A discussion on death, London’s stabbing epidemics and being a Christian Rapper and a part of Hip-hop, #LOSTCULTUREMEETS GUVNA B
Guvna B is incredibly strong. Having been in the music industry for over five years now, the multifaceted lyricist has gained incredible accolades, while working on his breakthrough. The act has gained two MOBO awards to date, released a book and topped the Official Christian and Gospel Charts. On top of this, Guvna B recently dealt with the tragic death of his father and returned to music shortly after proving his resilience and dedication to the cause. As Guvna B gears up to unveil his latest project Hands Are Made For Working, LØST CULTURE got to discuss the likes of mental health, the pressure to raise a family and perseverance with the skilled talent.
Describe the concept of your latest single Been Hustlin and how it first in with your albums overall message?
The concept definitely revolves around success. My definition of that, growing up in East and the transition to now, as a man. My mindset changed from the cars, girls and materialistic stuff, as that didn’t make me happy. What I realise now, is those relationships, my music, and finding myself are fundamental to my wellbeing and happiness.
Do you see yourself as a Gospel/Christian rapper, or a conventional Hip-hop MC?
The thing is, I wouldn’t say I fully lean to either. I don’t fit in with that conventional Christian tag, but at the same time that Grime and Hip-hop affiliation aren’t accurate all the way either. It’s actually a privilege though because I can do whatever I want. It’s not easy being niche, but it gives me opportunities.
How far are you with the album and when do you plan to drop it?
I actually just sent off the last track, the album drops May 18th. It’s called ‘Hands Are Made For Working’. I finished it this month and honestly, it is my best work to date.
That’s dope. Taking things back a little, how do you feel about your two MOBO wins and how have they impacted your career to date?
I truly feel that the MOBOs are and were a source of credibility throughout my time. Seeing people like So Solid Crew in the 2000s, that gave me fuel seeing as they were one of the only sources of representation, so winning for me is just a good feeling generally. Regardless though, I have quality with my music and I know that, so the accolades are nice, but not necessarily needed for me to feel validated.
Speaking of your accomplishments, over the years you’ve worked with the likes of Hillsong and Michelle Williams, what’s been the best opportunity to date for you?
There’s been so many bro. I’d have to say performing at the O2 Arena 6 years ago was crazy, such an iconic experience for me. Michelle Williams was a sweetheart, really positive to work with also.
You’ve also written and released a book recently called Unpopular Culture, what inspired this?
It was so random, honestly. I saw a billboard saying “Money is the key to happiness“, and I reflected on it for a while. There are many millionaires that actually suffer and struggle in other ways, it made me think about other ways that happiness is sought and gained. I really wanted to show young people not to be so self-absorbed and tunnel visioned. Another source of inspiration was the media and how it negatively impacts us, we should we see each other as equals. Writing this book was a great eye-opener for me.
On this topic of educating and learning, what do you seek to teach your audiences throughout your career?
I really want to teach others purpose. I didn’t know what I wanted to do throughout school, I coasted. But through God, I found music, and ultimately my vision. Through my music, I want people to know that they can find something to live for, something that pushes them to get up every day and work passionately.
Switching gears a little to your culture, how do you feel about your culture and Afrobeats as a whole being used in popular music today?
Being Ghanaian back in school was not cool. We got the whole “African booty scratcher” comments. But seeing my cousins truly proud of where they come from nowadays, makes me so happy and content. Losing my father made me want to go back even more also, I want to get in touch with my culture even more, these days. It’s great to see myself represented more widely to be honest.
Now I know this may be tough to touch on but you lost your father recently, how did you bounce back and deal with this?
To be honest with you it was really sudden and happened so fast. I quickly took responsibility for the family because I felt the pressure and need to do so. After a few months of playing the strong character I gradually got angrier and angrier, I had to go to counseling because I knew that this wasn’t normal. Counseling helped me so much, it was what I needed, I still go at this point because it helps with my thoughts.
Coming from London yourself, there seems to be a moment happening with stabbing and gun epidemics amongst the youth, how do you feel about what’s going on currently?
It’s really troubling right now. *pauses* But if I’m honest, this has been happening, the media is just reporting on it a lot more. I feel like this isn’t just a one-dimensional factor, there are so many things happening at once. A lot of people want to blame the media, which is a quick comment; music is definitely one cause. I also feel like a lot of people can’t see their potential and need elders to elevate that guidance, without value and direction it’s easy to see how these things remain at large.
On the topic of society, what are your views on this country and its current race issues?
It’s such a big issue and so close to home for me. Us as POCs really feel it in the city and it’s everywhere. Racism influences how I represent myself, my music, my life man. I want to through my music share my experiences and hopefully contribute to a better way of tackling it than violence.
Lastly, what are some of your biggest fears?
*pauses* You know, I’m getting to my late twenties now, I’m older. I want to do so much in my music and life, and that pressure never stops knocking at my door. I don’t want to ever be out of touch with the people around me and just what’s going on period. I want to be able to also provide for my kid and wife, my family. I need them to be good as well as myself. Ultimately, it is about just focusing on my day by day stuff, that keeps me at peace and lets me know that I’m working towards the bigger picture.
Stream Guvna B’s latest single Been Hustlin below:
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