Thouxanbanfauni isn’t the biggest fan of interviews, but we’re getting there. Hailing from Atlanta and coming up as one of the leaders in the underground rap scene, the “Gorgeous” rapper has created a very loyal fanbase off the strength of his honesty, vulnerability, authenticity, and unapologetic personality.
Speaking on his he states, “I be pouring my heart out on the beat. Whatever I’m going through: drug addiction, girl problems, my relationships with people, close friends, whatever.”
Some advice for the newcomers: don’t mess up pronouncing his name: “Thousand-Ban-Fawnee.” Real name Taajwar Latimore actually obtained the moniker after a life-changing, near-death incident. One day after hanging out with some of his friends, Fauni took what he thought was Advil to relieve his headache. Turns out, he had to endure what he describes as “living through an AD” — using this story as motivation to help the masses all around the world.
Substance abuse should not be glorified, and he gives you the real raw and uncut. Most recently, he unleashed his highly-anticipated new project titled Clairvoyance. Flaunt caught up with Thouxanbanfauni via Instagram Live, who was visiting his clothing designer friend (also named Fauni) at his shop in Atlanta.
You were born in Atlanta, right?
I was back and forth between Chattanooga and Atlanta, it was the best and the worst of both worlds for me. Chattanooga is right there on the borderline between Tennessee and Georgia. If you’re speeding, you’ll get there in 45 minutes. If you’re cruising, it’ll take an hour and some change to get over there. Chattanooga’s not that far from Atlanta, I’d spend my summers in Chattanooga and the school year in Atlanta.
At what point did you realize you could do music for a living?
I wanted to do it because I liked it, but you know how the internet be making shit. I’m still in the process of finding my own audience. I hear new artists everyday, they’ll be big as hell but I’ve never heard of them. I like that. You can really find your own audience with this shit. It doesn’t matter what genre, or whether you’re doing clothes, filmmaking, music, whatever. I like that aspect of it. When I did a big show, that’s when it really hit for me. I thought, “oh, I can do this shit all the way.” It was out here at The Masquerade. What really made me think I could do it was when I crowd surfed for the first time and they caught me. “Alright, they fuck with me.” It’s a leap of faith.
New album Clairvoyance out now, how you feeling?
It’s cool, I like it. It’s lit. I’m very happy with this album. I’m mad I can’t perform this shit anywhere, so I’m trying to finesse performances. I have to set shit up myself. I’m trying to put together a little pop-up so I can give the kids merch. They can listen to all the new, unreleased music. Finna keep pushing.
The project showcases your struggle with alcohol and substance abuse, how is music a coping mechanism for you?
Music’s something that calms me down. My mind rattles a lot, it brings me to a level-headed balance. I’m not boasting about drugs, that’s just my struggle. That’s me.
How early did you start partying?
I had my first beer when I was 11 at my cousin’s house in Tennessee. I started drinking liquor at my homie’s house at 14 when we’re on the northside of Gwinnett. Shout out Omari, Zay, all them.
You had an incident where you almost ODed, how scary was that?
It wasn’t scary because I didn’t know I was dead until they had revived me. When I had woken from being legally dead, it made me want to take shit more serious. I had a better drive. I had a stronger drive, if anything. It was weird though, shit really goes black. It was daytime, then I woke up and it was nighttime. That’s how I know when you die, you really don’t know what the fuck’s going to happen. It was painless, I didn’t feel shit. I didn’t even know I was dead, my manager told me I was out of it.
What’s your relationship with substances now?
I’m doing better. Moderation, I’m more moderate with my shit.
What’s the first thing you did today?
Woke up, took a shit. [laughs] Took a shower. I woke up late as hell, my sleeping pattern’s been on some other shit. I was supposed to do this [interview], I was debating if I should stay up until this or go to sleep. We had a session till 9:30am. Took a little cat nap, pulled up over here.
What songs mean the most to you & why?
I like “MYRTLE BEACH” because that shit’s lit. I love “AMERICAN MUSCLE” because it’s lit, it kicks. I really fuck with all the songs heavy. I love “FIRESTONE,” “BIG DAWG.” All these are songs I can’t wait to perform live. Shit’s f-ucked up, lame as hell.
How much were you performing before COVID hit?
As soon as I finished my European tour, that’s when all the international borders closed. I finished right on time. I almost got quarantined in Amsterdam. Looking back at it, it doesn’t look that bad. Amsterdam’s lit.
What do you miss most about performing?
The energy, the momentum. Definitely travelling.
Have you picked up any new hobbies during quarantine?
I got back on my production shit. Working on FL Studios, teaching myself using Youtube university. I had to discipline myself.
How is it producing yourself?
I’ve been producing my own shit, but I took a little break. I fucked up my main laptop that had all my plugins and packs on it. Been using everybody else’s shit too. People were sending me hella beats, so I used beats people were sending me for a minute. Now, I’m back on my self-production.
3 things you need in the studio at all times?
Solitude forreal. I really don’t like studios anymore. I prefer recording at the house. There has to be hella water, and some lights that don’t fuck up my focus. You know the white lights, like the school lights? They’re brighter, I hate those lights because they kill my focus and train of thought. Hella water, though. Water on water on water.
You and Uno did a whole tape, best memory from those sessions?
We be recording everywhere. It might be New York, New Jersey, Philly, LA, Texas, Atlanta, Florida. Wherever we can get a studio, we’re going to get it. The fact we be travelling while we’re recording and making a project, that’s the best process in itself. We’re not in one designated location, because that’s really what sets the mood for all the songs. I get a different energy in every location, I like that.
I love how deep Uno is, are you on that spiritual level?
I try to be level-headed. I like reasoning, logic. I fuck with the spirituality shit, to each his own. I like using my logic for shit.
How’s the independent grind?
Loving it. I prefer it this way. When it’s time for me to sign, I’ll probably sign. I have to know the in’s and out’s of what I’m even getting myself into as far as the music business, how this industry is. I have no mentors when it comes to knowing the ropes. I have to teach myself how to move, how to be more militant, how to be more disciplined, how I should act and react to shit.
What’s your favorite tattoo?
All of them. They’re all my favorite, that’s why they’re on my body. My face tattoos, it’s yin and yang. You can’t have one without the other. Equivalent exchange, that’s what I believe in.
What was your relationship with XXXTentacion?
At first, we had beef. Me and 21 Savage had this show in Miami. Rojas booked us for this show in Miami, it was him, Pump, Scheme, all them. This was before they’re rapping, but I met them over there. Rojas said they got a song they wanted us on. We’re trying to get on it, but some janky shit happened. Bro was cool. We saw him again in Denver, Colorado. Him and my manager were playing ping pong, my manager beat him in a ping pong match. We were cool after that.
You’re an artist too? I see you drawing.
Yeah, I like art. I’m an overall artist. I’m trying to get into filmmaking right now. I take part in all my visuals.
Anything else you’d like to let the people know?
I appreciate everybody who’s been fucking with me, day one.