio, I don’t have nothing to do but make music. That was my first song where I just truly vented out how I was feeling. I was just talking about scamming: being on the road with my cousin, being from West Oakland, niggas across the street wanting to kill me, my grandma having cancer, my little brother moving out the house because I made him move out the house—he was stealing from me. I talk about all that on the song and it was really emotional for me ’til this day.”

“Iced Out Gold Chain”
“It was a benchmark in my talent and a stamp for me. It was like, Oh man, I made this song almost three years ago and people still love it! I’m fucking tight and I been tight. The whole song is like, when niggas get money, the first thing they want to do is go bust down a chain. That’s a Black symbol. That’s like a hood trophy, you know what I’m saying? The prelude to the hook is, ‘It’s crazy what a nigga might do when they see me wit the…’ and ‘It’s crazy what a young nigga like me would go do for a…’I always plug
little bits and pieces of mental and social commentary.”

“Prada Process”
“That whole verse, I was just venting. I was having a good day—I wasn’t broke or nothing. I just was feeling so emotional and I went in the booth and I basically freestyled that whole verse. I just let it all out and I was just talking about how I feel about my position in the game. It’s crazy, that’s how I even felt talking about Russ in that song because it was really social commentary.”

Check out more from XXL’s Spring 2020 issue including our Future cover story, in which he speaks on his Life Is Good albumLil Yachty discusses his new album, Lil Boat 3, and the respect he deserves, Van Jones talks about his love for hip-hop, Show & Prove interviews with Jack HarlowKey Glock and City MorgueYBN Cordae in What's HappeninRapsody talks about getting her flowers in an exclusive interview; G Herbo speaks on building up his community like Jay-Z and Meek Mill, Royce 5'9" considers his next move with Eminem for a new Bad Meets Evil project, plus there's a brewing, new hip-hop scene in New York, a look back at Yo Gotti's music catalog, Studio Time with Rico Nasty and more.

See Exclusive Photos of Future on a Yacht for XXL Magazine's Spring 2020 Cover Story

More From XXL