This past weekend, JaGurl TV attended the 2022 REVOLT x AT&T Summit in Atlanta, GA. The two-day event was full of insightful panels, live music, tasty local cuisine, and celebrities who graciously interacted with their fans. The fourth rendition brought a bigger crowd that implemented unimaginable vibes. Akeem Ali Douglas Hayes, professionally known as Guap aka Guapdad 4000 made an appearance and spoke with JaGurl TV about his career as an independent rapper.
Guapdad 4000 is known for his work from his first mixtape Scamboy Color (2017) and his debut album Dior Deposits (2019), which featured Tory Lanez, Chance the Rapper, G-Eazy, Buddy, and many more. He has done this great work as a man who is hustling as an independent artist. “Its great to be an independent artist because I get to develop on my own terms but at the same time that comes with more out of pocket costs for me that I’m spending because I never had an advance,” said Guapdad 4000. An advance in the music industry is a payment that is made up front from a record label on account of sums that become due to an artist, producer, or royalty participant at a later date under the terms of their agreement. As an independent artist you sacrifice for your craft and front a lot of your own costs for studio time, music videos, events, and anything related to the development of the artist career. “All I had was me.”
Believing in your own vision is deeper than just finances. Guapdad 4000 states, “That funding gotta come from somewhere though and that can effect not only your personal finances but your mental health and the mental health of your family. Your mental health can be effected by the weight of being the matriarch of your brand. People might love you but don’t even believe in the dream. Then you got to go to sleep and deal with that, in the booth too. So its a lot of subtle pressures. Its a lot innuendo involved in this that you get exposed to and effect you way more than you think.” Although it is hard, Guapdad 4000 has a lot of creative freedom on how he shapes his career in this industry. “It should feel like hard work because you’re putting in the time, the effort, [and] the belief. The rest should be easy.”
According to Guapdad4000, what is the best advise to any artist that wants to go this route? “My advise to anybody who want to do this is to stay communicative with the people that you [have] around.”
What is next for the 30-year old rapper? “I’m working on a project called Handsome. That’s my next album called Handsome. I’m taking my time writing it though.” Although he is taking his time on this current project, he is not absent from the scene. “If people want to find me, I’m on NBK 2K right now. I got two songs on there. I’m on Rap Shit on HBO Max, Issa Rae’s new show. I got an episode of Blindspotting on Starz. I’m going to be on the BET Hip Hop awards cypher. I’m going to be rapping on there too. And I’m dropping a lot of s*** in-between. I never stop.”