My oldest brother and cousin on my pops side really made me wanna rap. My cousin Yuk used to have me in the studio at like 2 years old. I remember my pops always gettin’ me to freestyle on car rides, he used to buy me notebooks and all that. I started hitting the studio my freshman year and that’s when I really fell in love wit the whole process.
How’d you get your rap name?
I used to go by Jay Sparkz. I always knew I was gonna be a weed head so that’s where the sparks came from. And G.A.W.D is the Lyfestyle. Genius.Attaining.World.Domination.
What’s it like being an emerging rap artist in Brooklyn?
Facts. I mean it’s cool, but you just gotta accept if you not sayin’ certain shit, people might overlook you. I’m real spiritual and don’t like to lie in my music. And by that I mean, I ain’t gonna say something I don’t feel. I’m not gonna act lit, act sad, or act tougher than I am in my day to day. But I love to hustle and here in Brooklyn, if you a good hustler, they gonna respect you. A lot of niggas just wanna be pampered and have a lot of hoes. I just wanna grind.
We some Geniuses/Gangstas.Attaining.World.Domination. And it’s Lyfe wit a “Y” because what is life without questions? Gotta have a reason for everything you do, Cause if you don’t, you gonna get pimped out the whole way.
But the idea of it is based around Self Accountability & growth. Taking all the responsibility and in turn all the control.
I had the opportunity to be a part of your “Larry Davis” music video. Tell us about what that process shooting the music video was like?
It was cool, the art is my favorite part of it all. I appreciate you letting us use your studio and your pieces. Shout out to Abu Recordings for making that connection happen. We had a van and road to a bunch of different locations. We actually got a scene in Staten near where the whole Eric Garner incident happened. I wish I had spent more energy into getting it in front of a bigger audience. Cause it’s an important song with an important message.
That song was political, do you often write about social issues?
For me, music is about connecting to people, projecting real perspectives, and having real conversations. So when I’m not just letting out my thoughts and feelings on tracks, I touch on the real things we all face in every day life.
Who are your greatest hip hop influences?
What album made an impact on you and how?
A Written Testimony & Victory Lap. Those are two well thought out albums. Both those guys were in the game for years before ever dropping an album, and they made a lot of the music we heard on their debut over a span of years. I feel like I’ma play them joints for my kids when I have some. But the production and sounds on those joints were so big, broad, and distinctive. When it’s time, I already know what direction I’m gonna go in cause of those two legends.
Tell us about your latest project, In Us We Trust. How it came to be, where can we find it?
I let it all out on that one. A lot of personal lines in those songs. Shout out my engineer Mostafa Zaghloul aka GURU. We spent a lot of time locked in the studio, recording and mixing.
I kinda took a page out of Nips book wit this one. I got a clothing brand with the same name and I figured what better way to plant the seed than through the music. But if you listen to the songs, like really listen, and give yourself a chance to feel the words, you gonna really feel me. I trust my instincts over any and everything. It’s currently available on Audiomack, SoundCloud, & YouTube. I’ll soon be uploading my catalog to quadio, which is a streaming service exclusively for college students so if you got an edu email, sign up for that.
What is #DopeOnSundays? And how can we tune in?
Dope on sundays comes from this thing I heard about how down south cats used to hustle. They wouldn’t sell dope on Sundays, so I just flipped that and ran with it like a hustler do. You could find a few weeks on YouTube, and I still got some on my IG, but right now I’m posting them on my patreon as exclusive content for the supporters who want a lil something extra. $5/month on my patreon gets you $5 off ya next GAWD LYFE merch purchase, weekly #DopeOnSundays content, and the occasional exclusive drop. All that for the price of a spliff.
How has Covid-19 affected your work?
It made me go harder. I’m not a performer or an entertainer. I’m an artist and a rapper. But above all that I’ma hustler, so in a drought I’ma be the one selling quarter waters. Don’t let that go over ya heads.
Is there anything we can look forward to from you in the next year?
Don’t expect anything except for me to get better every time you hear me and for me to just keep goin’ harder. I’ma always surprise you.
When it’s all said and done, what do you hope your legacy will be as an artist?
I wanna be prolific. A crazy series of mixtapes, high quality features. Packed out intimate shows, and the best business deals in the game for me and all my artists. Generational wealth is the only thing on my mind when I make a move towards the business.
We believe creatives have to be fearless to thrive. Do you believe in that, and why?
I have a complex relationship with fear. At times I’m irresponsibly fearless and I overlook things. But I also know fear is a good indicator of where you need to improve. So I’ma agree with you, because you have to fearlessly pursue your dreams while constantly working on yourself.