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Cory Gunz may have been in the rap game for 20 years, but his finest hour has only just begun

Cory Gunz.
Cory Gunz. (Image courtesy of Cory Gunz)

"Label me inconsistent, because I don't play how they play," raps Cory Gunz on "3 Staxx," the lead track from his most recent mixtape, "Loosie Pack 2."


"It's no particular group of people I was talking about," Gunz told Rising Rap when asked about the lyric.


"But I was seeing comments saying it and certain people will bump into me and tell me I need to drop more," he said.


Why people might see Gunz as inconsistent can, at least somewhat, be explained.


After making a name for himself on the mixtape scene in the mid-noughties, the New York native was snapped up by Young Money in 2010. Shortly after, he was announced to the world by way of a feature on Lil Wayne's smash hit, "6 Foot 7 Foot."


Superstardom was set to follow, but his 2012 arrest for the possession of a loaded firearm threw a spanner in the works. Though Gunz never ended up behind bars, his music career was put on the back-burner, in large part thanks to his father, the legendary Peter Gunz, who advised him to keep a low profile.


In the decade that followed, Gunz (Cory, that is) dropped spatters of music, but never really got the ball rolling again.


Recently, however, things have changed.



Last year, Gunz released nine singles and two mixtapes – "Loosie Pack 1" and "Loosie Pack 2." Featuring boom bap beats, samples, skits, and clever, coherent rhyming structures, the tapes hark back to the golden age of hip-hop.


"We just really been focusing and honing in on making classic music and classic material that brings you back," Gunz said of the projects. "I want people to be able to hear my work and it take them back to a record, an album, or an artist that influenced them or inspired them."


"Loosie Pack 2," which was released in November, pays specific homage to Gunz's hip-hop idols.


The funky "Scenario" serves as a nod to A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders of the New School's 1992 classic of the same name. The video to "3Staxx," meanwhile, sees Gunz spitting bars in front of DMX’s mural in the heart of Yonkers while wearing an André 3000 shirt.


"I love authenticity, it stands the test of time," Gunz said.


But Gunz doesn't just show love for the greats on "Loosie Pack 2." He also uses the tape to shine a light on the next generation.


Whispers, an upcoming rapper from the Bronx, features on the project no less than three times, serving as the Eric B. to Gunz's Rakim, the Big Boi to his André, if you will.


"Whispers is incredible," Gunz said. "He is uber talented, not just as a rapper, either. He has so many layers that, if people don't know about already, they're definitely going to."


Jae'Won, Jadakiss' eldest son, also stars alongside Gunz in the video for "3Staxx."


Gunz believes the future for Jae'Won is extremely bright.


"I'm just watching his growth and his evolution, and he's getting better and better and better," Gunz said of the 27-year-old. "He has his own unique style and approach and I feel like he's going to be a force to be reckoned with."



Where Gunz himself currently sits in the world of hip-hop is somewhat of an oxymoron.


Though he's been in the game for over two decades, relatively, the 36-year-old is still only at the start of his career.


His plans for the coming year confirm that.


On top of releasing more "Loosie Pack" tapes ("Loosie Pack 3" is on the horizon and Gunz said he's already working on the seventh installment), he has a project coming with OT the Real and a new single with Lil Wayne.


"That record could be out any day," Gunz said of his upcoming collaboration with Weezy.


Most notably, Gunz is currently gearing up to finally release his debut solo album, which at the time of writing is titled "Growing Pains."


To be released through Young Money, Gunz said the album will explore his "unique journey" in the rap game.


"It's about evolution, about overcoming everything," he said. "To me, 'Growing Pains' means getting through it, finally breaking out of that cocoon to become the butterfly you're supposed to be."


"My journey has not been an easy one, I've been through a lot of things and I feel like I've survived a lot," Gunz added. "Hopefully this album will answer a lot of questions people have about my journey, and bring them some understanding about me as both a person and an artist."


One thing is for sure: when the year is up, nobody will be labelling Gunz inconsistent anymore.

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