The hip-hop lifestyle doesn't always lend itself to clean living. Especially not when the faucets run Cîroc and a single feature spot buys 30,000 Doritos Locos tacos.
Rick Ross's longtime rap bud Gunplay is having a great couple of years, stepping out from the Carol City Cartel to release some awesome mixtapes, a career-changing song in "Rollin," and now signing as a solo artist to the Triple C's home label, Def Jam.
But did you know that four years ago, Gunplay was doing so much coke that he though his brain was "about to melt"? It's true, at least according to a wide-ranging interview he gave to XXL. Check out the highlights after the cut.
On how bad it got:
"It got pretty bad. It got bad. I can't let it get to the point where I steal and shit. That's just fuckdafied. I might borrow it from you, but I never really did some shit like that. I would just be like, 'Front me with an 8-ball and I'll just pay you later.' Some shit like that. I would never steal or do dumb-ass shit like that.
"But how bad did it get? Just my health, man. Looking myself in the mirror and my nose never being right. I could never breathe straight and I'm always blowing my nose. I'm already a skinny nigga and that shit draws me up even skinnier by the time I wake up in the morning, I lost 10 pounds, like 'What the fuck just happened?'
"Then, that day you gotta be at a video shoot. You got raccoon eyes and you 10 pounds lighter and you can't even breathe and you're blowing your nose like crazy and sweating because that shit makes you sweat. Come on, man, you look crazy. That was really one of my first steps in really taking this rap shit seriously...and that was quitting coke. That was 2008."
On quiting coke:
"I'm back to reality. I'm back to life. That shit gives you a fucked-up attitude. It makes you snap on people you love. It's not you, it's the chemical imbalance that happens in your brain from snorting up that shit. You don't even realize it. You think it's the world against you. 'Nah nigga, your brain's about to melt.'"
On clean living:
"My mind is clear. I'm thinking way clearer and I'm not thinking on impulse much. I talk about it and acknowledge it. To this day, that's my favorite drug; my drug of choice. Now, I just pop a Molly, fuck it. That shit gets you high three, four hours and it stops. I'm back to reality."
On getting caught violating his shit:
"You know I've had a bunch of cases, charges, and warrants and--you know my legal shit is just crazy, you know what I'm saying? And the lawyer fees and shit man...it just gets to the point where I got the opportunity to make a difference in somebody else life and in my own and I'm fuckin' it up out here getting caught with pistols and violating my shit, you know. I just started focusing on the music and taking my anger out there and just focus."
On shooting his "Hold Me Back" video:
"We was out there in the projects, you know what I'm saying? We was out there on the 17th and with Swizz Beats. It was dope, man. Everybody was out there, they showed us support, wasn't no bullshit out there, and we was choppin' it up from like 12 to 12 and then we was just shooting all day in different parts of the hood and it was just super dope. It's crazy energy. That energy is good! You know what I'm saying? You know that's my type of shit, so I tried to get me all my cameos in. That's my vibe right there, so I felt right at home man."
On timeless rap albums:
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"I want it to be timeless. I want it to--years down the road you can still play the records and niggas still gon' rap word for word. You can play Ridin' Dirty, the whole album, or Nas Illmatic, the whole album, Reasonable Doubt, the whole album. We still know word for word 'til this day, you know what I'm saying? That's my goal for this album. It's really the--just make that timeless 'cause it's my time of my life where I'm never gonna be hot again, hopefully God willing.
"With hard work, I won't be at this point of my life again. I wanna capture this and put it in a time capsule, so this is the transition from when I was coming up and this is what my mind frame was and this is where my mind was at and this is what I was on. Here goes the videos and the music to show it. And the next go round, I wanna definitely show the growth. I'm always gonna keep it street, but I'm gonna bring the streets with me to the top floor."
The new issue of XXL with the full interview is on newsstands now. Gunplay's 2012 mixtape, Bogota Rich, is available for free at datpiff.com.