As he walks the floor at ComplexCon Chicago, Gunna can’t stop smiling.
The 26-year-old rapper has a lot to be happy about. He just announced his new partnership with Puma, which he says was inspired in part by Nipsey Hussle's close relationship with the brand, and he's preparing to release new music. In fact, he has a new single on the way very soon that he promises will be "a No. 1 song."
We're only five months removed from the release of Drip or Drown 2, but Gunna hints that another project will arrive before the end of the year. He admits that "there are more rules and terms" that go along with being a major artist signed to a label, but he plans to continue his habit of dropping multiple projects each year. "I'm going to continue to put a lot of music out," he says. "Continuous projects throughout the year."
Sitting down for an interview at ComplexCon Chicago, Gunna discussed his new Puma partnership, Young Thug's legacy, how Nicki Minaj is the legend he would most like to work with, and more. The interview, edited and condensed for clarity, is below.
You're announcing your new partnership with Puma today. Why did you choose to work with them?
Puma chose me.
You're known for being a fashionable rapper, so I'm sure there were offers coming from a lot of different brands. What made Puma stand out from the others?
They've already been in the game long, so I'm familiar with Puma. I feel like they were determined. They really wanted to do business with me and take my ideas and bring them to life. It's more about me building a relationship in the business for longevity. I'm not just doing any quick deals with anybody.
Puma has been building their roster of hip-hop artists, starting from the top with big names like JAY-Z. Did that factor into your decision? Do you think they're going to continue to have a bigger presence in hip-hop?
Yes. JAY-Z, and Nipsey Hussle, too. I was following the family with those two. And Meek [Mill], too. I feel like the roster they already had was full of good artists, and I can fit right in.
You were hinting earlier that another album will come out this year, and we already got Drip or Drown 2 in February. Are you going to continue your habit of dropping multiple projects each year in the future?
Yeah. See, this is my first year being signed to a bigger label than just YSL, so there's more rules and terms. It's kind of different for me, so I'm still coping with it, and I'm going to be creative with how I do it. I'm going to continue to put a lot of music out, like continuous projects throughout the year.
So far, you've had a couple series: Drip or Drown and Drip Season. You've mentioned that you might be taking a break from those series on the next project, but will you continue them in the future? Will you revisit them?
I'm indecisive right now. I don't know. I kind of want to, and I kind of want to do something else, because I can. I don't know.
You've showed up as a featured artist on projects with everyone from Offset to Mariah Carey. Are there any legends who you grew up admiring that you would like to work with next? Who is a dream feature?
You came up as a part of Young Thug's label, YSL. What do you think his legacy will be in music?
He's going to go out like a GOAT. Everybody already knows. He caught the wave first, and everybody else follows. See what I'm saying?
How would you describe his impact on how music sounds right now?
Massive. It's a massive impact.
What do you want people to know about you right now as you head into the second half of 2019?
I'm about to drop a No. 1 song. I'm going to take over.