Nobody raps more like the undead than Lil Wop. On his breakthrough track “Lost My Mind” and on collaborations with Trippie Redd and Kodie Shane, his creaky voice sounds like he’s just woken up from eternal slumber. It’s appropriate that his next mixtape, Wopavelli 3, will be released on Halloween.
He smiles, though! Constantly! Based in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, Lil Wop is a cousin to Famous Dex and a recent signee to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Eskimos label. On a recent trip to New York, we spoke about his friends, family, and that ice cream cone face tattoo.
You’ve got a super-punk rock outfit on right now. Was rock an influence on you?
I mean, my music is rock. You can lose your mind, you gon' go crazy to it. It’s rock-hard banging, not soft rock & roll but hard rock. I made my own shit, my own style. So what you see going on: it’s Lil Wop.
When Gucci Mane got his ice cream a few years ago, a lot of people thought he was crazy. But you went and got one of your own. What does that tattoo mean to you?
I just fuck with Guwop. I fuck with the Trap God. He’s unique. When you hear Gucci, you know it’s Gucci. I could be blind and he could walk in the room and say something and I’d be like, “That’s Gucci.” He taught me you can’t sound like nobody. You can say whatever, but if you say it in a certain way? Damn, I can feel that. To have the sauce, you gotta have all the ingredients. It ain’t all about wordplay. I don’t really got that strong-ass wordplay. It’s about delivery, how you feeling it, uniqueness.
And he was like the only real nigga in the industry. I can relate to his story. I felt like, shit, I was living his l life too when I listened to his music. So why not? I got the tattoo like three years ago. But I’ve never talked about it with him. I’m a big Gucci fan so there wasn’t really anything else to say.
Are you going to go to his wedding?
I don’t know. I might be in Chicago. 10/17 is my birthday.
His lifestyle is so different now. Has it changed how you relate to him?
I’m just looking at that like he on his grown man shit. He ain’t no little boy — he grown. He gotta look the part. He gotta go around and meet people. He up-there. He rich. And you gotta be healthy if you want to live a long life. Me personally, shit, I get fucked up. I do drugs. As far as my health, I like to keep my health up. I feel like that’s a big deal. And looking at him, of course I want to stay clean. I’m a representation of Guwop now. He told me, “We gon' win,” and that’s what we’re going to do. Everything he said he gon' do, he made happen.
Has being signed changed your approach to releasing music? Will you slow down?
Hell naw. I’m trying to drop shit. I’m trying to get paid. Wopavelli 3, that shit going to be hard. I got access to Guwop. So you can expect there’s going to be some surprises. Gucci going to get on that. I fuck around with only Gucci. I don’t like no songs with other people. Just people I know type shit, that’s my family. As far as industry-wise, as far as meeting people and then trying to get to it if it don’t make sense? I don’t need no more co-signs. I don’t need no other people.
Is Kodie Shane your actual sibling?
Kodie is family, but not blood. She from Chicago.
And you also seem to be close with Trippie Redd.
I met Trippie when one of my fans or one of his fans tagged him on my shit, like, “Y’all should fuck with each other and do some music.” So that’s what happened. We ended up linking up. He was in Kennesaw, suburbs type shit, and we were in Atlanta. He was living in the basement, and so I said, “Shiiit, you don’t have to go back there if you want to.” And he ended up staying with me.