Gunplay on His Swastika Tattoo, Starting Escort Agency, Rebranding Himself as Don Logan

When Gunplay drops his Def Jam debut, Medellin, there's a strong possibility he may do so under a different name. Turns out, Gunplay isn't exactly a corporate-friendly moniker. When Maybach Music Group were invited to participate in a freestyle cypher segment at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards, producers not only balked at letting Gunplay appear, they barred the other MCs from from even saying his name.

Enter Don Logan, an alter ego the rapper adopted from the 2000 British crime drama Sexy Beast co-starring Ben Kingsley as a determined enforcer capable of flipping from unnervingly calm to raging psychopath in less than a split second. After becoming a rabid fan of the film, Gunplay introduced the persona on a 2010 mixtape of the same name.

"When I saw his attitude in the movie, I was like that's me," the rapper barks. "We're gonna make the transition, so we don't have to go on BET and they call me G-Play. No! The name is Don. Logan. If you don't like that, it's Jupiter Jack. Welcome to my universe! Yeah!"

But Gunplay's name isn't the only baggage likely to give him trouble as his profile grows. There's also the matter of his fascination with Nazi iconography, specifically the large swastika tattoo on his neck. Though there's nothing to suggest that the MC of mixed Jamaican and Puerto Rican parentage harbors anti-Semitic views, there's also no justifiable reason in the average person's mind to get such a tainted symbol tattooed on one's body.

Still, Gunplay has a fairly complex explanation for the tattoo. And hoping to elaborate, he reached out to New Times after his comments in an interview with music blog Pigeons and Planes became a hot topic on Twitter and music websites last month.


"The swastika was a Chinese symbol back in the day, meaning love, peace and prosperity," Gunplay says. "When Hitler picked it as a symbol for his Third Reich, it was right side up. And after he got in power, he turned it to the left, and that's when it got corrupt.

"That's basically the same thing that happened with me. We're born innocent and the way you grow up, the people you're surrounded by, the environment, it turns you crooked. It turns you into that bad person, that thug, that undesirable element."

It's a foregone conclusion that the flak Gunplay receives for the tattoo will only increase as he becomes better known. Yet he has no plans to cover it up. "If anyone don't like it, fuck them," he says before letting out a hearty laugh. "[Unless] I go to prison or they kill my ass, I don't care."

Gunplay's uncompromising brashness leaves little room for indifference. Music websites and online video commenters tend to peg him either as an iconoclastic evil genius, an imbecile, or worse. But with non-threatening, Drake-style emo rap becoming hip-hop's new norm, it seems the door is wide open for an incorrigible anti-hero to make the genre dangerous again, in much the same way DMX, high and freshly sprung from prison, did at the height of the Bad Boy era some 14 years ago.

"What my mama used to say?" Gunplay asks, rhetorically. "Sometimes you gotta play the fool to catch the wise. You might think I'm retarded and dumb. Cool, I like to keep an air of unpredictability around me. I might dap you up, smile, and slap you in the face. I don't even know what I'm gonna do next."

Actually, if this rap thing doesn't work out, Gunplay already has a backup plan. He's already preparing to launch his Apples and Onions Executive Escort Agency this fall. The business concept: Export his Miami-style, street-level pimp skills across the U.S., starting with Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, where he'll be temporarily relocating in September to begin operations.

"This has been my dream since I was a kid," Gunplay says. "Since I broke my first bitch, I always knew, 'Yeah, I'm gonna own an escort service. I'm gonna take this po' pimpin' to some mo' pimpin'."

Asked if Def Jam might have any reservations about its latest signee treading into such dubious legal waters, Gunplay doesn't appear the least bit concerned. "If they didn't like it, they'll be fucked up 'cause I'm doing it."

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What a fine example of reverse evolution. Not just the piece of garbage featured here, but all of us for even taking the time to read/write about this failed abortion. Myself included. Humanity is struggling.

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