Bronx-bred Young Money rapper Cory Gunz's much-anticipated mixtape, That’s WTF I’m Talking About, isn’t out yet, but the rising rhymer invited Fuse's Esteban Serrano to an exclusive listening session in his studio for the latest installment of The Mixdown. The tape, which features Juicy J, AraabMuzik and Busta Rhymes, has Gunz excited.
“I treat my mix tapes like albums,” he tells Esteban. “All I can tell you to expect is good music.”
Busta Rhymes, who Cory affectionally refers to as “Uncle Busta,” was so enthusiastic about the project that he wanted to be on its title track. And Juicy J – also known as “Uncle Juicy” to Gunz – was a major inspiration too. “Uncle Juicy, he’s just one of the coolest dudes,” Gunz says. “You can’t go wrong.”
Gunz also opened up about his rise to fame, starting with his father, “"Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" rapper Peter Gunz. "My dad was skeptical," Gunz says. “He was like, 'Music is not a promised career. You could be a doctor or lawyer or whatever.' I knew what I wanted to do. My cousins put him up to speed. One day he rolls to the block and gives me… I call it the skeleton. And I dressed the skeleton up. He tells me what to write about, I write about it, and give him the music back. He was sold. I was 14."
It was only a few years later that he started working with Lil' Wayne, who later signed him to Young Money Records. "I was actually signed to Def Jam when I was 17 and Wayne had done the record for my album," Gunz says. "He came over and did that record for free, number one, without no clearances. He came through, did the record, we spoke there. From there, we just kept in contact. One thing led to another. We spoke again, and the rest is history. He’s just a good dude. It’s rare that I’ve asked for something musically from him, and he’s denied me."
Despite his new fame, Gunz is still in awe of his success. "Honestly, to this day I still don’t believe it," he tells us. "It’s really humbling. At the end of the day, when people show appreciation for your work, it hits home."
"I’m learning everyday," he adds. "No matter how far I go, I’m still learning."