If you’re too young to recall, there was once a P2P program called Kazaa that served for many as a proto-Hulkshare. During my constant quest for more Lil Wayne (once my favorite rapper), I stumbled across a file called "Lil_Wayne_Ether_SQADUP_SQ1.mp3" Intrigued, I downloaded it. And my mind was blown. A Max Payne reference? 32" Rims? WHO IS THIS WHITE LADY IN THE G-WAGON? I searched and found two other tracks with "SQADUP_SQ1" in the filename: an "Oh Boy" and "Grindin" freestyle. I would have been 15 at the time.
"Grindin" featured Murphy (erroneous but that's what the fucked up ID3 said) and someone named "Gutter" (sic). My favorite part of the song is where this person named "Gutter" enthusiastically brags "I got a hundred trash bags of weed." I couldn't believe it. That was something my suburban-raised mind could comprehend. I didn't understand White Consuela from "Ether." I didn't understand 2-for-1 Cookin' and Zippin' from "Oh Boy." But I knew what weed was, and I knew what a trash bag was. And, this gentlemen had ONE HUNDRED of them. That's a lot of trash bags. That's a whole lot of weed. I was an immediate fan. He had a slow southern drawl similar to Lil Wayne, but still had his own style, his own way of wording lyrics. I ended up downloading the entire SQ1 mixtape. Thankfully I learned that his name was Gudda Gudda aka Jay Gudda. My favorite song on the tape? "Gudda Be in Something Wide." Coincidentally, Bauce Sauce rode around in something wide as well, a 1994 Toyota Camry. It also had monster feet: 15" Hubcaps. I kept them very clean.
I consumed all the Sqad Up mixtapes with vigor, examining and learning every line and every slang term I was unaware of. Eventually I graduated from Kazaa to MixtapeTorrent while in college, which made it easy to download every mixtape that was released and easily find all Gudda Squared features. As my peers slowly gravitated towards Drake and Nicki Minaj, I was a steadfast Gudda Gudda evangelist.
Then "Bed Rock" happened. Then, "I got her, nigga……….Grocery Bag!" happened.
In the eyes of anyone who cared to define Gudda X2, that line defined him. But I knew it didn't. I'd try my best to reference Sqad Up tapes, but nobody knew what those were. I tried to tell them about Guddaville, but nobody cared. Frustrated, I had to accept that I was the only Gudda Gudda fan I knew of, and perhaps may ever encounter in this world.
So two years after Gudda Gudda released Back 2 Guddaville, he flooded the digital streets with Guddaville 3 in November 2012, and then Redrum on March 11, 2013. He was back. I would've been content with those releases for another two years. But Gudda² does not simply rest on his laurels. No. He procured a feature on Lil Wayne's I Am Not A Human Being 2. I was emotional when their song "Gunwalk" was clearly the best song on the album. I got fucking giddy when I saw people on Twitter say that Gudda Squared’s verse was one of the best on the album. He was finally starting to get the recognition he deserved.
Gudda-to-the-Second-Power is an enigma. Outside of a few vlog features and interviews, not much is known about him. I've been trying to get his Wikipedia page up and running since 2008 but the fascist mods over there keep denying it, citing that he is not "notable" enough. What can you do? This is Obama's America. So, in the interest of letting the people know THE TRUTH, I present to you the Definitive Gudda Gudda Interview. Let us delve deeper into the life of Gudda Gudda, the most misunderstood Young Money artist.
Noisey: I've been a longtime fan of yours, but even when I try to search out interviews and such there isn't much out there. Could you maybe paint a picture of what an average week or day for you is like between making music?
Gudda Gudda: There's really no in-between. That's all I do. I make music pretty much 24/7. If I'm not in the studio then I'm probably with my kids. Spending time with my kids. But other than that I'm in the lab.
Any cities that you are usually in? Any place you call homebase?
Houston and Miami. I'm back and forth between Houston and Miami.
Could you tell me what separates you from other artists out there or distinguishes you from other artists on Young Money?
I think I got my own style. As far artists on Young Money, I feel like I got my own style. We all got our own style but I feel that mine is just a little bit different than everyone else's, you know? We all stay in our own lane. We all got our own style.
What would you say that lane is?
Mine is just underground street corner hip-hop. That's what mine is. New Orleans street hip hop. Off-the-porch street hip-hop. Strictly. That's what mine is.
I know that your nickname growing up was Gudda Gudda. But was that the nickname that was given to you? Or was it Jay Gudda and then you adopted that into Gudda Gudda?
Nah. Jay Gudda was my nickname. J is my actual nickname my mother gave me because I'm a junior. My homeboys they just started calling me Gudda around my neighborhood. From there when I started rapping after that instead of me picking a rap name I kept my nickname. You know. So I just put J and Gudda and put it together.
You've been rapping and friends with Wayne since you were a teenager, meeting up at a dice game. Do you find that even people that are fans of Young Money still aren't familiar with your work or your history and relationship with Wayne? From rapping with him through the Sqad Up days to now?
The original fans, they're familiar with me. The fans that were there from the very beginning. The bandwagons? I don't know what they into or what they know. I do know that day one fans that have been following since it started they know who I am.
That's what I've seen. When I Am Not A Human Being 2 came out, a lot of the people I talked to and interact with on Twitter that kind of knew of you were very impressed. They thought your verse on "Gunwalk" was the best feature on the album. How did that collaboration occur and what's the response been like?
It came about one night when we were in the studio. It was a regular night. We were in there just doing what we do, talking or whatever. We were just running through some music. And he was playing his album. At that time he had to turn the album in but I wasn't on nothing yet. So he was like "We gotta get one done before I turn the album in." So he ran a few songs for me and "Gunwalk" was one of the tracks that came on. As soon as I heard it I was like "Nah that's it. I need this right here." Wrote the record in 15 minutes. Wrote the verse in 15 minutes and recorded it. That was it.
As far as the response, a lot of people been hitting me up especially on Twitter about the verse. Giving me props and giving me credit for the verse and shit. The response has been crazy for the verse. Most definitely a lot of people are hitting me up on Twitter.
Yeah. I kept seeing people saying "Wow. I didn't know Gudda could rap like that" because they weren't familiar with you. You just surprised a lot of folks. Kind of jumping off of that when I bring your name up most casual listeners know you from that Grocery Bag line on "Bed Rock." Has that line defined you? Or haunted you in a way?
How can that haunt me? It can't ever haunt me. That was the biggest song I've ever been on in my life. I made the most money I ever made from that song. That can't, that don't define me at the end of the day. Like I said that's bandwagon motherfuckers that hear these type of songs and form an opinion from that. I got bodies of work. How can you define me from one verse? That ain't possible. I got classic tapes. Listen. My shit is documented. That verse don't define me at all. That might have been the biggest song I ever been on commercially. But that shit don't define me.
For me personally, when I hear your name I associate with you is the first song I heard you on. It was the "Grindin'" Freestyle on SQ1 and you said "I got a hundred trash bags of weed." That's stuck with me for ten years. Do you still have one hundred trash bags of weed, or have you upgraded to more trash bags of weed?
Nah. (Slight chuckle)
So we're sticking at a hundred then?
Alrighty. Speaking of Sqad Up and your older body of work, what are some of the challenges you face working in a group or collective (Young Money/Sqad Up) versus balancing solo material?
It's just more work when you doing it on your own. When you're in a group it's so easy to come up with a 16 here and there to put on a song. It's just a lot more work when you doing your own thing. More hours in the studio. More everything. It's just you. Nobody's telling you what to do. You doing your own thing at the end of the day. Nobody there to help or chime in.
I guess the flip side of that is when you are working on something like Redrum or Guddaville 3 and you have a song you know someone you work with a lot that this will fit them perfectly it makes it easier for your solo material?
I've seen in interviews where you've said that the stuff you hold on to for your album is astronomically better than the stuff you release on a mixtape. How do you determine what to put out on a mixtape or to hold onto for an album?
I just go with the flow of the tape. Ya know what I mean? If it fits, I'll use it. If not, I'll hold on to it for an album or put it on the next tape. I listen to the music for like three months straight ahead of time to try to figure out the flow of the tape and what's gonna fit where. If this song belongs on this tape or that tape. That's how I really decide where I put a song at. I keep ordering CD's and which songs make the tape flow the best.
That's an interesting response because you just released Guddaville 3 in November and Back 2 Guddaville was released in 2010, so there's a few years difference between those releases. But then you also just released Redrum. Has there been something in particular that has sparked this increase in creative output? And what's the distinction between the Guddaville mixtape series and a project like Redrum?
I take my time with Guddaville to be honest with you. Redrum was finished when Guddaville 3 was finished. A lot of Redrum was supposed to be Guddaville 3 at one point. But you know as I kept recording music I started swapping songs and switching songs and taking this song off and it just turned into that I had so much music. I was actually gonna put Redrum out right before Guddaville. That was the plan. I was gonna put Redrum out three weeks before Guddaville just for a warm-up. And I winded up changing my mind and waiting and putting Guddaville 3 out then after that I put Redrum out.
I ended up recording more music and I had maybe like three more new joints that I put on Redrum that I felt fit the CD. I just had the material done already.
So even with those 60-something songs you've put out in the last few months, I take it you've got more in the vault for the next project?
Of course. I'm always doing music.
Would you ever do another collab album like how you did Certified with Lil Flip?
Ah man. I actually just talked to Flip the other day. We probably won't do no album or nothing but we definitely gonna work and do some music again. I talked to him.
Would you ever do another collab album with an artist though?
I don't know. It depends. It depends. Right now I'm focused on me. The only collab project I'm working on right now, I got my own crew called L.A.T., called Loyalty Amongst Thieves. That's pretty much the only group thing I'm working on next. Besides that, I'm focused on me right now.
With that said I guess that's what we can expect next? Do you have anything else slated for later this year or next year?
Actually the L.A.T. mixtape is done. It's been done for like a month. With this music, I've been recording. That's why I've had this last two year break between Back 2 Guddaville and Guddaville 3. I was recording so much material. That's why I got all these projects coming out because I've been sitting on so much music. So it just makes sense to flood the streets right now and keep hitting ‘em with it. It's not like I recorded all this music in two months. This was two years worth of music. That's why I feel like it's worth more. It ain't like a bunch of music where I was in some state where I was recording 1,000 songs in a month and then putting it out. Nah. It's like two years. Stretch the work. You know what I mean? Music is great. It just makes sense as I listen to it.
Of course I listen to the music thoroughly before I put it out. It's like as I listen to it, I let other people listen to it and it just makes sense to get this music out.
It seems like you're very meticulous, even if something like "Gunwalk" takes you 15 minutes. You said that you listened to the "Extraordinary" instrumental (on Back 2 Guddaville) for like five weeks before you even wrote anything, just trying to get the concept correct and what you want to say. Seems like your time with your music. Is that why you have a two year stretch of no output then release two or three mixtapes in a few months?
Well, that's what happened for this situation. But that's not how I really work. That's definitely how these last couple of mixtapes came about and this next one is gonna come about. All this music came from that two year break. Some of it is recent music though. If anything, I'll just go back and touch up and maybe change verses or change a chorus on songs I did last year.
We spoke about "Bed Rock" earlier, but on "Every Girl" Mack Maine shouted out Miley Cyrus and then they kind of sparked a twitter friendship. Now that she's meeting with rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J, do you think Mack Maine paved that road for her to come in and start working with artists?
Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. It'd be cool if he did. I don't even know who she is. I don't be paying attention to that. I'm in the studio. At the end of the day I don't know what be going on with them. I'm in the studio.
Final Question: Since this is for Noisey, Vice's music channel, what is the one vice you couldn't live without?
The one vice I couldn't live without? The studio. I can't live if I can't get in the studio.
That's your home? You feel more comfortable in the studio than a hotel or club?
Hell yeah. Hell yeah. Hotel get whack after a while, and I can sleep in the studio.
Is there anything else you wanted to let people know about?
Redrum mixtape online for free download. Guddaville 3 online for free download. Y'all be looking for L.A.T. "Loyalty Amongst Thieves." Shouts out to Mr. Brazy Flow and Kevin Gates. Shout out my whole team. YMCMB.
Bauce Sauce can show you how to do this shit. Not only does he have the big truck sitting on the dually kit, he also tweets kewl tweets - @BauceSauce