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While early drill proteges such as Chief Keef and King Louie are often accredited to the newfound popularity of the sub-genre, G Herbo was also doing his thing in the burgeoning wave of drill throughout Chicago. Through the natural osmosis of being around drill as a Chicago teen, his early projects in the forms of Welcome to Fazoland and Ballin’ Like I’m Kobe heavily implemented the sound. Similar to other MCs out of Chicago’s hip-hop scene, his sound was an enraged form of therapy to process the chaos around him. A teenage high-school dropout, he quickly became a local hero through pure skill that earned praise from Drake and Nicki Minaj. As producer DJ L put it with Complex, “Herb was rapping like a f**king 30-year-old at 15.” 

However, G Herbo was never a drill purist at heart. Even his earliest works hinted at someone who wanted to rap over dustier, trap-infused beats. There was an early desire to distinguish himself from what his contemporaries were doing. “I didn’t want to be labeled a drill artist early on, to be honest,” Herbo explains to DJBooth. Rather than create tunnel vision drill music, he was implementing childhood influences from the likes of Lil Wayne. His pessimistic attitude on the drill label is understandable, considering that his music contains influences from many walks of hip-hop. With that all said, the beloved progenitor of drill music has grown to appreciate his influence on drill with time.

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A Pioneer Of The Drill Scene

Now 27, G-Herbo’s impact on hip-hop isn’t best described in the context of metrics. However, the numbers are certainly there. His hallmark hit comes in the form of “PTSD”, which features Lil Uzi Vert, Juice WRLD, and Chance the Rapper. In addition, he recently released a track as a part of the Fast and Furious: The Fast Saga. However, G Herbo’s fans tend to find solace in his sound. His listeners share his pain regarding childhood trauma following them around throughout adulthood. He’s steadfast about his flaws, admitting that he’s struggled to detach from the street life that he grew up in.

G Herbo began to take his music career seriously around the age of 21, with debut studio album Humble Beast garnering him concrete attention throughout the music industry. Confessional bangers such as “Red Snow” and “Malcom” stood the under-spoken MC out from the field. In addition, he had his first son, Yosohn, at the age of 22. Expanding on this with Complex, he stated, “I’ve got an actual life that’s depending on me before he even knows what the world has to offer. He’s depending on me for everything.” By spending more time in the studio rather than in the streets, G Herbo’s career quickly began to reach US radio hip-hop stations. However, he did so by staying true to his message. He took the stairs to get to the top.

Read More: G Herbo Feels Like “The Best Rapper Alive”

Herbo’s Aged As A Local Ambassador For Mental Health

G Herbo performs in Atlanta for the PTSD tour.
(Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

Now approaching the decade mark into his career, G Herbo has remained as consistent as ever since his mainstream success. Back in April, he released Strictly 4 My Fans 2. Driven by an endless desire to financially take care of his family and friends, he’s painstakingly aware that he has no time to rest. However, he doesn’t review this reality with a sense of dread. The Chicago-raised G Herbo is just happy to have made it past the age of 25. Everything he does is with a sense of gratefulness, a perspective that comes from seeing those around him have their lives cut short. Back in January 2021, Lil Greg, a close friend of G Herbo’s who he considered a brother, was killed in a shooting in South Chicago.

Additionally known for live skill as a freestyler, G Herbo’s records consistently deliver a new side to him. 2019’s Swervo ditched the raw storytelling in favor of a groovy collection of party anthems. G-Herbo expressed an easygoing part of himself that isn’t necessarily humble or understated. However, 2020’s PTSD took a stark left turn from this persona, seeing G Herbo recruit a variety of Chicago MCs on vulnerable cuts such as “Gangstas Cry.” His 2021 project 25 highlights the good and bad of his personality, such as his run-ins with the law surrounding allegations of gun possession or domestic violence. At present, he’s in the midst of a federal fraud case. On the other hand, he also bought a Chicago elementary school, revamping its infrastructure to better fit the needs of aspiring creatives. He’s also been a constant ambassador for mental health in the area he grew up in.

Read More: G Herbo Reflects On How Leaving The Streets Helped His Career

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