Around the beginning of the 21st century, rap fans couldn’t escape the talent out of Virginia. We all know Clipse’s career defining hit Grindin‘, Missy Elliot and Timbaland’s lengendary collaborations, and Pharell’ contributions to countless radio hits.
Gee$ grew up on this music, and has drawn inspiration from it. Although you can hear some influence on his tracks, he’s always made his music HIS way. We’ve praised them on 3 separate occasions and don’t think the posts will stop.
His recent track (above) is another gem, with a more laid back approach. He’s gearing up to drop his newest LP sometime in the summer, and based off his track record, this will be one for the books. We’ve been noticing his grind for some time now, and decided to speak with the budding Virginia rapper.
I’m so excited to do this interview as we’ve posted 3 of your tracks in just 5 months. Tell us about the support you’ve received for your music. Has it been going well?
I really appreciate the love I get from anyone who takes the time out of their day to listen to my music & of course I appreciate the support you’ve shown. So once again I gotta tell you thanks.
It’s hard to choose my favorite record from you – but I’ll tentatively say it’s Uptown. I was struck by your voice and compared it to Pusha T. Have you ever gotten that comparison, or a comment on it?
That’s a good pick, my man HNIC produced that joint right there. It gave me that vintage feel with that knock though you know what I mean ? But yea I’ve heard that a few times. I can’t help the way my voice sounds on tracks so I take it as a compliment I guess haha… Pusha is a legend in my eyes, he’s like the Jay Z of where I’m from to me.
What is the mission statement for your music? Do you have any approach to your tracks – or a certain mindset?
Before I even get into the writing process the hook is always first priority to me. So I’ll try to feel out the flow or melody of how the hook is gonna go then the bars will start to come together once the hook is situated. I really just make music for the real ones. My aim isn’t to be a superstar, I get satisfaction from people just telling me I’m one of their favorite artists.
You are from Virginia, home to legends like Pharrell, Missy Elliot, Pusha T, Timbaland, and more. Did you grow up listening to them? Do you enjoy their music?
Hell yeah. Imagine being in school in VA when “grindin” dropped haha… we all was hitting that beat on the lunch table. I was a neptune fanatic growing up and I used to love that old timbo & missy. Missy 1st 2 albums are certified classics to me.
Do you draw any inspiration from them? In general – who do you draw inspiration from in general?
Of course. I get inspired by all the stuff I grew up listening to along with the current wave of music that I like nowadays. Jay Z is my favorite rapper of all time so when I get into my mood to where I wanna listen to Hov all the time that’s when I start getting in my creative mode with the rhymes. I’ll start coming up with lines then I’ll either remember them until I actually write the song or I’ll just put it in my notes real quick.
You collaborated with fellow Virginia rapper Nickelus F on Uptown. How did that come together?
Well being a rapper from VA you CANT not know who Nickelus F is. That song was actually in the cut for about 3 yrs before I just recently dropped it. I knew I needed someone with a rough raspy approach to it to compliment my smooth approach & once he dropped his “Triflin” project I knew it had to be him. My verses was already on it when we sent it to him so it was nothing for him to knock that joint out. Much love to him for blessing that joint for me, that’s one of my favorite songs I’ve done.
What do you think bout the Virginia hip hop scene. Is it growing? Do you have some emcees that you really mess with?
The music scene is kinda weird in VA. It’s a lot of dope artists but the people play the “popularity” card & play the “politic” games around here so that kinda gets in the way of everybody getting an opportunity to really get their fair share but that’s just my opinion. I don’t really focus on whether if my state is listening because it’s a whole world out there other than your state you know what I mean. It’s like a “gotta keep it moving” mentality you gotta have in Virginia cause you’ll definitely get discouraged waiting on support from hometown until you pop off.
Talk about your upbringing. When did you discover music – and when did you decide to pursue music?
When I was 6 I would always hear my mom listening to “Ain’t No Nigga” & “Who You Wit” by Jay Z in the car so I was real familiar with those beats. But when he dropped “Hard Knock Life” that’s when I got into him myself. I was 8 when “Vol. 2 Hard Knock Life” dropped & it was either get a wrestling toy or get my first cd that weekend for allowance. I used to see his videos on BET & MTV all day everyday so I grew up idolizing him. When I was in the 4th grade me & a couple guys performed in the school’s talent show as a rap group called “Flavor 4 U” but I was too shy to actually rap on stage in front of everyone. So I would continue to write in my notebooks and keep them to myself until about 7th grade, that’s when I knew i was gonna pursue this sometime down the road.
Do you have a particular song or verse that you hold above the rest? Or a record that you enjoy the most?
I have my days to be honest. I can say this though… My upcoming project “Thanks For Nothing” is my best work. From start to finish its a straight listen. Everything that I’ve been dropping the past couple of months have been “throwaways”.
I’ve spoken with your management for quite some time. He seems to work very hard to make sure you get press for your music. How do you know him?
That’s family right there.. I met Gusto over a decade ago through one of my closest friends which is his cousin so that’s how we met. We always used to talk about music & I remember when I told him I wanted to pursue the music on some serious shit. I didn’t think that he was gonna be with it foreal but he was & here we are years later still grinding it out. That’s my dog right there.
What’s next for you?
Like I said earlier I got the project dropping this summer. The first single “Real Gee$” will be out really soon. A lot of visuals will be released for the project then we might go back and do some visuals for one or two of the tracks I’ve previously released. I’m just working & trying to get ahead of the pack you know what I mean.
Any last thoughts or shout outs?
Shoutout to you for taking the time to do this interview with me & much love to those who support my music. Be sure to follow me on Twitter & Instagram and be on the lookout for my project “Thanks For Nothing” dropping this summer !!!