“Welcome to #RonaRaps”
Written by: Aisha Gallion
When I first came across an Instagram post with this tag, I was hesitant to see and hear what would come next. I mean who really had the gall to execute an idea that would market the name of a virus in connection to a weekly freestyle on Instagram. Well, Guapdad4000 did.
He has the audacity to do a lot of things. The Oakland native, who has several aliases (e.g. Ferragamo Falcon, Valentino Viper, etc.), is a rapper whose music is a cross between Bay Area hip-hop and alt RnB. Guapdad often rap croons in a sweet falsetto over spacey and/or based out beats typically produced by James Delgado.
However, his crooning is rarely heard during the #RonaRaps. His very distinctive slightly raspy speaking voice takes over. In the time span of 2 to 6 minutes, one can head over to Guapdad’s IGTV to hear him and his rapper + RnB friends show off their lyrical prowess.
Yet, this exertion of lyrical litness happens in the comforts of the rappers’ homes, cars, or wherever they decide to record their video. Generally, Guapdad begins with his verse, then lets his comrades take over in a sort of TikTok challenge style. Each episode presents a new instrumental for the guests to rap over. Whether it be classic cuts from rappers like Biggie and Lil Wayne or remixing the likes of Destiny’s Child “Say My Name,” the #RonaRaps are a fun time. Buddy, Saba, Denzel Curry, Kota the Friend, and many others appear in the episodes, as each week there is a new group of artists for the Armani Army (Guap’s fans) to take note of.
Rona Raps are about more than skillfully spittin’ the most impressive rhymes with the nicest flow. If you listen close enough the artists use this unique platform to provide commentary on current events, as well as discuss socioeconomic issues and racial injustice. In the most recent #RonaRaps, the Ferragamo Falcon raps alongside Saba and Deante Hitchcock.
(most recent #RonaRaps as of date posted discussed below)
During this installment, Guap makes a point of mentioning police brutality and the recent murder of George Floyd in his verse saying, “Police are disease, we all dogs watching these fleas kills us.” His voice trails off, ending on “Rest in Peace George Floyd.” After this last installment, Guap stepped away from the weekly #RonaRaps to address the current sociopolitical unrest concerning police murdering Black people. Recently, he sold over $60,000 in merchandise (shirts, hoodies, masks) that he plans to donate to Black Lives Matter and bail efforts.
So far, there have been 10 installments of #RonaRaps and if you don’t have an Instagram Guap posts them on his YouTube page.
We have yet to see the artist feature women on his #RonaRaps, but there’s a reason for that I suppose. The rapper claims that he’d want to feature women, but he doesn’t want them to think he’s trying to come on to them. He’s considering setting up a women-only #RonaRap episode. I’m not against the idea, but instead of them being categorized off into their own episodes they could be integrated into whoever (man or otherwise) is rapping on the weekly #RonaRaps. Hopefully, soon we’ll see some women on #RonaRaps. I got money on Yung Baby Tate, Mulatto, and/or Saweetie.
Check out the latest #RonaRaps on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/guapdad4000/.