Freebandz’ Guap Tarantino Talks Being Shot and Embarking On His First National Tour
Zone 6 Atlanta rapper Guap Tarantino may be a fresh face on the Freebandz roster but he’s been around long before its inception.
“Future is my cousin man”. When asked who how it was working with one of his idols, the rapper made sure to correct me. To be clear, it’s not that Future ISN’T an idol of his. In fact, watching Futures accession to mainstream stardom is one of the dominant inspirations behind the launch of his rap career.
As a result of his influence, at just 23, Guap is already sitting on over 10 mixtapes. His joint collaboration with Canadian Rapper Nav helped put him on the map with all songs from the EP collectively garnering over 5 million streams on Soundcloud. Fan favorite song “Fader”, released in early 2019 has also done its rounds on the internet-racking up over 1 million streams in just 6 months across multiple platforms. It’s pure work ethic.
Now, the Freebanz newbie is heading out on his first national tour to join the likes of Future , Meek Mill, DJ Mustard and MegTheeStallion . We caught up with Guap backstage at the Chicago leg of the Legendary Nights Tour to discuss his career thus far and what its taken to get here.
Kiki Camille: So we’re here at on the first stop of the Legendary Nights Tour with Future and Meek Mill. This is your very first national tour. But talk to me about life before signing to Freebandz.
Guap Tarantino: I’ve always been a rapper. I was in the streets but that’s part of growing up where I’m from. It’s so common :scammin’, juggin’, finessin’, etc.That’s just what we did.
KC: What’s was it like trying to break into the music industry but still being in streets daily? How does that affect your music?
GT: You just gotta keep tunnel vision. I’ve learned that. At first I didn’t get it but now I do. You just gotta stay focused on your path.
KC: You’re so unbothered and unphased by a lot of what goes on around you. I read this interview where it says you were shot but was back in the studio 2-3 days later. That shows dedication to your craft. But why?
GT: I mean, I got shot but it wasn’t like it affected me for real. I just got shot on the side of my stomach. It went in and it went out. It didn’t affect anything. I just had a band aid on. The studio was at my partner’s house, so I went there. It didn’t stop noting. It was just something that happened.
KC: Let’s talk about “Fader”. It’s one of your most popular songs to date. What was the concept behind the record?
GT: Now that’s my shit right there. “Fader” was one of the first songs I dropped with my new lil wave. I hadn’t really dropped music in a whole year before I released Charge Em Up. Fader was like my first song coming out on the new project and nobody had really heard new music since “Block Boy”.
When I made it, folks were in the studio talking about this magazine and shit and I’m like “ Man, I’m poppin and I aint even been on Fader.” That was when I was poppin for real. My social media expressions were over 1.5 million on Instagram. Future had posted the “Block Boy” video on his page. So I got a lot of traffic and follows from that. I’d just got my blue check on Instagram. I was verified. So I was just like, “man. I’m Big Guap and I aint even been on Fader. Imma pop my shit regardless.”
KC: Rank your 4 latest projects in order from favorite to least.
GT: My favorite has to be Guap Mode that was the first one I did. After that, Charge Em Up, Geico and then Free Muny
KC: What was special about Guap Mode for you?
GT: I go back and listen to Guap Mode when I put my track lists together for my new projects because I that project sounds so good. That’s a real album for me. Everybody messed with it. So I try to keep that same vibe. I’ll see what songs I had on that album and what songs I have on the new projects that remind me of them.. You know? Like a blueprint
Before that tho, I had a group called Guap Boys. It was me, my brother and my cousin. We made that when we were like 14 or 15. Then we grew up and folks wanted money but I stayed doing music. I put music first, then the money and the streets. I broke off from it but we still had Young Freebandz. So when I pop I’m bringing all my folks with me.
KC: What’s your goal for yourself as a solo artist though? What do you want your artistic legacy to be?
GT: I ain’t gonna lie. I wanna be like future. Just watching him and seeing him come to my house bringing me his CD to pass out at my school. Now look at him. That’s what really made me say “bro, I know I can pop!”. You know what I’m saying? My cousin was bringing me CDs when I was like 13/14. Now look at him. Just knowing that just always made me stay working.
KC: it’s still so early in your career and you’ve collaborated with a lot of big names: Kevin gates, Thugger, Future, etc. Who haven’t you collaborated with yet that you’re waiting on?
GT: I just collaborated with Lil Durk. That’s somebody I always wanted to work with. I also wanna do a song with Uzi.Me and Gunna did a song:”No Lies”. I dropped it but I want us to do more music.
Me and Young Thug locked in for like 2 days before we did some music, but that was a while ago. I want us to lock back in because I got better music. Then Baby; both of em. Lil Baby and DaBaby. want to do music with both of them. Lil baby my partner. Me and DaBaby smoked a few times.
Most people that I mess with on rap time I mess with on regular time too. I don’t fake kick it. If I hand around a person and I catch they vibe I don’t like, you ain’t gonna never see me with them again. But if I fuck wit you Imma check on you, face time you, etc. Just because we rap don’t mean we don’t need to be checked on.
Oh yea. Roddy Ricch too. That’s my boy but we haven’t done music together yet.
KC: What’s next for you?
GT I got a new single I’m about to drop called “ Buy Chanel”. I’m actually dropping it while Im on tour. I don’t really have a date but its coming out in the next two weeks. So be on the lookout. I’m finna keep chargin’ they ass