The Only Rapper Who Matters: Tuantigabelas

After his featured rapping in the new arrangement of Sheila on 7’s Dan with Pee Wee Gaskins, he released his second singe titled Do It, Upi – better known as Tuantigabelas, is currently working on his upcoming solo album and tons of project collaborations. For the latter, Upi will be making a soundtrack for movie that is still kept secret. And for the good news, either on late November or early December, Upi promised us to release his long-awaited album. So what’s the fun during the process of his album making? Gotta read fast on Letter f’s little encounter with Tuantigabelas.


Now tell us more about your solo album then.

“So this is my first solo album under my rapper name, Tuantigabelas. The process itself is taking a pretty long time, I’m completing my materials since last year. But last year I mostly worked on collaboration with other musicians to find my own color. Until earlier this year, I finally found and confident about the red thread to my album. Since then I’m making and collecting the materials and songs for the album. I hope I can make it to 13 tracks for this album, but if I can’t make it through the deadline, then I’ll release any tracks that I have (laugh). Thus while working on it, a lot of my fellow hip-hop musicians helped me, but I’m working hard by myself for the rest of it. Yet in this album, I minimalize the rapper featuring – I only featured singers, because I know when we are singing live it’ll be a little hard on the process.”

How about the theme within it?

“The main theme in this album is to tell people who listen to my music – or haven’t listened to it, to know that I will make our hip-hop scene gets the spotlight they deserve globally. I want people think of something like, ‘whoa hip-hop music is this good’ or ‘hip-hop music can be accepted by anyone’. I really want to build up that kind of image to hip-hop so everyone can listen to it without being judged or anything. I want people start to have that mindset.”

The unforgettable track during the producing?

“There is one. It’s my first single which released back in April. The title is Count Your Blessing. The story behind it was when I got stuck for two weeks in my own studio, my daughter often came to the studio, played there and hummed some sounds. And the funny thing was the sound that she made around that time became the main chorus in that song. I mean, I got nothing to write for a whole two weeks, and then that little bean came up to me and I used her humming sound, and it happened so fast. I finished the song the next day sharp. The song always reminds me on how hard it is to make a song without an inspiration and she helped me by became one.”

We’re curious about your thoughts on the dissing drama between Eminem and Machine Gun Kelly.

“Apart from the gimmick or marketing strategy, I really enjoyed the drama. Hip-hop is back on its track at last. For me, diss track is something healthy for the hip-hop community and it’s long gone from the surface. When Eminem spat a few bars out, MCG threw one whole diss track to him, and Eminem responded back with a freaking whole song – that’s it, that’s the hip-hop I’ve been looking for. It’s very exciting to see hip-hop scene these days. I kept checking it online to know whether they release new diss track or not. And I do enjoy that kind of hip-hop.”

So, dissing culture in hip-hop is important?

“Exactly! It’s like a freedom of speech for rappers. And we have that free platform to do so. But take some note, you can do diss track as long as your intention is clear. If you don’t like someone, just say it clearly with a good quality track, or even better diss track to them. Don’t just mock them without apparent reason and just for the spotlight – that’s not how you do it. Diss track at first is a positive way to compete and to avoid conflict and show them with their work and creation. But again we need to know out limit because diss track could kill.”


Location: 3rd Avenue Bar Jakarta
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Photographer: Vicky Melly
Fashion Stylist: Salsabila Aletha Sari & Ervina Michelle
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Videographer: Iqbal Safei


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