G Herbo is one of Chicago’s most triumphant acts in the last 10 years. His rise to rap acclaim is unlike many others due to his intentional route to stay independent. Although independence has become a buzz-worthy topic in the music industry, it is not as glamourous as people make it seem. Creatives like Nipsey Hussle(Rest In Paradise), Russ, and Herb have all set the tone for what independent success can look like for an artist. During our insightful conversation, Herbo made it known that the independent route is a grind that is not for everyone. He and his team have been through plenty of ups and downs leading to this point. On his new album 25, you hear the young rap vet reflecting on his unlikely rise to prominence on various tracks. Realistically, anyone who is a fan of G Herbo knew he would get here due to his tenacity and unrivaled work ethic.
When I first heard the new album title, my first thought was the infamous Kanye lyric from College Dropout. “We wasn’t supposed to make it past 25. Jokes on you; we’re still alive”. Coming from a city like Chicago, it is well known that the streets can take hold of the youth. Therefore, G Herbo making it to his 25th birthday was already a win. Moreover, becoming a Platinum recording artist, amazing father of 2, and philanthropist in his city is simply amazing. We all have our trials and tribulations, but the path the Windy City MC took is not one anyone would willingly choose. In our latest sit-down, we discussed his growth as a man, his ascension as a musician, and his new LP 25.
Check out our impressive dialogue below!
AD: First things first, please introduce yourself to those who do not know who G Herbo is?
G Herbo: What’s good, I’m G Herbo! From the Eastside of Chicago, and I consider myself one of the top-tier rappers of my generation.
AD: You just had a child, congrats! Can you talk about that and how things have changed for you since your first son?
G Herbo: I appreciate that a lot! My biggest challenge is making time between my career and raising my children. I have matured a lot since I had Yosohn. I’m focused on being more reliable and just making sure my presence is felt.
AD: You are Chicago through and through. Can you talk about what your city means to you? Did you ever think you would be such a role model for your area?
G Herbo: Man, no, I did not! I was in the streets heavy. That is why I do my best to give back because I was misguided when I was younger. I want to make my city powerful. Providing resources is important to me, and that is my goal for Chicago. It’s just as important to me as music. People expect this level of care for the city from me now. My presence is felt in the city, and I am happy to be that.
So if I were to ever have a beef with you man it would be one thing. Why can I not find any air forces in the stores anymore?! You made them too popular!
G Herbo: Man, I probably have like 70 pairs in my home right now. It is funny because someone just told me that they could not find any out in the stores because of the pandemic. It is crazy. I am probably the reason they are out of stock because I have like 3-4 footlockers worth of size 9 G Fazos for sure.
Growth is the underlying theme throughout the whole ‘25’ LP. Was that the intent?
G Herbo: To be honest, the whole project is a story about my life and how proud I am for even getting to this point. I started with songs like “I Don’t Wanna Die” because that was my life. I spent so many days risking my life or freedom by being in the streets. My story is what it is because I will always be a product of my environment. There are only two outcomes of the life I was living, and it is death or jail. When I get in the studio, I speak from the heart and the mind. I feel like my fans are going to learn something from this project, and that is important.
AD: Outside of all the impressive features on your project, you have your son Yosohn on there man. Can you talk about what that means to you?
G Herbo: Man, that’s my guy foreal. He’s a real studio baby/set baby. He is always in there with me, and he is really someone I like to hang with always. Having him on my album is powerful, and it is something dope that I want to leave with him, you know. When he grows up, he will always be able to go back to that. He’s starting to feel it more now. He will ask to listen to my music in the guy and everything.
AD: Shout out to my guy Cole! Tracks likes like “Statement” are my favorite beats for me to hear you rap on. What is it about samples that get you in your bag?
G Herbo: Man! I love samples bro. It’s something about them that connects with me always. I don’t know if it is because of my love for older music or what gets me hype. Honestly, I cannot get away from those samples. They are always going to be there for me.
AD: Coming from Chicago, it is known that Kanye is well known for his amazing work chopping samples. Have you ever thought about getting a sample beat from Ye?
G Herbo: Nah, I have not, but I really should and want to. We have worked together before, but I do not know where those songs will go. Through The Wire is my favorite song ever, and I would love to have him flip that song so I can rap over it. I might actually have to do that! Put that pressure on me, bro, because I am going to deliver.
AD: Tyler The Creator said, once he turned 25 everything started to make sense. Do you feel that way?
G Herbo: Bruh! I swear I was telling somebody that the other day. As soon as I turned 25, my mind was on a whole other level. It was like in a split second; there was really a switch that flipped in my brain. Everything about my thought process changed, and I felt it through the way I handled things.
AD: If you had dinner and could only invite 5 people whose work you enjoy(DOA) who would those people be?
G Herbo: Man, I would say Maple & Ash is my favorite spot in the city. I would take my grandmother; first, she passed away. I would take Hov, Lauryn Hill, No I.D., and last but not least, I would take Fred Hampton. Honestly, we would have to go to the studio after to have all of them in the same room sharing stories. My grandmother being there would really help them learn so much about me. She is crazy, and no one would expect me to think the way I do if they knew how I was raised.
AD: You also have a team of talented people on your own label. Can you tell us about your plans for them in the near future?
G Herbo: I am super excited because I am finally in a position that I can fill buckets for myself. It is so important for me to see Pretty Savage win. That’s my little sister. My little brother, 40 and 08Mar from Florida, are both talented. Now that we have secured this partnership with Universal/Republic, I know that they will have the resources to build up 150 Dream Team/Machine. I want to sit back and focus on them. Just giving them my undivided attention is important. I know we can build a powerhouse if I take the time to do. Now is the time to do it!
I am an independent artist man, so I really took the stairs. I am just now getting to the position where I can provide them with the help that they need. It was important to get to the biggest I can be to focus on helping build them up truly. It is going to take more than one person that just myself. We have to do it the right way when we do it.
AD: It is crazy for someone who does not have the quintessential “radio-friendly” hit records, at your shows, everyone knows each word! How excited are you to get back on the road?
G Herbo: Bro, I am super geeked to get back and perform in front of my fans. My last tour got cut short due to the pandemic, and that was tough. We were only like 12 dates in when we had to stop. My fans are super loyal, and they always know the lyrics to all the songs I make. We are going to announce my next tour soon, and everyone will have the details very soon. I cannot wait. Truthfully, I strongly believe in giving upcoming acts a chance on tour.
AD: Is there anything you want your fans to know about you coming up for the rest of the year?
G Herbo: I am still working, and I hope they know I will probably drop another project soon. I want to keep my foot on the gas this time around. My fans should stay prepared for those tour dates to drop and know that I will not be taking any breaks.
Be sure to follow Herbo on social media and check out his strong new album 25 here below!