Guapdad 4000 is the Bay Area's strongest rising star.
You've probably been singing along to his hooks for months without even realizing it. If you were a fan of Dreamville's recent compilation project Revenge of the Dreamers III, the Bitcoin Bandit appears all over that, most notably on the chorus to "Costa Rica." Guapdad 4000 is a rap game anomaly. The Bay Area resident has an entrepreneurial spirit and his primary ad-lib, "It's a check!," should be evidence enough. Guap is all about the money. Listening to his debut album Dior Deposits, you'll realize that the Ferragamo Falcon appreciates a luxurious lifestyle. With his silky du-rags and plenty of braggadocious bars, the 27-year-old has officially followed up on 2017's Scamboy Color with a solid effort that describes him to the fullest.
Serving as a major figure in the current scam rap wave, Guapdad 4000 is all about finessing and out-dressing, flexing designer drip everywhere he goes. His eccentric style and loud personality can be seen and heard from miles away. After releasing a number of hype-up singles, Dior Deposits has finally arrived today. We spoke with Guapdad 4000 recently over the phone to chat about the album and everything else going on in his career.
Read our full interview below, edited for clarity and length.
HNHH: Yo Guap, what's good? I listened to the advance stream of Dior Deposits. It's fire! Congratulations on all the hard work.
Guapdad 4000: Thank you. I didn’t even know n***as been streaming it, that's tight.
It wasn’t the final mix. But I was listening to part of it and I was like “Damn, this is dope.” I wanted to start off by asking about life before you became a rapper. Can you give us a rundown of how you got started in the industry?
I always just had bitches. The industry is so open-ended at this point. N***as can just be friends with rappers and talk about how they’re in the industry. You know what I’m saying?
The reason why I say I got started because I always had bitches is because that’s literally how all the other local rappers heard my name back home. We was the dudes fucking all the hoes. So they kind of knew us, and either they liked us or hated us for that reason. But that’s how I met all of HBK, Kool John specifically who later introduced me to Iamsu!That’s how we got around these people and that’s also how I met Kehlani. Because I was so internet famous for just having all the hoes, she had heard about me. You had to go through me at one point like if you want anything to pop on Facebook, or like whatever, you gotta get me to post it. So all these people would go to me for party flyers, promotions and shit like that. And that’s really how I got into the industry because I was just hanging with bitches.
Word. I feel like you’re also always in the right place at the right time, is there a secret to that?
Nah, I’m just lucky. I'm just luckier than everybody else, really. And I got the right skill set to navigate through that environment once I’m in it. But I literally just be trying shit. Like I’m the dude whose always able to sneak backstage, get downstairs at a concert, manage to somehow be in line at the right time where a rapper walks in and I can walk in with him. I’m just lucky, I don’t even doubt it.
I feel like you have a very clear entrepreneurial spirit. Is there any kind of business idea that you were thinking of while you were coming up that didn’t exactly pan out the way you wanted?
Hell yeah, I’ve always had ideas for small start-up companies and shit like that since the gate. Me and my brother Darian would just try shit. We were reselling shit on Amazon back in the day, reselling shit on eBay. We had a customization business at one point where we were drawing on bandanas and Air Forces. We actually started a clothing line towards the end of high school. We made one shirt that sold out and never made another one because n***as started dying and going to jail and shit. But it’s always been stuff. I had crazy ideas that I see pop up as businesses now. We always wanted to open a food truck. We kind of brought in aspects from it and now my brother's like, the biggest urban food critic in the Bay. I always try to make money off myself. Because I watch everyone in my family do it, just illegally at some point. I wanted to imitate that success but just within my creativity, and hopefully legal bounds but that didn’t last too long. But still. I feel like if I had some generational wealth to support my endeavours, then I probably would’ve made it way farther as an entrepreneurial-minded person earlier on, instead of me becoming a rapper and then getting my ideas out.
It’s also interesting that rap was not your first career choice. You started off running these business ideas, planning parties, doing all of that, and then you went into rap. It’s unlike any story I’ve seen, recently at least.
Yeah, rap damn near just chose me. Nothing I could do about it.
When you were growing up, was there always a musical side to you?
Yeah. I got family members that do music, so it’s always been around. I remember, as early as 11 or 12, I would rap with my cousins. Uncs would be on tables with the pencils. My auntie is a musician, she batshit crazy, but she’s a musician regardless. She would dress us up like pimps and make us rap. Talk about pimp shit. She actually had her own moments before she mentally deteriorated, which was dope. My unclewas MC Hammer’s barber like his whole life. I would see plaques at his house when I would go get my hair cut by him. Like, just little different shit. I even had a sixth-grade teacher named Mr. Cuevas, Mexican n***a would come in and give everybody a freestyle while he beatboxed. It’s always been around me. I've always been in the culture of hip hop.
You keep bringing up your family. You previously said that your parents were young when they had you, your mom was 14 and your dad was 16 right?
Yeah, 16 or 17. I still don’t even know how old my parents are because I’m just a horrible son. I don’t know their specific age. But I just know I came out my mama’s vagina when she was 14.
It be like that sometimes. What was your childhood like?
I mean, I didn’t really notice any of my hardships until high school. My parents was getting money so like, honestly in terms of materialism, I grew up with access to all the shit that middle class or privileged kids would have. My brother Darian always get mad when we talk about our childhood. Because like, I had all the magic markers and shit you see on TV, n***as had school books and shit, like I could get the shit that they had on TV and that was dope. But I didn’t realize how broke we actually was until I was grown and needed to do that shit. Childhood was also cool too though because I was able to do whatever I wanted creatively.
Your new album Dior Deposits has a ton of features. There are features from Tory Lanez, Chance the Rapper, you got E-40 on there...
Did you like that one?
Yeah, that one was dope. Were there any features that you were unsuccessful in getting?
Yeah, Tyga told me no.
Just like that?
Yeah, I’m great friends with Tyga. This was when “Taste” started doing its thing. Basically the n***a was just being protective over his image. He didn't know how people was looking at me, like am I a troll, am I a rapper, like what am I doing? He didn’t want to lose black Twitter. That’s how I look at it. He had to be super careful, like he just got his foot back in the door.
That’s it. I guess he just had to extra vigilant with everything that was going on.
Yeah, and I’m not mad at it. I mean now it’s like, my name on a song is definitely clickbait now, as opposed to when I asked him. So maybe I’ll circle back in time. But I don’t got a record for him as of now. Who else? Oh, Bryson Tiller was on the album and now he’s not.
What happened with that?
Boi-1da made the beat and he sent that beat to Bryson for his album so me and Bryson used it when I flew out to Miami on my own dollar to make music with Bryson and I was staying at his crib. And Bryson takes a while, he’s a person that is really meticulous in his recording process, in contrast to me who just gets in the booth and does shit. So he sent it over, we wanted to move forward to clear it, because it was like “Oh I just got a record from Bryson” and he raps like me on the record. He says Margiela Madman, he just uses all of my shit. I was so excited. And Boi-1da was like 'I’m using this for my album.'
But we’re still going to hear it though right?
I mean I don’t know if I’ll be on it, or what his plans are or what. At this point, it would probably be a good look to still have me on it. But I don’t know, it’s not my record no more.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images
Bet. What was your favorite part about creating Dior Deposits?
It started off as throwaways. I was just broke and I needed my manager to fix that because I felt like it was his fault that I was broke because he wasn’t letting me bust no plays. He also wouldn’t let me do features when I was developing. And I’m like, ”Well n***a, how am I supposed to get some money?” So he was like, “Pick 10 songs and let's just go somewhere to try to get a check for it.” I was like alright dope, so that was the goal, and that was almost two years ago. I would then like, do shit with Drake, the whole internet sees a fraction of that, J. Cole’s Revenge of the Dreamers, meeting n***as, meeting all these tight musicians, and people really seeing how talented I am. And then now they’re coming to work, and now they’re adding stuff, and now different producers are doing things, and people wouldn’t send me the verses back. It just grew into this crazy project that is Dior Deposits. It’s just been a learning experience because this is my first commercial project. I’m already ready to work on the next one.
If you’re working hard enough things will start to happen.
Yeah, like the dopest thing about my life now is, everything that I used to go in the store and steal, everything I used to scam for, I now get for free.
I respect that.
I swear to god. With time and patience, that shit came back to me and I’m not even a super religious n***a like that at all. I don’t go to church or nothing. But I really relate that back to God because it’s a blessing. Like I literally get whatever I want. I can stay at hotels for free, I fuck all the famous bitches that I want to fuck, and I did it all in clothes that I was paid to wear.
That’s on god. I feel like “Can’t Stop Finessing” is a highlight of the album. I wanted to ask about that song because you get kind of introspective about your scamming past. What do you want out of your career most? Power? Money? Fame?
I mean, all that shit is cool. I just want to be able to establish some kind of generational wealth in my family for everybody who comes after me and everybody that’s around now who is willing to wait and understand how much money rappers actually make, without looking at like Rich the Kid and thinking we’re all supposed to have certain shit. Like this shit take time to make an actual dollar in this industry. And whoever is around and wants to be a part of my team and work like that, then I’m willing to have you in it. But, that's really my main goal in this shit.
On the same song, you talk about Jorja Smith for a little bit. Do you want to use this opportunity to shoot your shot at her formally?
Yeah, Jorja Smith, if you reading this interview, I fucking love you girl. Come to California and live with me for like a week. I’ma pay for everything and show you that I’m the n***a you supposed to be with.
I love it. You got a lot of friends in high places. You were talking about Drake, you were talking about Cole. What was the best advice that they’ve ever given you?
They didn’t really give me outstanding advice. It’s just always been them praising me on what I’m doing. I give my own advice to myself, I just stick to my guns and what I do best. Don’t fold on yourself. Put your own self on. Don’t wait on no hand-outs. Just work with what you got until you got more to work with. Literally, because I did that and I got around Drake and Cole and those n***as were just so impressed by everything I was doing. To the point where they didn’t feel like they needed to give me advice. If I kept doing that shit, then I’d be on.
I also wanted to ask, because you love to draw, is there any possibility of you moving into the world of visual art?
I draw all my cover art, every single one that you’ve ever seen. I do all that on the iPad or Procreate or a sketchbook or canvas, and then I move it to my iPad or Photoshop. Hell yeah, I want to have an art show. I think I’ma do something with painting, or a gallery, or something with my album release parties.
That would be fire actually. It’s like a multimedia type thing where it’s an experience. It’s not just a party at that point.
Yeah, that’s what I want to elevate my whole brand to, an experience. I’m just a n***a that does everything, I’m literally good at everything except for sports. So I want to represent that. So of course, hell yeah. I want to make a separate page just for my art and post my art up and whoever follows it follows it. I’m also into interior design and industrial design, I want to make a home goods brand. I want to make like cups and pillows, shit like that.
Would you see yourself going like the Kanye route? Like the dome houses and everything, did you see that shit?
Yeah, I’m a Kanye stan so I see everything that n***a do, crazy or not. I’m fucking with everything. I don’t see myself fully designing houses and shit just because architecture is something I appreciate but I’m not really interested in chiming in it. But like, if you want fire ass pillows or a rug or some shit, I’m down to design that. I like pieces in the home, like art.
Photo by Paul Middleton (@paulxmiddleton)
Respect, what’s coming next after Dior Deposits?
I mean, the same month the album drops is the same month I go on tour with P-Lo, and then we go on tour with Earthgang, and then I may or may not be doing the Denzel Curry tour overseas. So, I’m just hitting the road.
Who would you say is your favorite artist to ever come out of The Bay?
Outside of Mac Dre, like the god? But, probably Iamsu!
Word, he doesn’t get enough respect out here.
Yeah, he needs to. I learned the most from him. So shout out to Su. He was my biggest inspiration at one point. When I was really trying to sit down and figure out how I wanted to make beats and shit, I would just listen to a bunch of his shit. So yeah shout out to Su.
Is there anything else you want to add before we close?
I just want people to listen to the album and really take their time with it. I feel like some of the songs, especially records like “Can’t Stop Finessing,” and even towards the end of the intro, they’ll like grow on you. There are some immediate ones like the Denzel Curry, Maxo Kream, and Key! record is ridiculous. That’s an instant “Oh, I love it.'' My outro is probably one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever made and I’m in love with that. I’m in love with “Can’t Stop Finessing.” I got a song that I know people are gonna sleep on, it’s called “Iced Out Gold Chain,” I know that’s going to be a sleeper. But, it’s those separate records I want people to take their time with.
I’m so happy for you. I’m happy I got a chance to speak with you. Just keep doing your thing bro, you’re killing it.
Thank you I appreciate that.
Alright man, god bless you.
You too brother.
STREAM "DIOR DEPOSITS" HERE.