In 2012, one of the artists to pique the interest of Hip Hop aficionados was the rapper Gunplay. The rapper had just departed from his group to embark on a solo music career. By the time 2012 rolled around, rap was having a progressive year, and the genre was breaking further into the mainstream. As such, there was no better time than the present for Gunplay to debut as a solo artist.
The MC was recently involved in a controversial case and has received backlash for allegedly pointing a gun at his partner and child. He currently faces allegations related to domestic violence and more. Gunplay has faced legal troubles and backlash throughout his career. Obviously, this has overshadowed his music and professional career. As a result of this, many have understandably struggled to separate the artist from his personal issues.
Background & Musical Career Beginnings
Miami rapper Gunplay was born Richard Morales Jr. on July 18, 1979. Growing up, Morales struggled with academics and dropped out of school at the age of 15. The following year, a 16-year-old Morales started selling and using drugs. The rapper shared in an interview with Complex that during that time, he was spending a lot of money weekly on his habit.
“I was 16 years old. I used to sell coke, and one day I just tried it, and I liked it,” he said. He continued by revealing he got hooked on the drug. “I ain’t put it down since. I used to spend around $600 to $700 a week on drugs. [After my label deal], I spent thousands of dollars a week.”
Before he struggled with drug abuse, Morales developed an early interest in music. Eventually, he started rapping as a teen. Several years later, he became associated with the Carol City Cartel. The local rap group was founded by rapper and label executive Rick Ross in 2005. Morales became popularly known by his stage name, Gunplay. Likewise, he rose to prominence as a member of Carol City Cartel alongside rappers Torch and Youngbreed.
Gunplay & Triple C’s
Meanwhile, the rap group was eventually popularly referred to as “Triple C’s.”. Their introduction to the rap scene was achieved through a feature on Rick Ross’s debut album, Port of Miami. Triple C’s was featured on the track "It Ain’t a Problem." Subsequently, in 2008, the group was featured again on the Ross track “Reppin’ My City.” The song appeared on the rapper’s sophomore studio album, Trilla.
Thereafter, Triple C’s debut album, Custom Cars & Cycles, dropped in 2009. It is the group’s sole album and achieved moderate commercial success. The album peaked at No. 44 on the Billboard 200 chart. Gunplay gained significant recognition, leading to the rapper snagging a solo deal with Def Jam in 2012.
Although he did not sign a solo deal until 2012, Gunplay’s debut was actually in 2009. During his Triple C’s run, he appeared as the eponymous feature on the Rick Ross song “Gunplay.” He had an impressive feature run thereafter, spanning a couple of years before and after he got signed. The MC’s first mixtape, 601 & Snort, was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. His debut studio album followed three years after that, in 2015.
The album, Living Legend, received generally positive reviews upon release for its raw and unfiltered style. In 2019, Gunplay shared a collaboration album with rapper Mozzy. Further, Gunplay is expected to appear on Self Made 4, a long-awaited and highly anticipated collaborative project from Maybach Music Group.
Personal Life & Controversies
Besides his musical endeavors, the rapper is also a father to two children. The first, a son, was born in 2004 by his ex-wife, whom he separated from in 2008. His second child is a daughter he shares with a 24-year-old Instagram model. Recently, she accused him of domestic and child abuse, among other claims. Unfortunately, this is not the first time the rapper has been accused of violence. In 2012, the Gunplay allegedly pointed a firearm at his accountant.
Additionally, and throughout his career, Gunplay has dealt with numerous legal issues and controversies. One of his most notable involves the swastika tattoo he has. The rapper has also struggled with substance abuse and has been open about his efforts to overcome addiction. His recent alleged actions, though, if true, mean that he still has quite a ways to go with his personal growth.