Gunna and Young Thug Share Rules to Live By: Smoke After Sex, Keep Your Kitchen Lit

By
Photography Gunner Stahl
Stylist Bobby Williams

Published May 26, 2020

Clothing, Glasses, Jewelry, Belt, and Shoes (worn throughout) Gunna’s own. Scarves (worn throughout) by Salvatore Ferragamo.

“1993, the year a star was born,” sings Gunna on “Far,” the breezy victory lap that closes out his marathon sophomore album, Wunna. The Atlanta-born rapper has earned his bragging rights. Since the release of his 2016 mixtape Drip Season, Gunna, who was born Sergio Kitchens, has coasted to the top of the rap game, lending his easygoing and melodic flow to hits by the likes of Travis Scott and Mariah Carey, while teaming up with his best friend and fellow Atlanta rapper Lil Baby to form one of the most untouchable duos in hip-hop. But it’s Gunna’s partnership with the freakishly prolific rap goliath Young Thug that’s had him primed for success since the two met in 2015. They clicked immediately, and soon, Gunna was the most promising young act signed to Young Thug’s YSL Records, releasing more Drip Season mixtapes while touring alongside his mentor. Wunna, which is expected to debut at the top of the Billboard 200 this week, marks the emergence of Gunna as a more mature solo artist, experimenting with musical personas and reflecting on his rise to fame over production that borders on psychedelic. To celebrate the album’s release, Young Thug called up his protégé to pick his brain on the best shoes, the nicest cars, and the perfect time to get high.

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GUNNA: What up, what up, what up, what up.

YOUNG THUG: Yo, yo.

GUNNA: How you doing, big guy?

YOUNG THUG: I’m good. I’m at the house. How are you quarantining?

GUNNA: I’m sitting back. I’m cool. Staying clean.

YOUNG THUG: So, look. Tell us about your album.

GUNNA: The album is called Wunna. It’s like my alter ego. I’m a Gemini, so they say Geminis are like two people, and I feel like Wunna is my second person, like that’s the second me. That’s what I’m giving you with this album. The more cool, the more spontaneous, the wilder Gunna.

YOUNG THUG: That’s crazy, sir. What inspires your creativity?

GUNNA: What inspires me is being looked at as a legend, working on my craft and being acknowledged for it. The feedback from my fans, the support I get from my peers and my crew, that’s my inspo. They push me to keep going.

YOUNG THUG: Who makes the best beats, or is that too crazy of a question?

GUNNA: I can’t say. Outside of our immediate family, it’s way talented producers that I can’t name.

YOUNG THUG: Very professional. What do you think is the nicest car?

GUNNA: The nicest car right now or what we can’t get yet? Because I think the nicest car would be a car that we can’t even purchase yet.

YOUNG THUG: Both.

GUNNA: The nicest car right now would probably be that new Corvette Stingray that we just got. I’m talking like the latest, newest thing that everybody just want to ride in.

YOUNG THUG: And what would you say is the nicest car of all time, something that we can’t even afford, or we can’t get? I think it’s that Benz. That Maybach 6 that dropped.

GUNNA: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! The one we can’t get. Facts.

YOUNG THUG: You still thinking about that car?

GUNNA: For sure. That car is on my to-get list.

YOUNG THUG: What’s your favorite piece of jewelry?

GUNNA: It would have to be my Gunna piece. It’s my first name piece. I went all the way with it. I ain’t never had shit so it’s something that really means a lot to me.

YOUNG THUG: It’s your trophy.

GUNNA: That’s one of my real-deal trophies.

YOUNG THUG: That’s my favorite piece, too, no cap. Because I’ve seen the whole mindset behind it. I saw all the work and time and money and extra shows you did just so you could secure that motherfucker the right way.

GUNNA: One-hundred percent, on god. Pure pink and blue diamonds. The pure blue ones are teardrops. I really cherish it, too. Can’t burn it out. I don’t wear it out but I wore it today to just do a little interview because I’m getting back in that album mode so I just brought it out.

YOUNG THUG: Who do you think is hot right now?

GUNNA: Up-and-coming? Or who just got the game?

YOUNG THUG: Both. Got the game right now and up-and-coming.

GUNNA: Got the game right now? Me, of course. This is another season and I’m going MVP, I promise, no kizzy. As for who’s hard right now? It got to be Nechie. That boy ain’t playing no games. He’s under the radar, but he’s fixing to real-deal pop out. Everybody don’t know him. As soon as we get out his record, he’s going to be heard of.

YOUNG THUG: Tell us a little bit about that boy for all the people that don’t know his name.

GUNNA: His name is Nechie, South Side Nechie. He’s from Atlanta like me and you. He been working. Just came home not too long ago, been home about a year. Now he’s all the way in. He’s rejuvenated. He’s been putting out little projects already but this project that he finna to get ready to put out is real-deal, hands-on. So, when it comes out, you going to hear it, it’s going to touch some spots.

YOUNG THUG: Nechie up next, for sure. What do you like to eat and drink when you’re in the studio?

GUNNA: I like mild wings, fries. I might go Ruth’s Chris. It depends. I might have somebody get it to-go for me. I like to eat that in the studio.

YOUNG THUG: What do you like to drink in the studio?

GUNNA: Strawberry lemonade. Anywhere I go, I’m going to see if they got strawberry lemonade, and if they don’t, I’m going to see if they can make it.

YOUNG THUG: Favorite drink alert. Who makes the best food in Atlanta?

GUNNA: Everybody can cook in Atlanta, son.

YOUNG THUG: No kizzy. So, listen. Who was your high school crush? Tell us her Instagram if you know it.

GUNNA: Light-skinned Britney. I don’t even know her IG but she was fine, boy. And I could real-deal have had her, too. She was older. When I got to ninth grade, she was already in the 12th. You know how them fine ones is. She knows who I’m talking about.

YOUNG THUG: I wish you knew her Instagram, no cap. I know you ain’t really into sports like that but who do you think is the best athlete you’ve ever seen?

GUNNA: Football or basketball?

YOUNG THUG: Football first.

GUNNA: Football, I’d probably say Odell [Beckham Jr.]. I don’t really kick it with a lot of football players like that. But that boy Odell, his hands are serious.

YOUNG THUG: What about basketball?

GUNNA: I do know a few of them. I know LeBron James. I know my boy James Harden. I know Kobe [Bryant]. Rest in peace, the GOAT. I know [Michael] Jordan.

YOUNG THUG: [Laughs] Man, name 10 basketball players. You can’t do it!

GUNNA: Charles Barkley. Chris Paul. Rondo. Shaq, of course. Can’t forget Shaq. And KG and KD. Kevin Garnett and Kevin Durant, no cap.

YOUNG THUG: Who is the best rapper?

GUNNA: You asked me that, twin. I said it was me.

YOUNG THUG: I said who’s running the game. Now I’m asking who is the best rapper alive?

GUNNA: It would have to be you, Slime, on god. You make the most songs out of everybody. Anybody can rap and make songs but you’re making real songs. It’s hard to do that. I understand it because I make songs, too.

YOUNG THUG: No kizzy. When is your favorite time to smoke weed?

GUNNA: Probably right after I have sex. You just lay back and smoke one after you been having sex like a workout. One of my colleagues over here agrees.

YOUNG THUG: [Laughs] No kizzy. I pulled up to the house this morning when I left [the rapper Lil] Duke’s spot. I pull up to the spot, there’s a blunt of weed on the ground in front of the door. He had a blunt at the door before you come in the house. That’s Duke. Don’t play with him. What’s your craziest rule?

GUNNA: Like what’s one of my pet peeves?

YOUNG THUG: Like, Duke’s rule is that he’s got to have five or six people at his house everyday. If it ain’t got five or six people in his house, he’s going to pull his fucking hair out. He’s got to have five or six every fucking day. My biggest rule is somebody’s got to wake up with me. One of the homies got to wake up everyday with me. If Rika [Young Thug’s girlfriend Jerrika Karlae] ain’t with me, somebody got to wake up with me everyday. As soon as I come out of my room, I got to see somebody’s face. I can’t wake up in no house alone.

GUNNA: You ain’t never alone.

YOUNG THUG: I think it’s because I grew up with my mom who had so many kids. I just grew up around people so I just love to have people around me. I got a bigger house just to have people to be around me. What’s your craziest rule?

GUNNA: I think at the house, before I go down, I got to clean the kitchen area. When I come downstairs in the morning, the counter has got to be lit. It’s got to be soothing when I come downstairs. If it ain’t, my day won’t be all the way together. If I’m out of town, I’ve got to vibe out. When we were in Australia, we vibed out. New Year’s, bro. We made the best of it. So, that’s pretty much it. Let’s just vibe out and bring it in. I don’t care what time it is over here or over there. We just going to vibe out.

YOUNG THUG: So, listen. This is a YSL-only interview and question. I don’t want no Charlamagne tha God, no Joe Budden, no Akademiks. Don’t put this motherfucking question into your packages. This is a question only a YSL nigga can ask. What is your most exotic rule? Can’t nobody ever ask that question but us.

GUNNA: My one rule, I hate when a girl’s toes ain’t done. Oh, my god. I hate that.

YOUNG THUG: So, listen, what’s the best store? We can make it simple and say best mall or gas station, or we can make this shit crazy and just be like, what’s the best store ever?

GUNNA: Shit. Wal-Mart. I’m going to get everything up out of there. Food and clothes.

YOUNG THUG: Ain’t no food in there.

GUNNA: Neiman’s got food and clothes.

YOUNG THUG: What’s your favorite TV show?

GUNNA: Right now I been on that Netflix. They got Ozark on there, and they got The Blacklist.

YOUNG THUG: You watching that Ozark, twin?

GUNNA: Ozark’s hard, twin, no cap. I watch that all day. Them folks ain’t playing. You got to get on that Blacklist. That’s one of the ones I been watching a lot.

YOUNG THUG: Who do you text?

GUNNA: Y’all be asking shit my mom’s only supposed to know about. You think I’m going to tell who I text? I can’t do that. I’m not going to tell no fans who I don’t fuck with and who I text because fans rhymes with feds. Both of them start with the same letter and both of them end with the same letter.

YOUNG THUG: They sure do. Where do you write lyrics?

GUNNA: I just freestyle. I used to write, but I don’t write anymore.

YOUNG THUG: Let me ask some questions that I’ve always wanted to know. Who makes the best sneakers?

GUNNA: That’s a hard question.

YOUNG THUG: You got to give us an answer.

GUNNA: Maybe Dior or Louis [Vuitton]. One of them.

YOUNG THUG: What will you never do again?

GUNNA: I won’t ever doubt myself. I’ve doubted myself before. I’m not going to do that again

YOUNG THUG: I done doubted myself a million times, twin. Who is your closest confidante?

GUNNA: It might have to be you, bro, because I can tell you everything. You will lay it on me, but you’re still going to be like, “Alright. I understand.”

YOUNG THUG: When are you alone?

GUNNA: Man, maybe the morning when she leaves. It’s hard to be by myself sometimes.

YOUNG THUG: I just told a girl, she was at Duke’s spot. She was like, “How is Gunna?” I’m like Gunna likes fun around him, but he likes to be bored. He wants a whole party around him but he will still sit in the room.

GUNNA: I’ll have everybody downstairs, and I’ll be upstairs watching TV and just chilling. I like to just know they’re there.

Shot on location at The Wxllxm.