TALK: SAMPA THE GREAT, MAC MILLER MEMORIES AND LIVING WITH JID & 6LACK AHEAD OF AUSTRALIA TOUR!
You have no doubt seen, heard or stumbled upon the musical genius of Hip-Hop duo EARTHGANG by now. Well, enough people worldwide have – to warrant their own East-Coast Headline dates all the way out in Australia.
EARTHGANG are the eclectic duo of Olu (aka Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot). Signed to J.Cole‘s dominant DreamVille roster, they may be about to enter a legendary phase in their career.
We spoke to them exclusively ahead of their headline Australia dates about it all!
JUÑOR: First up, you guys are coming out here playing Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. You guys have been out here before with J.Cole in 2017. Anything specifically you want to do this time around?
EARTHGANG: We kinda want to just see the cities, see some wildlife. Kinda just hang out a little bit
JUÑOR: Killer man, awesome awesome. I’ve seen you guys talking a little bit about some of the music you’ve heard coming from Australia recently, specifically Sampa The Great.
EARTHGANG: Sampa is an amazing artist. She’s one of my favourite artists i listen to today. She’s amazing. Love everything about her, she’s really good.
JUÑOR: I see you guys really talk a lot about the authenticity of sound that you make. Putting a lot of thought into your sound about where you’re from and how that comes across. That’s something definitely strong from Sampa. I hear that a lot from you guys in your Atlanta music as well…
EARTHGANG: Yeah its important to kind of to tell where you from. Showcase where you’re from, showcase the things that influence you, shape who you are, tell your story, to give people those moments. To where they feel more connected or they feel more inclined to discover the things that you got going on.
JUÑOR: Talking on Atlanta and the sound that you guys are putting out. For the last couple of years, Atlanta has taken really taken a strong hold of Hip-Hop sonically. How do you guys see yourselves standing out from the pack that you’ve had a lot of comparisons to like OutKast and others.Do you see that as a really humble anointing or pressure?
EARTHGANG: Its definitely not seen as pressure. It’s really more just a compliment. You know they compared Kobe to Mike. Did Kobe give a shit about it, nah he just played his game, he had the Mamba mentality he locked in and made his own record.
JUÑOR: Hell yeah absolutely. Personally, i’ve been listening to you guys for a long time, bumping the ‘Torba’ project back in 2014. So hearing your connections with OG Maco & Mac Miller and dating back to your early touring days.
I’d love to hear some stories about Mac back in those days. You toured together, had him on projects…
EARTHGANG: We met Mac through our management, it was a Pittsburgh connection. A lot of those people were from Pittsburgh. And Mac was like the first person to reach out to us from the industry on any level.
Like i said, he did a record with us. He was cool. He never asked for nothing. He put us on his twitter before any other artist!
He let us come out to his place in Malibu & record with him, he was just super cool so its always been love from the jump man.
I remember on tour when we was on tour, we would try out the craziest hot hottest sauces & just do the craziest dumb stuff. So it was just a crazy fun time.
JUÑOR: Talking about early days with ‘Spillage Village’ you guys creating that. Bring JID into the fold. I’ve heard that 6lack lived at your house back in the day, is that true?
EARTHGANG: Yeah back in the first first period. we made the first… it was like a very west Atlanta house. it was kinda over near by where we grew up, near Melvin park. Me my brother, then one of my roommates from college moved in, then JID moved in, then 6lack moved in… and then next thing we know, it’s become like a home for all the underground Atlanta artists.
We were just like hanging out there, we had a trampoline in the backyard &we would all chill out there, get hiigh, come inside and record suuuuper long records (laughs). Just be as creative as possible without any industry pressure whatsoever.
6lack actually ended up taking off from that house. He ended up going to LVRN while he was still there.
JUÑOR: On keeping it real and in house. I see you did a lot of the mixing and mastering yourself early days in your music. Do you still have a heavy hand in that side of stuff for the EarthGang music?
EARTHGANG: Yeah we do. We started out doing a lot of stuff. Number one – cause we didn’t have nobody to do it for us. It gave us the opportunity to be creative in different aspects. So we still always do that – it’s really fun to always be a part of the overall process of creating music, not just the words, it’s really dope.
JUÑOR: Does that come into play with a lot of the other artists that you collab with? Are you involved & on some of the boards for the other DreamVille team & artists that you work around with as well?
EARTHGANG: Yeah. Even at the album sessions, we just be doing everything.
Catch somebody recording, We were just doing everything out of necessity, co-producing some records, go on over do some arranging on some other records – that was a great collaboration process.
JUÑOR: Last thing we’re gonna hit you guys with.
I’m just gonna shoot you some lighthearted questions to finish off this interview…
If you could only have one manager and you had to choose out of Hefner (Barry), Kei and Zeke [their managment group Since The 80’s who also manage J.I.D, 21 Savage & more]. Who’s your choice?
EARTHGANG: Thats a crazy question . That be a craaazy question.
I’m only gon’ choose Barry coz we met him first. That’s the only reason though
….i’ma choose Zeke cause he’s like the best of all of them. He’s like a combo player. He’s Kei and Hef put together.
He’s not as Barry as Barry or as Kei as Kei. If you want a Barry, you need a Barry you know what i’m saying. Zeke like a medium, he a bridge.
JUÑOR: Most iconic Atlanta rapper or Atlanta artist in your opinion?
EARTHGANG: Lil Nas X. hahaha (laughs)
I’d say its Lil’ Jon.
JUÑOR: Ooo. Solid answer. Aight, favourite EarthGang song ever?
EARTHGANG: The one that hasn’t come out yet. Its not out yet. The one we’re working on right now. We making it.
We’re always making our favourite.
JUÑOR: Excluding Dreamville family, favourite act you’ve toured with and why? I’ve seen you toured with some really big names like Billie Eilish, Mac Miller, Ab Soul and more…
EARTHGANG: My favourite was Smino. It was literally like a party it was like touring with your cousins.
Everybody else was cool, they brilliant and it was beautiful, but Smino was literally like touring with your cousins from back home. Smino for sure.
Yeah, we agree.
JUÑOR: You’re probably gonna have to put some thought into this. This is the best question. If we put everyone from the Dreamville fam into a royal rumble. Who’s the last standing and battling with you for the belt?
EARTHGANG: EarthGang cause we’re crazy. Cause we don’t give a fuck about nothing…
But if it wasn’t us, it would have to be Oman – He’s got something, He’s just gonna kill us all.
Omans gonna kill us all!
JUÑOR: Aite bet, that’s the interview boys! We’re looking forward to having you out here heaps!
EARTHGANG: Thanks so much man, can’t wait! peace.
CATCH EARTHGANG IN BRISBANE, SYDNEY & MELBOURNE THIS WEEKEND, WITH COZZ THANKS TO BBE <3
STILL TIX AVAILABLE TO BRISBANE TOMORROW NIGHT!
ASAP HERE >> http://bit.ly/EARTHGANG-BRIS19