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Slidin’ Thru: Guap Tarantino

May 28, 2019

Read the full interview on YoungCalifornia.com!

Guap Tarantino is here to Charge Em Up, the motto and also title to his forthcoming project. Growing up in Atlanta, specifically the neighborhoods in Zone 6, the Freebandz rapper always found a way to get his, living up to his name Guap and getting money one way or another. Read more…

For those who don’t know, who is Guap Tarantino?
I’m from Zone 6: Kirkwood, Little Mexico. East Side of Atlanta, born and raised. I stay everywhere in Atlanta. Most of my life I was in the East Side though, I’ve been rapping since I was 8 years old.

People say your melodies & flows are one-of-a-kind. How would you describe your sound?
It is one of a kind. I just know I got my own delivery and own wave. I really don’t have a certain style. I’m very versatile, I can rap on any beat. It’s really just how it comes to me.

How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist? 
It’s big. LA and New York are the two big cities for artists. You need to go there for you to be a real artist, because that’s where a lot of music businesses are at.

What’s your favorite part about the West Coast?
The weed. The gas. I ain’t been not high yet. The vibe out here gives you something to talk about. It’s a good vibe.

At what point did you realize this music thing was for real?
I made it for real! I told myself I wanted to be 100% with it, then I started. I was in the studio every day. I started meeting different people, networking, doing everything myself. Started booking my own shows, the shit started getting bigger. I watched it go from 7 people to now a whole bunch of people.

How does your fan base back home compare to out here?
At home, I’m already known. Everybody already knows me. Out here when people know me, it’s a surprise to me because we’re across the country. But a lot of people, especially people already in the industry, they already know me. I meet people a lot. Go to different places, people come up to me. When I was in New York at this chicken spot, this little white guy came up to me and started singing my song, “Block Boy.” 

You’re actually Future’s cousin. What’s it like seeing his career skyrocket to where it is now?
He worked hard for it. Watching him grow up from where he was to now, is crazy. All he did was work. I remember I used to call him when I was in school, he’d always be like “I’m working.” Me being around now and after I graduated, I see what he meant by that. ‘Cause I’m starting to do it now. I’m grown now. I’m telling my little cousins who are calling me in school, telling them “I’m working.”

What is the grind? What’d you guys actually go through starting out?
We had to go through making CDs, passing them out, seeing them getting thrown out the window. All on the ground. I picked them bitches up and passed them right back out. Going to clubs 100 deep so everybody knows who you are. That’s really how it started. Us going to clubs deep as hell, everybody wanting to know who we were.

I made Young FreeBand Gang, we were going to clubs 40 deep at 15 or 16. People would be like “who is that?” They’d be like “that’s Young FreeBand Gang, Future’s young folk.” The more we did that, the more people started to notice. Folks started hitting us up.

What does it mean to be signed to Future’s Freebandz?
This all I know for real. I’ve been this shit for so long, it’s all I know. This nothing new to me, this a part of me. Being signed is the same thing.

What’s the best piece of advice he’s given you?
Work. Work harder than ever.

I saw your post that said “a broken heart tryna fix itself.” Can you elaborate on that?
It wasn’t nothing too deep, it was how I felt at the moment. Certain situations I was reminiscing on growing up. Everybody got personal problems. Sometimes, I be wanting to express it in the music industry. I don’t really for real, but I plan on doing it. I’ma do a whole album.

What’s happening music-wise?
I’m about to drop my mixtape called Charge Em Up. I got a couple pieces on there. I’m not really going to say too much. I’m not going to put the tracklist out there yet, it’s gon’ be big though. It’s ready. It’s finna drop, no cap.

Who picked that name?
My name was always Guap, in the streets and outside of school. I was in 12th grade and went to see the movie Django. The dude who made Django, his name’s Quentin Tarantino. I had wrote this verse: “Guap Tarantino, I’m making movies.” Everybody was like “that name Tarantino’s kind of catchy.” So I just finished off my name, because I knew I need a last name. I didn’t want to just be Guap. A lot of folks will call me Tarantino, Tino, Guap. Tarantino hard though. When you hear that name, it’s like the Big Kahuna.

You put out 1 Night w/ Nav last year. At what point did you guys decide you wanted to do a project together?
We were all up at Future’s studio in Atlanta. Cash and Nav had just flown in. Me, Cash, and Future were talking, they wanted me to meet Nav. When we met, we were chillin’, smoking together, kickin’ it. They’re like “ya’ll might as well do some shit together.” We end up doing 5 songs in one night. All of them were hard.

They’re like “man we need to put this shit out.” I was like “nah, we can’t put it out yet.” They’re like “if you drop this on SoundCloud, you’re going to have a million streams in a day.” I was like “forreal? I’m just going to wait.” I end up doing it and they were right. I got a million streams quick. It wasn’t in a day, but it was quick. I got over a million streams now. That n*gga hard, I fuck with Nav.

Talk about creating “Block Boy” off hearing a beat.
I was in the studio with everybody like “man, I gotta make a song that’s real catchy.” ‘Cause I know how to rap, but I know you gotta make them catchy songs. I’m like “let me try to make some catchy shit.” The beat came on, I was like “yeah yeah yeah yeah.” My buddy was in there doing the BlocBoy JB dance while I was saying it. I was like “servin’ in the Rover, I feel like I’m Bloc Boy (shooooot).” They start doing the Shoot dance. I’m like “I’m finna make that song.” I made that muhfucka, it came out too hard.

What is it you want fans to get from your story?
I’ve been in the studio every day. I had a little calendar, I’m probably on day 420 in the studio. If you work hard and you really want it, you can get it. I started day 1 in the studio, now I’m on day 400 something. It’s been a year and a month. All of the shit happened between a year and a month just off work ethic. Hard work pays off no matter where you came from, no matter what position you’re in. I was broke too.

How important is social media for your career?
It’s important for everybody’s career nowadays. Anybody loses their Instagram account, they’re going to be too blowed. [laugh] Social media helps your career a lot because that’s the exposure. I was doing music when it wasn’t on Instagram. I was out there passing out CDs at the mall, downtown, etc. I done did that, but social media made this shit a lot easier.

Who’s your favorite person to follow?
I really just be looking at my Explore page. I follow folks, but that’s where all the funny shit and the tea be at. I don’t follow the Shade Room and all that. Go on the Explore page, you’ll see it eventually.

3 things you need in the studio?
Weed, Gushers, and something to drink. You gotta eat 3 of them at a time. They’re little, so you gotta eat ‘em all at once. You might make a hit after you eat 3 of ‘em. Be quiet, that’s the secret.

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Ain’t no telling what my crazy ass would be doing. I’ll probably still be in the streets juggin’.

Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
Besides me, Future. I don’t really listen to other artists like that. I listen to my gang Freebandz: Wu, Casino, Young Scooter, Thug, Gunna and them. I listen to people I love and fuck with in real life. I don’t just listen to folks.

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