When people think of rising Chicago Hip-Hop acts over the past few years that have truly emerged on the national scene, they usually think of Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa. But one name who should be mentioned more than he probably really actually is and I’m surprised isn’t mentioned more outside of just here in Chicago is, G Herbo. Recently over the last year or so signed to a partnership deal with RED Distribution through Epic Records, which he just a few short weeks ago released his mostly critically-acclaimed recent collaboration album with producer Southside, Swervo. Which includes the hit title track that I thought would blow him more than it did. That’s one of the many reasons you would think he would be way bigger than what he is nationally. If Herb’s recent debut Lollapalooza performance here in his hometown of Chicago is any indication though, he is ready for a lot bigger and better things. Which is one of the many things I got a chance to talk with him about when I recently interviewed him before his debut Lollapalooza performance in Chicago’s famed Grant Park a couple of weeks ago on Thursday, Aug. 2nd for the opening day of this year’s Lollapalooza. So check out my recent interview with one of the top emcees in Chicago’s currently burgeoning Hip-Hop scene.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com: What’s good Herbo? My name is Nello Rubio and I’m with The Hip Hop Democrat.
G Herbo: What’s good? Nice to meet you too.
Nello: So being here and being from Chicago. What does it feel like to be playing Lollapalooza here in your hometown?
G Herbo: It feels good, man. Just being able to be a part of the whole Lollapalooza experience. Like I used to ride past Lake Shore on days when it was Lolla and it would be crazy and now I’m here. The experience is crazy. I could actually right now look out of my window from home and see this. I could see Lolla. So it’s just a really great experience and I’m really humbled by it. I feel like I’m just in a blessed situation to be here today. So I just gotta take advantage of it.
Nello: You’ve obviously been working with Mikkey (Halsted). How did that connection come about?
G Herbo: Yeah, me and Mikkey been together for some time now. You know the chemistry between me and that guy is crazy. Like he knows what I’m thinking. I think I know what he thinking. Without even talking or opening our mouths. So Mik seen this in me now when I was a 15-year-old kid gangbanging. Doing all the drugs I can get my hands on. That’s what I was a 15-year-old knucklehead and Mik saw this. He saw me, the 22-year-old guy that I’m today. He saw this in me before I seen it in myself. So it’s a blessing to have people around like that.
Nello: You obviously just dropped your album with Southside, Swervo. It’s been getting a lot of positive feedback. You think you guys are going to be working together more in the future?
G Herbo: Yeah, for sure. Me and the chemistry between me and Southside is crazy too. Like he pushes me. He pushes me to touch my full level of artistry, if you want to say that. He kinda brings out the artist in the back of me somewhere that I don’t really touch. So you definitely can for sure can count on more music from me and Southside in the near future soon. 100 %
Nello: Who are some other Chicago artists you haven’t really worked that you want to?
G Herbo: You know, Juice WRLD. Me and Juice WRLD, got some shit we’ve been working on a lot of shit recently. Me and Bibby of course. Bibby in the cut taking a break from the music scene. But me and him about to get back like never before. So me and Bibby, me and Juice WRLD. You know me and Sosa might do the Global Land mixtape. You never know. Chicago is just in a good space for music right now. The Machine been putting their hands on everything that’s coming out of Chicago. You know so if it ain’t, The Machine, it’s 150 Dreams Team. Chicago is just in a good space for music right now.
Nello: Yeah, especially with Hip-Hop. Chicago is in a really good space. So kinda playing off that. Who’s some of the other artists out of Chicago right now that others may not know that you would like to put people on?
G Herbo: Nia Kay. That’s who comes to my head first. She’s an artist that if like at least, but probably for sure top three for sure coming out of Chicago. And she like only 16 or 17. So Nia Kay she’s an artist I fvcks with and my dude 40. I got an artist named 40 that’s coming out on 150 Dream Team. That’s going to be my main priority really soon. So you can definitely look out for little 40. I’m going to put my whole everything behind him. 100 % of me. For sure, Nia Kay, that’s one of my favorites here right now, she’s a girl. 40, that’s an extension of me, right there.
Nello: Finally before I close out, who are some of your influences you had that really got you into Hip-Hop and what else can people expect from you coming up?
G Herbo: Influenced wise. I always looked up to JAY-Z, Wayne and those guys. Like even, Bump J I looked up to really crazy. Even just before I wanted to make music, I just looked up to him. Like street n^**a. I always wanted to be hood famous and I really wasn’t. Like I wanted to be that n^**a in the hood and that’s what Bump J was. So that was everything to me and to all upcoming artists and just for the people everywhere and my fans I just want to say. Just keep striving and going for whatever you’re going through and believe in, even in your hardest and darkest times, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.