Q&A With Montreal, Québec Based Hip Hop Artist GunDei

Congratulations on your latest Album release “The Place of the Skull”. We checked it out and we really enjoyed the fresh new sound & perspective on new Hip Hop coming out of Montreal, Québec. What motivated you to create this style of music. And how did you come up with your MC name GunDei?

Much appreciated, I’ve been doing music professionally for the last 20 years but been into music since youth. I started singing at church in Jersey at the New Jersey mass choir. My name GunDei is pronounced Gandhi like the Indian revolutionary. It is a mixture of two words ‘gun’ which symbolizes the uncut raw and material and the Latin word ‘dei ‘ which means gods and it symbolizes the artful, more intellectual or spiritual aspect of my persona.

How is the underground sound out in Montreal, Québec right now?

Montreal is particular in that there are technically two official languages, French and English. The hip-hop scene is divided between those two lines and since French is predominant, as a result it is also mostly French rap which is moving right now. There are a few English speaking artists who are releasing good material but there is an overall identity crisis in the society which is also reflected in the musical aesthetic.

Who are your biggest Hip Hop influences?

My biggest hip-hop influences are Special Ed in the late 80s, Ice Cube, NWA, Lauryn Hill, Kool G Rap, King Tee and Nas.

You recently dropped a new Album “The Place of the Skull” across all streaming platforms! Please give us some background on that project!? Could you tell me the inspiration behind the project and artwork?

The Place of the Skull title is inspired by the Bible. In the New Testament, it is said that this is the name of the location where Jesus was crucified. I appropriated as a cypher for the hood. I grew in Miami and Jersey but moving to Montreal Canada I quickly realized that there were hoods in Montreal similar to those I was familiar with in Miami and the people of these ghettos face similar circumstances and as an artist I see myself as a spokesperson for the hood in the same tradition as these emcees by who I was influenced. I came up with the concept for the artwork and my little bro @12kingdom_art put it together.

How does social media play a role in pushing GunDei music.

Since I am 100% independent, social media plays an important role in my career. I use various platforms to publish and advertise content with hopes of gaining more visibility for myself.

What are a few different moves you’re making for 2020 when it comes to your music career?

My main objective in 2020 is to consistently put out dope songs, gain media awareness and continue developing music industry relationships to help grow my fanbase. I got another EP on the way real soon by the way.

We have to ask, with all this social discourse and revolt in the USA, protesting and rioting, exposed police brutality toward blacks and BLM, how do you feel about this? We would love your perspective on the climate we are living in right now?

The question of the current socio-political climate right now in the USA is quite complex. I somewhat tackle that question on the album, specifically on the songs ‘Ghetto Wayz’ and ‘Against the System’. What I can say, for the moment, is that I believe that the opposing parties in the USA need to dialogue honestly, truthfully, with cool heads with the intent to come to a resolution which benefits everyone equitably…

Our most popular question….What is your definition of “Underground Hip Hop”?

In my opinion, underground hip-hop is the place where the culture is at its most authentic expressions before it is universalized to the greater public.

Where can our BLOG audience find your music and follow you on social media?

I’m on IG @iamgundei, you can also find me at https://gundei.bandcamp.com

Any Shout Outs?

Shoutout to UGHHBLOG for the support and woopwoop to my team #TCB.

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Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I'm dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.