Z Money is the “4EVERPAID CEO,” per his Instagram name. Hailing from Chicago, the rapper and entrepreneur has been through a lot to get to where he is now, and he has no plans of slowing down.
Exploding onto the scene with his own unique sound, own flow, and own braggadocious bars, real name Zernardo Tate is a hustler in every aspect of the world, bringing that same energy and passion into the rap game.
“Two 16’s” featuring Valee, “Wealthy,” and his song with 03 Greedo “California to Chicago” are just a few of the hits Z Money boasts, but let’s not forget the ultimate full circle moment. With Gucci Mane being his favorite rapper growing up, it was only right for him to sign to Guwop’s 1017 imprint… but now, he celebrates his newfound independence.
Fresh off the heels of his new project Back 2 The Blender, a 24-track project boasting no features, Z Money was personally asked by Key Glock to join him on his sold-out Yellow Tape Tour.
With Glock carrying the torch that Young Dolph started with Paper Route Empire, this was an opportunity he could not pass up.
AllHipHop caught up with Z Money backstage right after Key Glock’s performance at The Belasco in downtown Los Angeles.
AllHipHop: How you been? You’re on tour with Key Glock, show was nuts.
Z Money: It’s been crazy. I ain’t gonna lie, every show damn near been sold out. For real for real, it’s been crazy.
AllHipHop: How did you end up going on tour with Glock?
Z Money: I had originally just dropped a project. He asked me to go on tour with him, but by me dropping my project, I had my own shows and s### like that. After I did my shows, I came on tour. He was probably 3 or 4 dates in. I came on tour, we rocked out. I had just dropped my project, that was right up the alley. He said he wants me to do the whole tour with him.
AllHipHop: How long have you guys known each other?
Z Money: S### right now, 2018. 4 years. You would think we’ve known each other longer than that, you know? But it’s just 4 years.
AllHipHop: Are you honorary PRE now?
Z Money: I mean, I’m forever — I’m always gon’ f### with PRE because Glock, that’s my brother. Blood won’t make us any closer. It’s like I’ve known him for 25 years, we relate to each other in so many ways. Young Thug is the person who introduced us.
AllHipHop: How’d that happen?!
Z Money: Just in the studio. Young Thug said “man, y’all remind me of each other. I want y’all to link up” type s###. A month later, I signed to 1017. Of course, we got tighter just by doing that because Gucci and Dolph. You know how close Gucci and Dolph was, so that was another way for us [to link].
AllHipHop: Rest in peace to Young Dolph. How did his death affect you?
Z Money: I had my own relationship with Dolph, so it was hard to take in. Just because I know he had a family and I know how much he did for his gang and his team and his gang. It was definitely a hard pill to swallow.
AllHipHop: You just released “Bounce Back/Street N*gga,” what inspired this record?
Z Money: Oh fasho, going back independent. Shoutout to Alamo, they were my label. It wasn’t a bad label, but it was better for me this time to have more control of my situation. I would’ve stayed signed to Gucci but I felt like it’d be better for my situation to go independent.
AllHipHop: How’d it been?
Z Money: I love it. Honestly, I started off independent. I’ve always been independent, so I’m used to it. This wasn’t nothing new because I was used to it. Using my own finances and using my own resources — it was nothing wrong with the label, just the situation wasn’t right. At the time, I felt that my situation was to go independent. It was better for me to have more control of my situation.
AllHipHop: You’re an entrepreneur first. What business are you most proud of to date?
Z Money: My trucking company is still going. My trucking company is growing, we’re also growing. That’s one of my main incomes, also there’s this music. Just hustling, standing and staying working.
AllHipHop: One thing you want fans to get from Back 2 The Blender?
Z Money: I’m back to it baby! Back to the basics. Back 2 The Blender, baby Z Money back. There’s only one Z Money, so you gotta give it to them.
AllHipHop: Chicago has a crazy wave right now. Favorite artists from The Chi?
Z Money: Fasho, always. S###, that’s hard. There’s always… shout out to all Chicago artists.
AllHipHop: How’d you link with 03 Greedo on “California To Chicago”?
Z Money: 03 Greedo my brother, free 03 Greedo. Me and Greedoactually met in a hotel room, checking into a room. We were checking into a hotel room and we met. Alamo booked us in the same hotel room and we just so happened to be checking in at the same time. Greedo downstairs going crazy on them, it was crazy. After that, we linked up and it was over with.
AllHipHop: What are you most excited for next?
Z Money: Just working right now. Still on tour, dropping singles and all that. I was supposed to shoot a video today, but we’re shooting tomorrow in Arizona. Just keep working while I’m on tour. As soon as I get off tour, it’s back to it. I’ll drop something this summer.
AllHipHop: Any features we should know about?
Z Money: I got a lot of crazy features on the way. I won’t say too much, but I got a lot of features.
AllHipHop: Can we get one?
Z Money: Key Glock.