The Source got the chance to link up with Bronx rapper Fred The Godson as he prepares ahead of the drop his second project of 2020, Payback. It comes five months removed from the God Level LP and two months after from Training Day hosted by comedian Jay Pharaoh.
During our interview at the Heatmakerz studio in Manhattan’s Diamond District, the “LeBron & Serena” penman spoke on a variety of topics from recent celebrity deaths within Black culture to his plans musically for 2020.
The Source: We are here in the Diamond District with the Bronx own Fred The Godson, I just felt like I needed money to be over here. Is this the get money area?
Fred The Godson: [Laughing] Yeah this the get money to spend money to lose money. Yeah, everything is money that’s the main word over here.
What’s it like performing in your city and knowing that you got it?
It’s energy. It’s nothing like that New York energy to me. I rep the city so hard, I thrive on putting the city on my back you know what I’m saying? I’m just a New Yorker to the heart.
I definitely feel it when I’m hearing the music too. It’s dudes like you, Dipset, that sound is just so New York. Even today when New York sound to a lot of people changed, it’s still those bars. Is it difficult performing in other cities?
Nah. I still get the same feeling and I get a good reaction. You just never know how many people miss the bar talk. Right now it’s been better than its been in years you know. Shout out to the Griselda boys. Right now we getting to it. We getting back to it slowly but surely.
With me going and never changing up. Staying hip-hop, staying lyrical, I go to these towns and they go crazy. Even right now for the first time, I dropped a project and I had God Level on physical copies and records and sold a whole bunch of them joints. My records were going for $150 so.
I think you have that fan base that will invest in what you are doing It’s not a lot of artists that have that.
Yeah so, I’m grateful for that but they want to hear that fire. They want them bars and it’s still a place for that. I’m just thankful.
Speaking of the God Level album, what made you pick that title?
It’s just the highest level you can go to tap into. Like that’s what I feel I do, I give it my all like however you want to rate it, I feel like I’m tapping into God level. The bars are different, metaphors is different. It was two titles we had, me and Rsonist, Heatmakers, it was like God Speed or God Level so we went with God Level.
You got Jim Jones on there, Axel Leon, Benny the Butcher. How do you put together your features?
No gimmicks. That’s the way it was before. I always thrive and look at the greats. Shout out to Travis, these dudes is dope. In their own way they’re dope and I think they’re dope as well it’s just for me, I always look at what I call the Mt. Rushmore of hip-hop which is Biggie, Jay, Nas, Pun, Eminem, those dudes I mimic that. That’s what I came up under.
I see on your gram you spending a lot of family time. You’ve got a wife and kid now, going to daddy-daughter dances and stuff like that. How is that from growing up in the Bronx probably running around and stuff to now you’ve got this family that you got to take care of?
See with me, I was fortunate out of all my friends growing up I always had my mother and my father. We were from a shelter but we were always together no matter what. In the beginning it was rough, real rough. My father was addicted to crack and used to sell everything in the house.
He’s clean now, for over 20 years. Him and my mother still together they live in Florida. But I always had that so I always seen no matter what it is you got to take care of the family. I got a beautiful wife and she’s real supportive of me and she just so happens to be the best mom I know. Like, she’s really a hands-on mom and I’m a dad that will do everything that I can possibly do and I’m so busy but she fills that in.
We lost Nip, we lost Mac, Pop Smoke just passed, Kobe, Juice Wrld, XXXtentacion all these artists and people that we just admire are dying. Which one hit you the hardest?
Kobe. Because… that never happens. That never… it kind of looked crazy. I was in [the studio] at the desk and I’m writing and I looked at my phone and it popped up. Kobe, dead from TMZ and I put the phone down and I pushed it away. I said no way in the world.
Ten seconds later I stopped because my little brother has a daughter and his daughter plays basketball, he has twin girls. Everything Kobe does, he does with his daughter. So I hit him… I said ‘Yo, you good?’ He said ‘yeah.’ In my mind I’m like I know that s–t was fake. I hung up. Then like ten seconds later he face timed me back and I looked and was like… as soon as I picked up that n—a tearing like ‘Yo, damn.’
Even when I got off the phone with my brother I went right to his post and it said 9 hours ago. That s–t didn’t seem real man. The whole day was just like a blur. and [Nipsey Hussle] s–t was hard too. I was tryna ask myself I think these deaths came hard because of the social media thing.
Why do you say that?
Because Nip’s death felt bigger than Tupac and Biggie’s put together and I know how I felt with Biggie’s s–t. I knew Nipsey so that was real bad.
I did want to ask if you got a chance to go to Pop Smoke’s funeral over in Brooklyn?
No, I missed it. I had a lot with my daughters and everything and here but I seen parts of it. It’s f—ed up man. You know, that boy had a promising future. Shout out to [50 Cent] though for what he did where he’s finishing up his album and he’s doing all this for him, getting him features, he probably couldn’t have got right now but soon.
Just to wrap things up I want to talk about the Payback mixtape dropping March 12th. What can we expect from that?
Heavy bar talk. I give y’all what y’all want. It’s gonna be heavy bar talk. This is just me giving back. I said I’m never going to leave y’all deserted again. I had to really evaluate myself because I was dropping traditionally once every year and a half. This is an era of no rules. So I had to be looking at my DM every day, it was this one girl who wrote to me like 4 times. ‘Yo Fred I love you, my whole family love you, you got to give us more, baby.’People from all over the world, Africa, London, everybody sending s–t. So I was just like you ow what, at the end of the year, as soon as I drop God Level that was gonna be the beginning of me flooding y’all.