G Herbo’s debut Welcome to Fazoland mixtape arrived in September of 2012, officially, and rightfully entering him into the ranks of the rising class of Hip-Hop’s future. Now five years later, give or take a few days, Herbo will finally unleash his long-awaited studio debut in the form of Humble Beast, set to invade speakers on September 22.
Since its inception, Herb’s career has boasted decorated honors, including memorable guest spots alongside Nicki Minaj, fellow hometown heroes Common and Chance the Rapper, and the well-earned distinction of being a XXL Freshman in 2016. For those unfamiliar with G Herbo’s sound, a catalog of five projects to date boasts his clear contribution in the resurgence of willful lyricism amid a dominating drill scene in his native Chicago.
Ahead of the release of Humble Beast, we caught up with the 21-year old emcee as he broke down the formula behind the forthcoming culmination of everything that’s made him the artist he is today.
You previously said that you wanted Humble Beast to be a merge between Reasonable Doubt and Illmatic. When you said that, were you pointing to the sound you’re bringing this time or the influence overall?
The influence. I want it to have the same influence as Reasonable Doubt; Illmatic. It’s going to grasp who I am, my story, where I come from, who I wanna be. Illmatic and Reasonbale Doubt told a story about where Nas and Jay-Z come from, where they wanna be and where they are now, what it took to get there. That’s what I want my album to resemble.
Is there any particular story, or content that you’re bringing into the project that you previously haven’t brought to the table before?
It reflects on everything that I’ve been through in my life, you know what I’m saying? It shows who I am today. It tells the story of me being a sixteen, seventeen year old young man from Chicago, growing up in a poverty stricken neighborhood to me doing everything that I’m doing now.
Image via Eric Johnson
Aside from Humble Beast, you’re also working on a few joint projects, you got Swervo with Southside and No Limitations with Bibby. As humble beast rolls out are you going to start shifting your focus on wrapping those up?
My focus is still going to be on Humble Beast; promoting it. I’m putting a big tour together, Humble Beast tour, and I’ll pretty much be touring all of October, all of November. I want it to be a memorable experience for my fans. I want to leave them with a piece of me. That’s my focus on top of getting out Swervo and No Limitations. It’s all the same thing. It’s all the same boat. I can’t put my focus more into one thing than the other. That’s what being an artist is all about–being able to balance out all of the things that you have to focus on.
As far as everything you’ve been doing to prepare for this moment, can you pinpoint any definitive experience that affected you throughout the project?
Pressure. Pressure from my fans, me losing people in the streets that are close to me. All that played a big part. It took a toll on me, focusing and working as an artist, trying to get my music out played a big role on me being under pressure. When I’m under pressure, it makes me better. It makes me strive to be a better artist. When certain situations come my way, negative, positive, whatever, I just use it as fuel to my fire.
I want to be better than I was yesterday. Being an artist, you’re going to always deal with family stuff, stuff in the streets, social media BS, you know? I really use it as fuel to get my album out, and make sure that my album is my best project, or the best debut album. That’s what I strive for it to be. I use certain situations and scenarios and things that I go through in life to make that happen.