Hip hop artist GDP spoke to us about his new EP, Holla, working with Run For Cover Records, his collaboration with The Wrong Address and more.
Can you start out by introducing yourself for those who might not know about you?
Hello, new friends. I'm GDP.
Your latest effort, Holla, came out last month. Tell us about that.
I made 5 songs with my brethren The Wrong Address and Run For Cover Records, released it on 12" and digital last month.
The album contains some pretty personal details about a relationship. Are you ever worried about exposing yourself like that?
If my music wasn't so personal to me, I wouldn't be as motivated to still be making and performing it. By the time it gets to the listener, I am comfortable with whatever reactions anyone might have. I could point out 50 things I could have worded more elegantly on Holla, but that's fine. I've still got better music in me.
What was it like working with Adam from Tigers Jaw (AKA Wiccaphase) on "Mascara"?
Real good. I met Adam a few times, and I've liked Tigers Jaw since before I met anyone at RFC. I got Adam's number, emailed him a demo of the song, and he came over with lyrics ready to go. I'll actually be recording the next Wiccaphase record the first and second weekends of September at my studio in Brooklyn. I can't wait.
What's the significance of the title Holla?
Me and The Wrong Address had a few drinks with my good pal JPov at his tattoo parlor and gave each other friend tats of this Sailor Jerry envelope flash. I thought it would be funny to get "Holla" underneath it. We had already been working on this record but didn't have a title. Holla seemed inappropriate enough to work. If you have the vinyl, you'll see Side A is the Holla tattoo I did on The Wrong Addy, and Side B is the one he did on me. Needless to say, Wrong Addy's tattooed a few more people than I have.
Tell us a little bit about The Wrong Address. How did you collaboration begin? How does your dynamic work?
We're both from New Jersey, involved in the punk/hardcore scene and had a bunch of mutual friends trying to put us in touch for a while. When we finally started hanging out a we just clicked immediately. He started sending me beats during what just so happened to be the darkest time of my life and probably his as well. We hung out a bunch and an album got made somewhere along the way. We've got a bunch of other songs in the works together that are nothing like Holla, and The Wrong Address will be releasing a record on Smokers Cough, probably early 2014.
What is your writing process like? Which comes first: the lyrics or the beats?
It's different every time, and I like it that way. Never know how inspiration will strike. For instance, "Placeholder" I wrote like a poem and was just waiting on the right beat, but "Catatonia" I probably would have never written if not for that instrumental.
How did your deal with Run For Cover Records come about?
Jeff sent me an email and expressed interest in doing a record together. It actually got filtered to my spam mail, and I was on tour in Atlanta killing time, like, "Fuck it, let me clean out my mailbox," and voila, an email from Run For Cover. I had known about RFC 'cause of Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, etc., but it was kind of just a cold call on their part.
Was there any apprehension about signing to a predominantly punk label?
I wanted to get a feel for their operation before I agreed to anything, so I met up with them in Boston. After that, I had no apprehension. Jeff and his staff are the shit, and it's inspiring to see how far they've come in the time that I've been working with them.
Similarly, you play on a lot of mixed bills with different types of music. What's that like? Do you have a preference?
It's an honor. Aside from myself, a lot of other people crossing paths that probably wouldn't have been crossed otherwise. Sometimes mixed bill gigs can be tricky to curate, but if I'm all for diversity on a bill. Incendiary played my record release show in Jersey and told me it was one of the wildest gigs they've ever played, and I don't think I need to explain how cool that is to hear. Don't really have a preference so much as the show makes sense and the attendees are entertained.
What else is on the horizon for you for the rest of the year?
Releasing a collaborative project called #$ (Hash Money) with Space Jesus and a solo mixtape titled Permanent Vocation. I'm also launching a record label called Smokers Cough this fall. We'll be releasing new music from The Man From Somewhere Else, Aoi, Shape, Gold Pyramidz, DOS4GW and a bunch of other geniuses shortly. Holla.
I had this guy come and rap in my garage for a show. He was nothing but nice and respectful. We sold a lot of tickets, so we gave him some money for the road ($200 or something like that). And by the time he played, a lot of kids had filtered out, but he still brought nice intensity. Always love to see him do well.
So happy to see an interview with GDP. I saw him play 4 or 5 years ago in New Brunswick with a friend of mine's band. Dude blew me away. I immediately went home and got Realistic Expectations. That album is so awesome from the lyrics to the beats. His flow is great and I love what he raps about. Useless Eaters was a great follow up and I've spun my copy of Holla every day since I got it. Much respect for this dude and will continue to support him with whatever he puts out.
A friend of mines made me a mixtape of Useless Eaters a long time ago.When I got back home I put it on my cassette deck and it felt like I was back in the 90's.Every thing GDP does is gold.Its awesome to see him still making stuff.I enjoyed Holla when it came out.GDP is still killing it.Hope he comes to Dallas TX someday.DON'T STOP MAKING TUNES GDP!
What can I say about GDP that hasn't been said already...
How about that he's the BEST rapper in 2013. If you were to put G on a track with anyone (e.g. Jay-z, Kool G. Rap, Raekwon - i literally mean anyone), he would embarrass them. This fact alone makes him 'one of the greats' in my mind. Need more convincing? Keep reading:
Think about GDP's catalogue; the diversity is astounding - the dude touches on everything from drug raps, braggadocio "I'm the shit" raps, political "conscious" raps, sex raps, party raps, introspective "emo" raps, even tongue-in-cheek dabbling with gangsta rap stylings. The dude's catalogue is SO well rounded and that makes him appealing even from a birds-eye view. But lets zoom in a bit:
His lyricism is always on point; his flow is never sloppy or "off" - EVERY single syllable falls on the beat the way it's supposed to. He never sounds like he's reading from a paper; his delivery is as natural as a guy having a conversation. And perhaps most importantly, G is ALWAYS saying something. To be sure, he does give us the aforementioned braggadocio raps (and we love it when he does) but most of the time he's talking about something substantive. The dude's music is more cerebral than ANY rapper I can think of at the moment.
Also, when you listen to GDP you are going to hear references and concepts that you simply don't hear in 99 percent of rap music. For example, I think it's safe to say that G is the only rapper to have a Jets to Brazil reference in a song. GDP is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is all too stagnant and beaten to death.
Also, "stained brain poker" feat. GDP off of Emily Rugburn's album is one of the best rap songs ever. If you disagree you are simply mistaken. The end.