Gunplay approaches a medium height Hispanic male who has jus taken a bump of coke. He disrespectfully places a finger in front of Gunplay's face suggesting for him to hold on. Not one to take the disrespect lightly, Gunplay pulls out a gun from his waist and shoots the man in the head.
Though Gunplay has a live wire, pop-off-at-any-time reputation, this night the rapper is just rehearsing scenes at Florida Film House for an upcoming movie entitled "RealGoons.com."
The last couple of years for the Maybach Music rapper has been a roller coaster to say the least. And even after tree successful singles, "Rollin'," "Bible On The Dash" and "Aiight," Gunplay's Living Legend album has yet to hit shelves.
Gunplay took sometime out of rehearsal to talk to Crossfade about 2014, the delay for Living Legend, "The Field: Miami" and why local acts can't get on Miami radio stations.
Crossfade: What's 2014 been like for you?
Gunplay: I got over the case a year and a half, almost two years now. I let got of that case. I'm really just getting my life back in order. I'm just trying to stay focused, and just bring a body of work to the labels that they will put out. Staying relevant. Staying in the public eye with videos, music, no negativity.
What has consisted you putting your life back on track?
Just positive vibes. Not doing old shit that I did before. If a nigga not talking about no money, if a nigga not talking about embetterment, nigga not talking about progress, moving forward, I kind of pushed them to the side. With that being said, I'm here now and just still trying to - it's hard because I live outside of the hood, I'm out the hood, but all my partners is there, so I just try to keep my temper low, and stay focused.
How difficult is it to maintain relationships and friends from your old neighborhood while you've been able to progress financially and becoming a public figure?
My partners, they not haters. I can make a million dollars tomorrow, and they won't have their hand out. That's the type of partners I fuck with. Them my type of friends. They won't be looking for a hand out. They won't be looking for a "put me on, what's up." They know what time it is. If they working hard, and they seen the grind I put in, if they working as hard as me, they know I'ma come back and grab they hand and "come on, let's go."
Going back to the last answer, I shed all the negativity, all the negative niggas that think I owe them something. I don't own am [sic] motherfucking soul on this earth. I owe nobody but the IRS. And they know that. and I'll tell them that. I'll tell they mama I don't owe them shit. And they know that. So, when I do come through I'm always coming through 'bout some music, 'bout videos, 'bout embetterment, moving forward.
I talked to Webbz a while back, and similar to you, you guys have been in the game for several years. And similar to him he's looked at to some as an up-and-comer, and this year you were nominated to be a XXL Freshman even though you've been around for years.
To the public eye I'm not in the system as a Meek Mill for example. As a Wale. I'm not haven't had the radio budgets and the big label backings that major artists have had. I'm still basically an underground artist. I like being there. I'm cool. Because once you get that limelight and you don't sell records, you might get your little shows and all that, but numbers don't lie. And the labels want to see numbers. They want to see record sales. If I get in a position of power to drop an album and the label is not giving me my just due as far as marketing budget, radio budget, promotion and shit like that, I'm going to fold. I'm going to sell five records the first week. it's going to look like it's major promotion, but it's really not. But you can't tell that to the average consumer, because the average consumer says, "I saw your poster. I heard your record on the radio for a day, once or twice a week, and you sold five records."
They don't care about that. They're going to say, "Nigga, you ain't sell records! You suck." I'll die before I do that. So, I'd rather stay in my position where I can control my own destiny.
If you don't go to the station and they saying, "Whoa, Gunplay, that new record, 'Whatever XYZ,' we love it, man! It's number one on the station," then you know you're doing something. The label got some money behind you. A radio budget or the radio stations picked it up because it's a hot record. But when you go there and nobody knows your name, who you signed to, what the record is, and you have two weeks left, you know your first week is shitty. You in the toilet.
What has been the delay for Living Legend?
I don't know, and I don't give a fuck. I had big records. I had "Rollin" featuring Waka Flaka that I still perform now. Crowd goes crazy. "Bible On The Dash," huge record. Crowd goes crazy. Signed to Maybach Music. Signed to Def Jam Records. I'm not the CEO of am [sic] one of them shits. I don't know. I'ma leave it at that. I'm putting in my groundwork, as I should. I see what I have to do now. I got to invest in myself, that's all.
A lot of legal issues may have hindered that, but they're over now. The smoke is cleared, so now we'll see what's really happening. I've been promoting Living Legend for two years. I mean, it's two years. I don't think I'm going to catch a life sentence tomorrow morning. I just beat one. I don't think I'm going back.
There's a curiosity and intrigue of you being raw, unapologetic, unpredictable and in-you-face, but that can't be the only persona you want attached to you, is it?
Absolutely not. My reputation precedes me. Now don't get it twisted, I'll tell it how it is on the spot. But I'm trying to get money now, so I kinda got to bite my tongue. I got to play the game. It's a fake game. Real fake. One thousand percent fake. But if I could fake it for 999 percent I'ma do so. But that's who I am. I'm not going to change it. Because of the game I might just take off one percent. But I don't change. I'ma always be me. And that's what people love about me.
It's hard, but it comes with maturity. It comes with beating a life sentence. Not being able to see your son, your mama, your daddy, your friends, your family for the rest of your life. Kinda does something to you. Kinda sits you down in the corner with your arms stretched out with a dunce cap and you like, "I'll never do this shit again."
Aside from that incident, have your own actions ever frightened you?
After the situation? No. I humble myself 100 percent. I prioritize my life, what's really important. I haven't done anything out of pocket to jeopardize that. So I can honestly say no. I'm not scared of success now. I was scared of success for a number of years because I know what I'm capable of and know my mind frame and what I'm going through when I get this money.
What do you think was the best thing to come from The Field: Miami documentary?
All the artists that was on there. People know Miami for the clubs on South Beach that we can't get into. It did shed light on the real Miami. So, every artist from Iceberg to YD, everybody that was on that documentary, it really shed light on the shadows of Miami. They go over there, it's neon lights. We in the shadows. So we brought light to the shadows. That was very important. We needed that.
We might talk about it, but when you see it now you understand why we do what we do. Why we wear our hair like this. Why we talk like this. Why we thug like this. Why we got this mentality.
Let's turn the table, and you can ask me a question.
My question is why the fuck a nigga from Miami can't get in clubs on South Beach?
I'll let you know when I talk to the promoters.
Alright. You know what I'm saying.
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Last question: Why can't Miami artists get on rotation on 99 Jamz, Power 96, and 103.5 The Beat?
Because, I'ma tell you something about Miami, OK. I've been to a lot of cities across the world, not just United States, across the world. You talking a big bubble now. Miami niggas, niggas might be mad at me when I say this, but you know what it is. Miami niggas, we do not stick together. We would rather stunt on you, than stunt with you. That's just how it is. I didn't make the rules. I just play the game. That's not what we're about. We would rather throw money in your face and show you, "Nigga, I got more money than you," rather than say, "Let's get money together."
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro