Los Angeles rap is rife with personality, and there might not be anyone in the city's hip-hop spectrum with a bigger personality than Frostydasnowmann.
Frosty is one of the originators of LA's current rap scene, which is characterized by oddball flows, out-of-this-world beats, impenetrable slang, and grim, nihilistic lyrics befitting a city on fire at the edge of the world. He started rapping seriously in early 2016, yet it was only a matter of months before Frosty was able to make an impact locally, cutting through with a unique delivery and colorful lingo. A string of songs and mixtapes (Xtraordinary, MiLLioN DoLLa MiSSion, ICEKOLDPIMP) raised his profile, but it was "MiLwauKee BucKs," which spelled out his mission clearly—"I need my bucks / If it ain't 'bout Gurbs I don't give no fucks"—that became his breakthrough hit.
In less than two years, Frosty had established himself as a creative force on the forefront of a regional rap renaissance alongside fellow Inglewood native Almighty Suspect, with whom he enjoyed a fruitful if cut-short collaborative chemistry, and singular South Central rap group the Stinc Team.
Frosty's story, like most of his peers, is tragically intertwined with law enforcement. At the height of his success, he was arrested on an assault charge and would spend over two years behind bars before his eventual release in September 2019.
What seemed like a blossoming new wave of artists and collective innovation just a few years ago has just as quickly soured into several what-ifs. As their national recognition was reaching critical mass, the Stinc Team was locked up. As was 03 Greedo, the Watts rapper and Wolf of Grape Street, who was sentenced to 20 years in a Texas penitentiary. The relationship between Frosty and Almighty Suspect fractured. The death of Nipsey Hussle, while far established by the time Frosty and company were coming up, cast a dark cloud across the entirety of the city's musical landscape.
Still, hope remains. Now free and ready to get his career back on track, Frosty is starting fresh. While imitators have sprung in his wake, Frosty insists there is no time for beef or bad blood, only money. His influence can be found in those who found success in his absence: Ron-Ron, who produced "MiLwauKee BucKs," was able to springboard the viral hit into a position as the scene's go-to beatmaker, while Mid-City rapper Blueface, whose similarly polarizing flow became the topic of a national debate, parlayed the controversy into a major-label record deal.
Today, Audiomack is exclusively premiering Frostydasnowmann's new single "Dead Beat." Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we sat down with Frosty to discuss his influential sound and what's next.
You call yourself SnowGurb lil Gurb. What does that mean?
[Gurb] could mean anything. It could mean a person, place or thing, but that’s me. It’s a noun, so it could mean anything. It’s been my name. My childhood name was Snow, and I just put Frostydasnowmann on it.
Describe your sound.
I would describe it as the new LA. The new LA wave was basically about getting on a beat and just being yourself, rapping about what you really doing. I’m a fly-ass n***a, that’s why I get on there and pop grease. Just wavy, it’s the new sound. There’s no describing it, you just have to be first place. I’m so first place, it’s ridiculous.
You are credited as one of the originators of this sound. Bring us back to those early days.
That shit was fun. It was fun creating the sauce and all that. We’re just on all new shit right now, though. Everybody went their own separate ways. We’re just trying to make more sauce, and spill more flavor.
You spent two years behind bars. What happened?
Shit, I got locked up because somebody snitched on me. Some weird ass n***a told on me and got me three years. I was chasing him with the gun because he was poppin’ it. I was chasing him and he told on me. His name’s Omario, straight bitch.
What was going through your head while you were locked up?
All types of shit goes through your head when you’re at the lowest point of your life. It’s stuff that I was thinking about that I don’t even want to share. You think about what you’re going to do when you get out, what opportunity you might be missing out on, all types of shit. But I was thinking of a plan though for when I got out: “I’m going to rap. I’m going to use my money like this. I’ma go buss down, etc.”
Did you write rhymes while you were locked up?
Sometimes. But sometimes, I couldn’t concentrate. I was really just on the yard thuggin’.
So you weren’t really doing music?
I was, but not really. Because I make music off of what’s happening now and what I’m around. I didn’t want to make too many jail songs because that’s weak. Nobody gives a fuck about that. I wanted to wait until I got out and got fly again. Now, I’m feeling myself.
How did prison shift your perspective?
It made me more mature. It made me look at life differently, see shit for what it is and see people for who they are. It made me focus more on what needs to be done, figure out what’s important and what’s not.
Almighty Suspect claims Blueface stole his flow. What’s your take?
Shit, I really don’t give a fuck. I’m just being in first place. I’m not worried about nobody else because I’m already in first place, so I don’t have to complain.
What does it mean to be in “first place”?
I’m just first place. First place Gurber. I ain’t trippin’ because I’m already in first place. It ain’t nothing for me to be mad [at]. I’m in my bag. I just am, it’s what it is. It’s what the world came to. I’m in first place. No cap.
You have to describe why you’re in first place, though.
I am describing why I’m in first place, because I’m him. I’m that n***a, no cap.
Are you still tight with Almighty Suspect?
Nah, not really.
What happened? He says he’s the Grimey Gurber, you guys have the same lingo...
No, I’m the Gurber. Because he told his mom on me. He left his backpack in a dine-and-dash, he told his mom, and she pressed me for some money. I wasn’t feeling it, no cap. This happened probably two years ago. Then I wasn’t feeling him because he got on the internet and was poppin’ it. Y’all shouldn’t even have known that we were arguing, that should’ve been only the gang. Y’all shouldn’t even know.
What happens in the next chapter of FrostydaSnowmann’s book?
We finna get rich. We finna take it to a whole other planet, first place type. Planet first place, period.
If a record label calls and offers you the right amount of money, are you taking the deal or staying independent?
It depends on what they’re talking about. It’s not just about the money, it's about what they can do with my brand. How many connections and how far they could take me... I don’t care about the money because I have money already. Can they make my music pop more? Can they get me out there more and get me connected to the right people? That’s what it’s about.
Is there anything else you’d like to let us know?
Shit, I’m SnowGurb lil Gurb. I’m first place Gurbin’. I stay first place all over the place.