Last Friday, Compton rapper YG released the first-ever group project from his label, 4Hunnid Records. The 4Hunnid Records crew, which consists of YG, fellow Compton rapper Day Sulan, and Watts rapper D3szn, connect on Gang Affiliated, a seven-song compilation that runs the gamut from certified G-funk to drill to Latin-inspired party rap. It’s a fitting introduction to the crew, which contains a pair of rappers who are getting their first shot at the limelight courtesy of the EP and the big-name co-sign from one of the LA area’s most recognizable rap personalities.
Day Sulan has had the most experience with the trappings of fame, as she got her start rapping alongside the 4Hunnid head honcho on his 2019 album 4Real 4Real on the song “Her Story.” From there, she even secured her own breakout hit thanks to the sexy video for her and Rubi Rose’s collaboration, “Big.” During interviews, she bubbly and quick-witted, and you can tell she’s getting comfortable. Her counterpart, D3szn, hails from Watts, California, Compton’s northerly neighbor and home to LA’s most densely-packed collection of government housing projects, including Imperial Courts, Jordan Downs, and Nickerson Gardens. He’s released a steady stream of singles since 2019, including appearing on “Blood Walk” from YG’s My Life 4Hunnid but Gang Affiliated will be his first chance to show the world at large what he can do over the course of a project.
Over the phone, Day and D3 explain the impact that YG’s co-sign has had on their respective careers and lives, what to expect from the Gang Affiliated compilation, and what they really think about their boss’s wild sartorial choices.
How did you guys get on 4Hunnid? Tell me your stories individually, how YG brought you onto the label, and what it means to you as a rapper to have YG reach out?
D3: I was doing little freestyles on Instagram and his homey CTE hopped up on my DM like, “You saw him, whoop whoop,” and then like a week later I ended up linking up with YG and then from there it was like… he seen my work ethic and believed in me. So I’ll say about 11 to 12 months later I signed to 4Hunnid Epic.
Day Sulan: For me, to make a long story short, I started off as a dancer. I found music while I was dancing and my old manager at the time, Max Gousse, challenged me to do music. And I challenged myself and I made my first little freestyle video and I sent it to my manager, but I also sent it to YG just because we was cool. And I wanted feedback from somebody I knew was going to give me the real and his response was like, you should me f*ck with me at 4Hunnid.
What’s the biggest impact or what’s the difference that being on the label has had for your life?
D3: That’s a different question for sure. Me and my family come from living in a small house. So, by me able to sign, get them up out the way in like a good environment and stuff that changed. That was probably one of the biggest impacts that could probably come with this, is getting my family out the hood.
Day Sulan: I really wasn’t close to my family like that. And when I started dancing, I was homeless before that. So from being homeless, dancing, and doing something I really didn’t want to do — because it was kind of installed in my head young that that’s what I was going to do — it kind of broke me down. So being signed and getting that first little bag, it really got me back on my feet. I also reconnected with my family now that I’m in a better place. I am signed. I can move a little bit more freely but also have that extra push. It motivates you more when you have a big ass label really behind you and really rooting for you.
What’s your favorite part of recording with YG and recording this project? What’s the least favorite part of recording a project?
D3: I feel like it’s all completed. We done punched in on songs. Like, I go in for four bars, she go in for four bars. It’s motivation. It ain’t no competition. It makes me want to go harder. The thing I hate the most is, we’ll pick songs and sh*t will change the next week or two days or whatever.
You fall in love with a song and then it’s like, “Oh, that one’s not good enough.”
D3: We got everything locked in. We’d be about to shoot this video or do this to this song, then it’ll be like, “No, I think you should do this one,” after we already had it all mapped out and stuff.
Day Sulan: I mean, I love making music in general. I actually don’t have a problem with it. The only thing I don’t like is when I’m not recording. I low-key start losing my mind when I’m not in a studio. It’s weird. I like projects. I like making music. I like the process of eventually perfecting my craft. And I know I’m still new to this, so I still want to just keep making more.
Compton and Watts both have incredible lyricists, rappers who are just legacy, obviously Watts has Jay Rock, guys like that. Day, we got Kendrick, we got Quik. Who are some of the people that inspired you and what kind of an impact or legacy are you hoping to leave behind for your city specifically?
D3: My man Jay Rock got the key to the city. So, that’s somebody I really look up to on some music sh*t. Bro set a standard. You feel me? It don’t get no better than that, to me.
Day Sulan: Honestly, the originals, like NWA, just everybody who came from the city really. I took from a little bit of everybody. I really took the things I liked about this person, took things I like about this person, I kind of meshed it into one. I just f*ck with how everyone has that drive to be legendary that come from out the city. It makes you move a different way when you know these is the n****s that’s on top of you.
If you weren’t rapping, where would you be? Or what would be your ideal career if you weren’t a rapper?
D3: I was playing football, but then after high school, I was really outside, in the hood type sh*t. And then the music came into play. I figured that was something I liked to do. But if it wasn’t for music, I really don’t know where I would be right now. I was on some just regular sh*t, like playing hoops, sh*t like that. Basically, whatever would have popped up in my mind that I wanted to do I would have been doing it. I probably would have still been playing football or something.
Day Sulan: So if I was not rapping or making music, which would be f*cking odd because it’s like my number one love, I’d probably be doing something in fashion. Fashion design and clothes, probably have a few businesses or some sh*t like that. Or I might’ve been a painter honestly. I actually love painting. Painting is like my second love next to fashion.
For the last question, I’m going to ask something fun, but you guys got to understand, I’m not trying to get you in trouble. I just want to know. I know you’ve seen people clowning on YG’s shoes. He wears white socks with church shoes. What do you really think?
D3: Bro is a genius for that type of sh*t. I’mma shoot on you if it’s some wicked sh*t but I feel like that’s part of fashion. He started some sh*t. I think people know the fashion sh*t more than they know about him. Everybody just like to talk. I feel like he a genius with that because every time you see a picture, always a talk. That sh*t hard… That OG gangster sh*t.
Day Sulan: I mean, hey it’s his style, you know… I’m going to mind my business. He like what he like, I like what I like. If that’s his swag, that’s his swag. I can’t judge fashion because, in fashion, we look at strange sometimes, but then you got people like [ASAP] Rocky or Kanye West wear something, and now it’s like it’s the holy grail of fashion.
Any last thoughts you want to leave people off with about the album or about you as a person, about you as a rapper, go for it.
D3: Go get it! Soon as it drops, go get it. Listen to it. Listen to every song. Don’t skip a song. Cause well, you ain’t going to be able to.
Day Sulan: It ain’t that long. It’s only seven songs. [Laughs] So it ain’t no reason to skip. They all bangers on that bitch. Honestly. But you know, we coming and we about to be legendary. Look at us how you want to, but you know, we about to come. We’re coming up on y’all.
Gang Affiliated is out now on Epic Records. Get it here.