Flipp Dinero Tells Us How Church, Poetry & Drake’s Co-Sign All Led to ‘Love for Guala’

“You gotta stay humble, stay winning and put your head down. Let your actions speak for you.”

Flipp Dinero isn’t shy to talk about the journey leading up to Love for Guala. Just days before the Nov. 22 release of this project, the 24-year-old rapper pulled up to ONE37pm’s office in New York City, dripping in designer clothes and custom accessories. When it was time to talk about the new project, the Brooklyn-born artist was nothing short of humble, singing the praises of everyone who has helped him along the way, including God. 

In 2018, Flipp Dinero rose to fame after the release of “Leave Me Alone,” which garnered co-signs from Drake and DJ Khaled, which resulted in instant stardom and credibility for Flipp. A year later, Flipp is releasing a project full of new music. Blending vulnerable lyrics with impeccable production, Love for Guala has the capacity to resonate with listeners on an emotional level. “People tend to think of rappers in this generation as mumble artists, but I’m not a mumble rapper. I sing, I do poetry and I actually put thoughts into my lyrics,” he told me in a candid interview.

The 13-track project provides a permanent home for “Leave Me Alone” and includes features from Rich the Kid, Jay Critch, Lil Baby and Kodak Black. Flipp recently released “How I Move,” the second track and latest single from Love for Guala, to give fans a snippet of the project. “How I Move” attracted more than 1 million streams in just three days. ONE37pm got to listen to Love for Guala before it came out to ask Flipp about his creative process and the elements that drive his artistry. 

ONE37pm: Tell us about your inspiration for Love for Guala. What were your goals when making this project and what do you hope fans will take away from it? 

Flipp Dinero: The trials and tribulations I was going through and the pain I was facing. There are certain points that I’m making in certain songs. The message that I want to get across is that Flipp isn’t just a stereotypical artist, there’s more to me. I’m more vibrant and deeper than you think. I’m more cautious and more conscious. People tend to think of rappers in this generation as mumble artists, but I’m not a mumble rapper. I sing, I do poetry and I actually put thoughts into my lyrics.  

Which song is your favorite from the project and why? 

Flipp Dinero: “Take a Little Time.” It captures a vibe and is a perfect description of me. It’s smooth and expresses how I feel to the people that I love. It’s the type of music when you’re on the highway and driving, 65, 70, smoking, you’re just chilling. 

What made you want to collab with Rich the Kid, Jay Critch, Lil Baby and Kodak Black on this project?

Flipp Dinero: I just love the vibe that they all bring in their music. Jay Critch is my brother, we’re good friends. When I pitched the track to him, he loved it instantly. He gave me a verse, just like that. Rich the Kid is like my big bro. He blessed me with a verse and I was thankful for that and he knows I got him with whatever he needs. Kodak Black, we did it one some Haitian shit. He sent me the verse, and when we linked up in person, it was all love—we hugged each other, dapped each other up, we conversed for a little while and that was it. Lil Baby, the streets wanted that, so I had to give them that.  

What’s working with DJ Khaled like? 

Flipp Dinero: Khaled is really positive. He’s very passionate about his craft. What you see online is really him. He’s really hands-on with his craft and alert. He’s the best, we the best. Khaled motivates me to keep going harder, that’s really my big brother. 

As I got older, I did poetry, I participated in poetry contests and I just mixed the poetry with the singing, and that’s how the rapping bars came about. I elevated with it, I meditated on it, and it grew. 

- Flipp Dinero

Tell us about your relationship with music. When did you start rapping and singing and what made you decide to pursue a career in it?

Flipp Dinero: I’ve been making music all my life. I grew up in the church, and my mother and father were singing in the choir. So it was just instilled in me to sing. It just so happens, as I got older, I did poetry, I participated in poetry contests, and I just mixed the poetry with the singing and that’s how the rapping bars came about. I elevated with it, I meditated on it, and it grew. 

What were you doing before pursuing music full-time?

Flipp Dinero: I was definitely in the hood, trapping. Doing my thing. I had like two, three, 9-to-5s, but I quit. I couldn’t do it. I was in college, getting good grades, but I just felt music was my calling, so I quit everything. I quit my job, dropped out of college and just devoted my time to music. I just knew I wouldn’t be emotionally satisfied if I wasn’t doing what I was passionate about. 

So you’re first-generation Haitian, tell us about how your upbringing and growing up in Brooklyn trickles into your music and creative process. 

Flipp Dinero: I grew up in a household that was very strict. My mother and father always instilled being as smart as I can possibly be. They also told me that common sense isn’t that common. That stuck with me, and I always challenged myself as a young kid to be better than all the young kids in my age bracket. I just turned 24, but I tell everyone all the time, “Yo, I don’t feel 24, I feel 30, 35,” but I am still learning. And being in Brooklyn, I was born in Flatbush and I moved to Canarsie, and that area is what molded me. I’ve seen a lot of shit, and it just pushed me to be different. 

Your song “Leave Me Alone” arguably skyrocketed your career. Just two months after its release, it went gold. A month after that, it went platinum. It made Apple Music’s The A List: Hip Hop playlist and Spotify's popular RapCaviar playlist. Tell us about that experience. Were you expecting it? Did you ever think, “Yeah, this one is gonna be the hit”?

Flipp Dinero: Nah, not even. When I made that song, it was just another one in the books. I always made music and I have a lot of songs that are tucked, but to see the way the song caught flight is what baffled me. I was like, “Oh, shit, this shit is really climbing,” and when Drake had posted it, I was on tour with Tory Lanez. I was sleeping in an SUV, doing a 48-state tour, going hard, it was super hard. But, I woke up in the SUV and I’m looking at my phone, and I’m seeing all these notifications from people saying Drake just posted my track. I found out through other people, from social media, that’s why it’s so essential. And from that point on, it took off. Bonkers. Crazy. Khaled showed me love too, and it skyrocketed. The whole effect was crazy.

In an interview with MTV, you mentioned that you read the Bible frequently and owe a lot of your success to God, tell us a little bit about your religious faith and the impact it has had on staying grounded and humble.

Flipp Dinero: Of course. Growing up in a Haitian household and having spiritual parents from the Caribbean, it changes your outlook on shit. Your third eye is just a little stronger. My mother would tell me that she had a dream that something bad had happened and to not go outside, so I would stay in all day and something bad would literally happen. So I keep my faith in God, I remain spiritual and humble. I have a temper though, don’t get it fucked up, I’m a savage. Haha. But you gotta stay humble, stay winning and put your head down. Let your actions speak for you. 

You’re known for having a raspy, grungy voice and spoken about turning auto-tune down in the past. How do you think your voice sets you apart and what makes you give autotune a hard pass?

Flipp Dinero: I’m just not a fan of it. When other people do it, it sounds cool. But when I do it, it’s just not me. I want people to hear the pain and really feel what I’m saying. I want them to hear my pronunciation when I say a word a certain type of way. I don’t need you to put a corrector on it. Some tracks people play with, if I’m trying to go a certain type of route, like a radio route, then I’ll experiment with it, but as far as it goes with me and my preference, I’m not for it. I just don’t do it. 

You’re big on consistency, how do you feel it’s helped in your success? 

Flipp Dinero: Consistency has helped my success in multiples ways. A lot of people get it misconstrued. Just because you don’t show what you’re doing on the forefront doesn’t mean you’re not working. I feel like people thought “Leave Me Alone” was going to make me a one-hit wonder. And I get it, because y’all didn’t hear from me for a long time. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t working. So now I have this body of work that’s about to drop, and it’s filled with a bunch of bangers. And the fact that the “How I Move” snippet I gave got 1 million-plus streams in three days can speak for my consistency. 

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Flipp Dinero and writer Brianna Holt / Sarah Jacobs for ONE37pm

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