One glance at Gunplay, it becomes clear he’s been through a lot. More than the average human being should ever endure. When the world was first introduced to the Miami emcee, Mr. Richard Morales, Jr. found himself being mentored by his friend and Maybach Music Group boss Rick Ross. Don Logan’s more explosive delivery was a contrast to Rozay’s slick boss-like demeanor. He’d get a chance to really show off his abilities along with Ross, Torch and Young Breed through Triple C’s and their debut album Custom Cars & Cycles. Going out on his own, eventually his wild antics matched is aggressive output. Like Ross says on Deeper Than Rap cut “Magnificent” featuring John Legend, “Gunplay he a glue goon wit a attitude.”
It was all looking up for Don Logan. Lending out guest verses to high profile artists ranging from Lil Wayne to A$AP Rocky only added to his growing buzz. Helps that mixtapes including Bogotá Rich: The Prequel and 106 & Snort became critically acclaimed projects within their own rights. Years of progress came to a halt after facing life in prison for armed robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm. Following time on house arrest and his eventual acquittal, it’s obvious Gunplay has changed the way he moves. He has to be. Signed to Def Jam, his major label debut Living Legend should serve as the year’s best comeback story. Set off by lead single “Wuzhanindoe” featuring YG and DJ Mustard, the album should hold up to the promising title.
Speaking with DX, Gunplay discusses lessons learned following the trial that could’ve ended his career, working on Living Legend and why he looks up to Ross.
Gunplay Talks “Living Legend” & Lead Single “Wuzhanindoe”
DX: How you feeling on this good hot L.A. sunny day?
Gunplay: I can’t complain it feels good, I finally got a release date for my project Living Legend on July 31st. Just making sure all grounds are covered and all bases are covered.
DX:Gotchu! Any plans for the weekend?
Gunplay: I am just pressed with letting the world know I’m on the way. Letting the fans know the wait is over and stay out of trouble first and foremost.
DX: How difficult is it staying out of trouble since you’re in L.A especially considering how things are popping off for you?
Gunplay: It’s hard man but, I just gotta stay focused. Once I get a little liquor in me and I see a bad bitch or two, I forget everything man.
DX: Fa sho! Lets get to the business of Living Legend. I remember you saying Rick Ross helped name the project. What makes you a living legend and how does this album prove that?
Gunplay: I been through a lot before music and it’s like a miracle that I even made it to do music. Then when I start doing music, I go through some more shit. Some shit that was even worse than when I was not doing music and I made it through all that. I bettered myself so I won’t go back and be in them situations again. Like, I’ve been through more than the average artist, more than the average citizen or regular nigga on the street and I am still here to talk about it. I think that sums up a living legend. If anybody out there been through anything, you will always have people who have been through worse things than you. If they survived too and they got through it then they’re living legends themselves. It’s not just a rapper being a living legend. If you rose up from the ashes my nigga, dusted yourself off and kept going, you’re living legend for real.
DX: You‘ve gone through some well publicized controversies. What was that moment in your head when things clicked and you said you I need to be focused?
Gunplay: When they told me I was facing a life sentence. They said your charges are PBL [Punishable By Life]. I was in the county jail for a couple of months just trying to get a bond. They wouldn’t even give me a bond. That changed everything about me; can’t see your son no more, your homies, no more pussy, no more money, no more freedom. A nigga gotta tell you when to eat and sleep. I’m a free spirit man. You can’t lock me down. So, I sat there and made a deal with God. I said listen, let me tell you something God. I gotta deal for you. If you let me out; you get this shit off my back and I promise not only am I am not coming back, but I am going to change everything about myself that got me here. I’m holding my part of the bargain, that’s why I got the album dropping.
DX: How hard is it to make that change because that has to be a hard change for you? Nobody does that overnight.
Gunplay: Definitely, not overnight but just little by little; one step at a time or day by day. Life is 10% of what happens to you and it’s 90% is what you do about it. So, I just started thinking. I could either sit there because my temper is bad. I could either start spazzing right now or I could just say let me chill, leave it for later and let me come back to it with a level head. That’s my biggest thing is my temper, I’ll flash fast 0 to 1000 before you blink. We could be kicking it, laughing and something will piss me off. Then, I just gotta go for the throat. So, that was one of my biggest things, my temper. That’s what landed me in jail that time. Could’ve handled it different if I would of sat back and handled it like a boss but, I handled it like a street soldier. It was time to boss up but, it ain’t happen overnight I had to change my friends too.
DX: I hear you most definitely man. So where did you make this change creatively? Your first single “Wuzhanindoe” is flames with YG and Mustard. Talk about the process of you making Living Legend and how did we get to the single ‘Wuzhanindoe.”
Gunplay: I love the West Coast, I love the west coast sound, the history of the West Coast and I just wanted to take a piece of the West Coast and sprinkle it on Living Legend. “Wuzhanindoe” is me saying I’m here now like ‘what’s happening though,’ You know what I’m saying? I beat the case, I’m focused and now, so what’s up or “Wuzhanindoe.” It’s doing pretty good on the radio, spins are going up, streets is loving it and bitches is twerking to it. So, you know you can’t be mad at that.
DX: Have you talked to YG since the whole shooting incident?
Gunplay: Yeah, he gucci. I talked to him and shit. That was like three days after I shot the video with him; three days later. I’m like naw that’s crazy. He made it through he’s a living legend himself.
Gunplay Explains Keeping Out Of Trouble While On Parole
DX: How hard is it in this rap game dealing with the possibility that you might have some haters try to even run up on you? Does that affect the way you move or make moves?
Gunplay: I am still working on it. Still trying to learn to move the way I am really supposed to but, sometimes haters might walk up to. Just the other day, I was in the mall with my girl and a hater got bold because he was drunk in the mall, Aventura Mall. I’m on probation right now so I was like God help my temper but, I’m not going to back down. If you say you that gangster then I’m like what’s up. It just so happen a fan walked up saw what was going on and by that time everybody got they cameras out to see something go down and that nigga took his shirt off and was about to go fire off on em. I was like see, that was my guardian angel right there because if I would have did it…
DX: Nobody would care if it wasn’t your fault…
Gunplay: Back in jail, period. I would have went right back to jail. Situation got alleviated, but I just try to stay away from places that I know something might go down at or if I have to go there I will bring a couple of my partners and they already know my situation. Anything go down, they push me to the back and they going to step up.
DX: I feel you bruh. One of the things I noticed on the project whether it’s from “Blood On The Dope” or “White Bitch” is that past everything that’s happened, you’ve maintained this intensity. Where do you get that from?
Gunplay: That’s just me man, that’s just me. I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot. So, it’s hard for me to talk about something else like flashy shit. That shit is forever embedded in me. Maybe down the road when life gets a little better and I’m making a little more money, I could start talking about the more money I’m making. But for this project, I’m coming from nothing still. I’m doing alright but, I am still there. I can still smell the shit storm I just got out of so it’s kind of hard to talk about roses and shit. I still got stains on my shirt from what a nigga been through but, I want my fans and everybody out there to grow with me. I want them to see the transition from the wild nigga on drugs all the time and in jail to seeing he’s focused long enough to do the album. Now, after the album is successful, he’s moving on to talking about where his life is going. That’s what the people purchase, they’re buying your lifestyle so you got to let them grow with you. You can’t just out the gate, I got a thousand Maserati’s, and [dun dun dun na na na]. Where you going to go from there? Now you got a thousand spaceships. C’mon, what are you doing? Let’s roll, let’s start from the bottom, let’s start from small and grow. They want to see a success story everybody wants to see a success story.
DX: Do you feel like you’ve won?
Gunplay: Yeah, I feel like I’ve won in my personal life but, I am just now really getting to the music and focused on the music. A lot of my personal life had my shit got flipped upside down. It took a while for me turn everything back over and dust myself so I could have the time to focus on my music. Now, I can’t stay out the studio. I’m in the studio everyday just working. I’m even working on my second album already.
DX: Are you worried about a single or are you just worried about making a great album? What’s your focus with this album?
Gunplay: I’m not worried about album sales or nothing like that because that takes away from the creative part. I don’t care about staying relevant because in these street, my presence is felt and my music is appreciated. That’s what means more to me than my first week numbers. Of course, we in here to sale records but if I did that then I would be dressing like these weirdos. I’ll be rapping like everyone else and I’ll be doing everything that everybody else is doing. I don’t do that. I never follow trends and weirdo shit. Man fuck that man. I watch shit go from left to right. What the fuck is going on? What is these niggas wearing? What is these niggaz talking about? There’s no substance; it’s nothing, it’s filler, it’s air. You can’t chew the fucker, you can’t chew none of the fucking music; it don’t stick to your ribs. I like hearing music and getting chills. I’m still a fan of goosebumps when you listen to music. That’s why I still listen to Pac. That’s why I still listen to UGK. I listen to motherfuckas that really talking shit that I could relate to. I can’t relate to these fucking weirdos and the shit. It’s fucked up. That’s what I want. That’s all I want, I want to feed your soul, I want to touch your heart with my shit and that’s what I am doing with this album.
DX: How did Ross support you through your situation?
Gunplay: He asked me if there was anything I needed and I am not that type of person. I don’t ask him for a stick of gum. That’s never been me but, he knows I am a strong nigga, super strong. He was like, “Man you got this, you got this if you need anything just know I am here” I am like ‘don’t worry about it, I know I got it, don’t worry about it.” Even if I am down bad, I’ll figure it out myself than to ask him because he already got a miliion mutha fuckas with they hands out around him. I don’t want to be a million and one. He got a lot on his plate and I don’t want to add to it.
DX: Have you talked to him or got into contact with him since this recent arrest.
Gunplay: Naw, I am still fucked up about that shit I don’t know man but he’s Teflon Don, the nigga gone brush that shit off. I got total faith in that they can’t hold my dog, he wasn’t made for jail, he was made to be a boss, he was made to make boss moves. It’s nothing.
DX: Do you feel like there’s some type of conspiracy with cops going after rappers because they got money and shit because that was like the second time he was actually stopped and had to deal with the police in that area. Even now outta of jail have you ran into that situation where you got just credits of authorities behind you ?
Gunplay: Honestly, I haven’t when I say…Boy, I be where they can’t touch me, I haven’t even been stopped; I don’t fuck around. I don’t go no where, where the police is at, I am not there. They can’t find me I can’t find them we do not cross paths straight up. If we go in here, A from A to B and then back to A. Then we’ll wait a minute, see if the coast is clear and we’ll go to C then back to A. No extra shit because that one little turn when you say hey man let’s go down here then woop woop there he go. Naw man, I am tired of that. I am tired of going to jail, tired of it. You know when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired? I can’t do it no more. It cost too much and at this point right now, if I got to go to jail at this point right now or if I go to jail for a week, it’s going to fuck up my whole momentum and that would be a week I can get back.
Gunplay Describes Why The Streets Matter & Triple C’s Album
DX: So what’s been the best part about recording this album?
Gunplay: Mixing it, I like sitting in on my mixes. I don’t like to just send it off and they send it back. Naw, I want to sit right there with you and turn this up, turn that down, tweak this, nudge this to the right a little bit,[Ha] drop the beat right here; no no no right there, okay gimme a bassline and bring the snares back in. That’s what I do for every song. I don’t like to put anything into anybody else’s hands because it’s my music. An engineer can’t tell me how I need to…I mean they go by they’re ear but I got how I know it needs to sound. So, when you put that together, you got some good sounding shit like Eddie Mix. Shout out to Eddie Mix we took about two or three weeks man, we lived in the studio. He had his pajamas in the studio, I would leave and come back and he eating cereal but, he would buy him a bowl of cereal in the studio. We jus tlived in that mutha fucka for a couple of weeks. Sometimes I’ll lay down and wake back up and it’s five in the morning he still there like how this sound, how this that sound, how this sound. That’s the best part of recording to me.
DX: Some artist try to even avoid the streets you know they like ‘forget the streets’. Why do you stay there? What makes that so important to gunplay?
Gunplay: That’s what made me, the streets.
DX: Even some artist are embarrassed by it or at least act like they are.
Gunplay: Not saying you gotta go back to the streets and do the same shit you always done in the streets. Not that type of street shit but, never forgetting and always remembering where you came from and the people that’s listening to you and you’re gone, you’re gone now, but they’re still here and they’re watching and listening to you. Once you acknowledge them they’re going to support but once you leave and become a weirdo and you’re talking weird shit, you’re dressing funny and fucking talking weird and fucking hanging out with fucking weird people and the niggas in the streets is like what the fuck just happened here. You can’t do that to them people they the ones that spread the word when you was coming up. Man you gotta listen to this nigga, this nigga Gunplay. Then one turn to two, two turn to four, four turn into eight and eight turn into sixteen and now you got you your fanbase. They’re the ones who brought you here to get you a record deal and you just going to forget about them. That’s ungrateful. How dare you mutha fucka?
DX: Going back to those streets, what were you listening to when you were in them streets?
Gunplay: I always was a Pac fan, Lil Boosie uhhhmm my bad, Boosie Badazz. UGK like I said, Trick Daddy, Jay-Z ummm who else; just real rap anything that was real not none of that commercial rap, that sit is like hollow.
DX: What makes something hollow?
Gunplay: Talk about nothing, what are you talking about ? Okay your cars and ice… yeah bad bitches okay but, what am I getting out of that. I can’t learn nothing at out of that. Mother fuckas talking about fucking desinger shit that they probably don’t even have for real they just saying it, Margiela’s spell it mutha fucka…how it look? Because I don’t know how the shit look put up on game. Put me up on silent indictments and the shit that is relevant in the streets. Fake friends and how they move and watch out for this that’s what Pac use to do, Pac raised me. Keep it real with your homies no matter what. Pac wasn’t always talking flashy shit, he was just talking about some real shit and that’s my blueprint the life and I put my spin on it in the music.
DX: So the album comes out and you’re doing a big push for it but, one of the things I want to know is will we ever see a Triple C’s album again ?
Gunplay: Yeah we working on that after mine putting it together right now. I am doing Triple C’s and my second album at the same time but, the way I am doing my second album is I am getting all the beats first. I ain’t going to rap nothing I just want to hear how it’s going to sound from top to bottom, 12 joints whatever. I might hear another beat and I just want to swap out for that beat. When it’s time then I will record but Triple C’s is going to be easy because it’s three of us Me, Young Breed, Torch and I’m going to bring Perion [PJK] my artist I am going to bring him as an unofficial Triple C member but, he’s definitely going to have presence on the Triple C album because Ross is going to give me control of it. I am working on that now, it’s easy we got all of us..hook here, you do the hook , you do the hook, you do a verse, swap out I do a verse and we get together come up with a storyline.We work good together so it ain’t going to be hard that’s real easy it’s nothing.
DX: Before we wrap this interview up what’s the difference, if you explain, between Don Logan and Gunplay?
Gunplay: Don Logan is right here right now. Gunplay is on the music. When you pop in the CD or you press play on whatever device you listening to, that’s gunplay. He’s the guy that’s still in the county jail, still in that bitch eating breakfast at fucking four in the morning, fucking lunch at ten in the morning, dinner at fucking three in the afternoon four in the afternoon done for the day you don’t eat no more food.. He’s still doing that he’s lights out, lights on headcount, that’s where he’s at. Gunplay he’s there but, he’s in the music too. Don Logan is who you’re seeing right now. I have always had a side of me that was a business side of me but, my ratchet side, my temper side, my heavy drug use side, my Gunplay side it just always shadowed Don Logan. That was one thing I told God, I said man I won’t come back here but I am going to leave you with Gunplay and we’re going to bing Don Logan down these steps as a free man and there’s no looking back.