Gudda Gudda Says Lil Wayne Inspired His Formula For "Redrum"
Exclusive: Young Money's Gudda Gudda details how his early dealings with Lil Wayne on the "Sqad Up" mixtapes changed his work ethic as an artist.
Years after coming up under Lil’ Wayne during the Sqad Up days, Gudda Gudda has maintained a persistent mixtape release schedule. Much in the way that the Sqad Up mixtapes did for Wayne, Gudda has built a brand upon his own Guddaville series. The last installment, Guddaville 3, brought a feature-heavy tracklist and found the New Orleans emcee bringing up his own crew of homebred talent in the process. Beyond his solo outings, Gudda was recently featured on Birdman’s single “Shout Out” alongside French Montana, and we can also expect his appearance on Lil’ Wayne’s I Am Not A Human Being II.
In a recent interview with HipHopDX, Gudda explained being pushed by Lil’ Wayne to pursue music in the early 2000’s and not seeing the music’s value at first. Today he is an official member of the Young Money Cash Money roster, and while he is still prepping his debut solo album, he also explained his pursuing a different type of longevity in Hip Hop and treating it like a “nonstop job.”
Gudda Explains Branching Out With Redrum And L.A.T.
HipHopDX: It seems you’ve already had a busy start to the year?
Gudda Gudda: Everything’s good. I’m just working, trying to stay busy…that’s about it, man. I’m getting these spot dates together. I just released the Redrum mixtape, and other than that, just doing a bunch of recording—working on my album and working on the album with Birdman. I also got a feature I did on I Am Not A Human Being II. I’ve just been grinding man.
DX: You shot a video for “Stupid” featuring Flow when you were back in New Orleans as well, can you tell me about that?
Gudda: Flow is the homie. I flew back home, and we went straight to the neighborhood and shot a real quick vid for it. That video should be dropping any day. During Super Bowl weekend I went back home again to shoot the actual “New Orleans” video from off the Guddaville 3 mixtape featuring Mystikal, Flow and Thugga.
DX: Flow is one of the guys you’ve been working with a lot lately, do you guys have plans on releasing any full-length projects together?
Gudda Gudda: He’s somebody I took under my wing, and I have this crew I started called L.A.T. ,which is Loyalty Amongst Thieves. It’s a numerous amount of artists I’m working with—Kevin Gates—I know you probably heard of him before. He’s in my crew. I got this [other] cat from New Orleans, Thugga which is [another] cat from New Orleans, Flow and T-Streets. You know that’s my crew. And I’m gonna be comin’ out with a mixtape called Loyalty Amongst Thieves. Flow is like the main one that I’m gonna be pushing the most, so of course me and him have been recording a lot of music. We have a lot of material recorded together. I’m gonna be putting that L.A.T. mixtape [out] after the Redrum mixtape. Flow is all through that, but me and him definitely spoke about doing a mixtape or something. As of right now, I’m focused on the L.A.T. situation and my solo thing.
DX: So I guess that is a collaboration record its just a few more heads on it.
Gudda Gudda: Yeah it’s just a few more people besides Flow. This is my crew, it has nothing to do with Young Money right now, so its just Gudda Gudda Presents L.A.T. This is my thing, and I just wanted to present some new talent and let people hear these dudes. They got great music; I mean the music we made is crazy.
DX: Aside from the title, how much of a depature is Redrum from the Guddaville series?
Gudda Gudda: You know it’s definitely not like my Guddaville series. With the Guddaville series, I try to put those together like albums. I’m not saying this is not going to be original material, but [Redrum] is more like a mixtape. It’s original music but its sounds more like a mixtape. I got features from Busta Rhymes, Cory Gunz and Jae Millz. Kardiak and Young Chop gon’ be on it. I didn’t put it together like I would a Guddaville [mixtape]. This is just another series I wanted to start, so I could put out something that has more of a mixtape feel instead of like my Guddaville series I approach like an album.
My debut album will be, Guddaville: The Album. Guddaville 4 will lead up to that, so at the end of the day that Guddaville [series] is a brand I built up. I plan to keep it and use that for my actual release date. Redrum is just another series I could have so I don’t just keep shoving this Guddaville down people’s throats. After Guddaville 4 it’s the album.
DX: Going back to your Guddaville 3 release, there’s a track on there called “Red Rum” and there’s actually a producer on there called Redrum, is there a connection there?
Gudda Gudda: Not at all—actually well, there is a connection with the actual “Red Rum” track. You know that track was supposed to be put aside for the Redrum mixtape, but I was playing the Guddaville 3 for Jae Millz one night in the studio. I think in that playing list I had the “Red Rum” track on it by accident. He heard the track, and I was like, “Oh, you know this is not going on there.” But Millz was like, “What? You’re not putting this on there, you crazy.” So Millz really made me put that record on there. Millz is the reason I put that record on Guddaville 3, that was supposed to be for Redrum. I was thinking about, “I don’t really wanna put this out there. Well, fuck it…” I’m thinking about doing a remix with Wayne for that “Red Rum” record, and trying to get it done for the Redrum mixtape.
How Lil Wayne Helped Gudda Gudda’s Work Ethic
DX: I remember during the Squad Up days you released like six mixtapes just relentlessly in the span of about three years. Is that experience something that drives you to keep working and releasing music now? Or, did that kind of set the tone for how you’ve geared up for an album?
Gudda Gudda: Yeah, I definitely learned a lot. The Squad Up days taught me a lot about working, and I really got that from Wayne. Just being in the studio when we were making the Squad Up mixtapes, Wayne used to go hard. And back then, I wasn’t going that hard in terms of work, because I was still out there in the streets. I was hustling. So he used to try to motivate me to get in the studio with him so we could get this work done. I used to be like one foot in one foot out…I used to try, but back then I really didn’t have that work ethic that I have right now. That was just part of my learning stages and growing as an artist.
From there, as I grew a buzz in the streets in the South, that started making me work harder. At first, I didn’t understand, because I was just a regular street cat. He put a pen and a pad in my hand and told me to start writing rhymes for no reason. So I didn’t understand what was coming from it. At that point, all I knew was how to make my next dollar. I didn’t understand how [rapping] was gonna make my next dollar, because we didn’t have a deal. It was just like, “We’re just rapping for what?” As a street cat, I didn’t understand that. But as time went on and we kept putting out mixtapes, I realized people started gravitating, asking about and checking for my music. That’s when I realized like, “Alright, now I gotta take this serious.” That’s when I started writing every day, and that led to me recording every day. That definitely was a growing experience with the Squad Up situation until now.
DX: Those mixtapes really established your fanbase as well it seems, and now you’ve been able to keep them close off the strength of the Guddaville releases.
Gudda Gudda: That’s the formula I got from Wayne. I just watched him. I been knowin’ him 15 years, and I met him before he put his first solo album out. So you know I been watching this dude go to the studio every night like it’s his last song, and he’s rapping every night. It’s like, “When do you stop?” Until this day—we at 30 [years old]—like, he’s still the same way. And you know when you’re around somebody like that, you can’t help but…that type of shit rubs off on you. You can’t help but try to go as hard. If your boss is outworking you, then like, “What the fuck, man? You should be working hard.” At the end of the day, when I see him every night in the studio, pulling up, I gotta make sure I pull up every night and I go to work too.
I’m just trying to keep working, stay fresh, keep it moving and show people I’m versatile. I don’t care how young you are, we can do a song together and make it work. There’s plenty of times I’ve done a song with people and we made it work. It’s just about making good music at the end of the day.
DX: You’re heading out to Europe for a Young Money tour in 2013 as well, what’s the plan for the tour?
Gudda Gudda: Yeah, actually we are going out on a run overseas. I also have [solo] dates out here in the States, so I’ll actually be flying back and forth. I’m gonna do a lot of dates on the big tour with Wayne, but I’m gonna have to fly back to the States to knock out a couple of dates on my own. So it’s like I’m gonna be back and forth, [and] I’m trying to get the calendar together right now. It’s definitely about to be a busy year as far as touring, recording and just staying busy.
DX: So you’re looking at a 2013 release for the Guddaville album then?
Gudda Gudda: Yeah, if we can’t [do] summer then I’ll hold out to the end of the year. At the end of the day, I’m trying to get it out this year though, that’s the goal.
Gudda Gudda Talks Networking & Life After Rap
DX: Looking forward, what are you setting up for your post-Rap career?
Gudda Gudda: I [got] a production company I’m about to start, its called Gudda Music, it’s like a bunch of writers and producers and people—it’s gonna be a lot bigger than just me. This is something that’s gonna be R&B people writing hooks, and it’s not just something for Gudda. It’s something that’s going to be shopped around to a lot of different labels; it’s something I’m trying to take seriously. At the end of the day, you can’t rap at 40 or 50 years old. I’m not saying you can’t rap at 40 or 50, because there’s people out here doing that and doing it good. But I don’t want to be one of those rappers...that’s not something I wanna do. So [the] production company and real estate, that’s the type of things I wanna fall back.
DX: You mentioned a lot of younger artists being featured on the Guddaville mixtape, but you also tend to have a good amount of heavy-hitters. Is that something that comes back around, since you’ve been featured on their singles or songs?
Gudda Gudda: Mainly with the features that I have and the people that I do have features with, it’s people that I already have relationships with. It’s not people that [just] come around. These are people I been dealing with for years. You know 2 Chainz—I knew him before he was 2 Chainz. So that’s a phone call away, and I could get a verse and a hook from 2 Chainz tomorrow. Actually, those two songs that was on the Guddaville 3 with 2 Chainz was two years old. I already had those, and I just felt like it was a good time to put them out. When I get a song like “Enemies” with Ace Hood, Crooked I and Trae Tha Truth, these are people that I’ve been knowing for a while. That wasn’t something that had to be politics. Everything that I do pretty much it comes naturally. I don’t try to over-politic anything. The only thing that was kind of politics—and that wasn’t really politics ‘cause he sent me a record back in like 24 hours—was the Wiz Khalifa track. I had never met Wiz or even really had the chance to speak with him.
DX: You mentioned Millz encouraging you to keep that “Red Rum” track on the mixtape, are you guy always bouncing ideas off each other?
Gudda Gudda: Most definitely, especially me and Millz. We all record in the same studio [in Miami], but we all have different rooms. So every night we in the same building. I might go down to Wayne’s room, and he might play me a few records and be like, “What you think of these records?” I let him know, and I let him hear my records, and he let me know what he thinks. But me and Millz work exactly next door to each other. So he’s coming to my room, and I go to his room like three to four times a night. We hear everything that we’re working on together, and of course we bounce ideas all the time. Every night we’re coming up with new ideas like, “You should do this on this,” or, “Do you think I should do this on this?” We always down with the teamwork.