“I’m from Gwinnett, I love God, and I make dope stuff.”
Christian Hip-Hop newcomer WHATUPRG is the name on everyone’s lips lately as he has appeared as a feature on nobigdyl.’s “Venus,” Lawren’s “Slums,” and Mogli the Iceburg’s upcoming “Ride My Own.”
The 20-year-old already has experience far beyond his years. He raps, produces, does graphic design, edits videos, and just likes to be involved in creating.
His first foray into music was as a seven-year-old doing covers from church to church at kids services. At age 12 he started writing his own music.
“My parents helped me pay for an album when I was 14. It was mostly trash,” he said with a laugh.
RG wanted to save his parents some money and learn to do everything he needed himself. His father bought him a Mac with Garageband and “nothing was the same.”
Throughout the last few years he has always been working on an album but it never comes out because he isn’t satisfied with it. RG went through a season of self-consciousness.
A year ago he met dyl and DJ Mykael V and all those guys encouraged him to keep pushing. That’s when he started believing himself a little more.
From there he started building relationships in Christian hip-hop including Derek Minor, Lawren, and Mogli the Iceburg.
“I’m in a group chat with these guys and we talk every day,” he said.
Of his features, he said he likes the one with Mogli the best because he raps on it, unlike the hooks he does with nobigdyl. and Lawren. In fact, he said he sent dyl. two different choruses for Canopy and he wound up picking the one he liked less.
“My friends don’t believe in me enough,” he said with plenty of sarcastic shade.
As a producer, RG has a few things in the works that he can’t say. So far he has produced for himself and his friends in high school. As a graphic designer, he did nobigdyl.’s artwork for “Purple Dinosaur” and “Tree Tops.”
“Right now I’m learning to trust in God and trust the process,” he said. “It’s not my own strength and my own abilities, it’s by the grace of God.”
He’s currently working on an EP with Juice Bangers and is beginning to write. People have an idea of what his sound is right now, so he wants to expand on that not put himself in a box.
“I want it to be very introspective,” he revealed.
WHATUPRG also wants to speak on a higher level as a Latino because he thinks they are underrepresented in hip-hop. However, that’s changing.
As far as music that’s out, RG has two singles, “Don’t Forget to Live” and “Where U Been?”
“Don’t Forget to Live” has a music video that was shot in Walmart. It actually wasn’t expected to do much, but it’s success forced him to push back another single called, “Came Through.”
He posted on Twitter, “20 retweets and I’ll shoot a video at Walmart tonight.”
“It happened and we shot the video and it took off the next day,” he shared.
RG and his crew went to an empty Walmart at around midnight. They had no idea what they were going to do but decided to just have fun.
“Someone asked what we were doing and Mykael said, ‘We are shooting a Christian music video’. So that helped and they said just keep it down,” RG said laughing.
Most of the night went without a hitch until the last shot.
“We got in the scooter to shoot the last shot, and the lady said, ‘My manager said if ya’ll don’t appear to be disabled, you shouldn’t be riding those.’ Mykael was carrying a cart around with his gear. There was candy in there that we were gonna buy, and she came over and pulled it out the cart because she thought we were going to steal it.”
Overall, the experience was well worth it because he got some mild viral exposure on the song among his peers.
Watch WHATUPRG Below:
Circling back to his peers, he appreciates all the knowledge they’ve imparted him and hopes to do the same to the generation after him.
“The problem with people my age is that they think they got it all together,” he said. “I just want to influence more people. Influence my generation. Kind of being what all these guys I’m talking to now, mean to me. The other day Marty shouted me out and I was trippin’ because when I was 14, Social Club was my favorite of all time. Listening to Marty rap about being a normal kid going through things, really let me understand that I don’t have to have it all together and have all the answers but as long as I trust in God, it’ll be ok.”
He continued, “I just want the kids to know they’re not alone. A lot of times we get so caught up in life that we forget there’s God.”
In the meantime, RG is going to continue working on this debut project so he can become the influence he strives to be.
…One more thing…the name is WHAT-UP-RG.
“My name was always RG and I changed it a week before Canopy dropped for SEO purposes. I went through two weeks of trying to find a new name but they were all whack. My friend suggested WHATUPRG because those are my handles on social media.”