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RH First Look: G-Side

g side fl1 RH First Look: G Side

When Alabama duo G-side (Clova & ST) hit the underground scene in 2004, they did not match at all with the crunked out southern Hip Hop scene that was undoubtably headquartered in Atlanta. “Atlanta is a party city, it’s a big city, it’s a whole lot going on there, and it is quite the opposite here in Alabama, especially in our town,” ST told me via phone, shortly before G-Side’s performance at this year’s Pitchfork Festival.  Since he was a kid, ST has been focused on music, stalking online message boards for battles, and staying out of trouble at the boys and girls club in his hometown of Athens, Alabama.  It was in Athens that he met his partner, Clova, who at the time, concentrated heavily on basketball.

In 2011, they are both only focused on achieving success with their music, and while they are based in Huntsville Alabama, the duo has not lost their rural roots, something that is respected more as of late. Artists like Yelawolf and Big K.R.I.T, who come from similar small cities in Alabama and Mississippi have finally found their lane in the game, after grinding through the Yung Joc, Crime Mob, Dem Franchize Boyz era of the mid-2000’s. With a similar grind and vision about the rap industry G-Side is hoping their time is next up.

The duo has released four LP’s since 2007 under their family-like record label, Slow Motion Soundz, and has seen their visibility rise thanks to their performance at Pitchfork’s annual music festival, and features on MTV and Complex.  G-Side is now readying their next release, Island, which is slated to drop later this year. They have come a long way since the boys and girls club in Athens, Alabama. And they’ve done so together.  Time will tell if they reach their goals, but it’s clear they are on the right path.  Get to know G-Side in this new RubyHornet First Look.


G-Side Essential Listening:

“I’m Sorry” (Jake One Remix)

“The Blackout” featuring Chris Lee

“Bass” featuring Freddie Gibbs and Stevie Joe

RubyHornet: Being from Athens, AL – What hardships did you endure as a child and how did those affect your relationship with Clova?

ST: Really it was the boys and girls club that kept us out of the streets all of the time. We still had our ways, and we still had our ties, but for the most part as young dudes we tried to stay in there.  Clova was still big into sports, like you couldn’t tell him he wasn’t going to the NBA in high school. So that was his thing, but me I always did music. I pretty much always knew what I was going to do. I saw “Ice Cream Man” by Master P, and it was like, that’s a wrap for me.

RubyHornet: So at what age did you really get into it?

ST: Man, I was on it at nine years old. They used to have the battle boards on the Internet and you could battle motherfuck*s from across the world. So that’s really how I learned styles other than what we hear from 8ball & MJG, UGK because that’s really all we got down here.  Well all the shit from Georgia, but see the wordplay and the metaphors that east coast shit, that’s where I got it from on these battle boards. shit like that.

Ruby Hornet: People always try and compare all artists from the south and throw you into a box, trying to equate ya’ll to Georgia (ATL) based artists. What do you try and do to break away from these labels?

ST: When they compare us to Georgia it’s really more like Atlanta. Atlanta is a party city, it’s a big city, it’s a whole lot going on there, and it is quite the opposite here in Alabama, especially in our town. It is a pretty mid-size city, we don’t have any sky scrappers, no clubs that stay open passed 2am. Out in Atlanta they have the strip club industry. Here, it’s engineering and the military base, that’s it.

RubyHornet: So what is the daily life in your town?

ST: It is different man, depending on who you are. For some people, it is a great place to raise your kids, you go to work everyday make a decent living, come home and then stay with your family. Some people are in the streets all day, you know what I mean? It’s not really like Chicago.  I mean, I don’t really know, but we envision people in the east coast and midwest standing on the corner selling dope. But it’s not like that here, the people that do that, you know, are a little more low key, they kind of ride around in traffic so they are doing that all day. Then you might be at school.  There are four colleges, so there is really something here for everyone.  That’s why they call it jackpot city because you can pretty much come up here doing whatever.

RubyHornet: I wanted to ask about the “Came Up” Video, and shooting it at the iconic Trinity school, which If am not mistaken Clova attended?

ST: Yeah, Clova and his brother went there.  The first video we shot in Athens, was called “Feel like I Love you” in 2007, and that was the first video to ever be shot there, so for us to come back and do “Came Up”  there, i probably the best video we got, and to do it in the same school my parents went to… Until it got shut down when they pretty much let go of the shit, it was a good look and felt real great. Another story is, maybe two weeks after we got done shooting the video in there, they found a chick dead in there. So now it’s closed off and nobody goes up in there.

RubyHornet: I wanted to ask about your Slow Motion Soundz family, and the relationship you have there as you’ve been rocking with them for a while now.

ST: Aw man, those are my brothers, we a big band of brothers. We all came in it around 2004, that’s when I got down with the Slow, and me and Clova had been down with each other before that. But the deal was, if I was going to the Slow, I’m bringing Clova too cause that is my partner.  We came in it together and we going to leave out of it together, and now we have part ownership in Slow Motion Soundz.  It’s us, my homie CP and e-dub does most of the production for The Block Beataz, Mali Boi,  Codie G  does management,  we got Junebug, Kristmas, Bentley, man we are really here everyday man we a big 5500 square foot studio that is really like our base of operations so we’re here everyday always helping each other record.

pitchfork 2011 day2 40 RH First Look: G Side

RubyHornet: How did you link with Freddie Gibbs for “Feel The Bass”?

ST: We actually did it maybe 8 months before it came out. It was around the time that we did the Hunstville international project, and really our management reached out to his and we had met up at SXSW and I holla’d at Gibbs like “We should do some work” and he was like “Hell Yeah” So we just made it happen.

RubyHornet: Word. Did you guys go into the studio together, or over the Internet?

ST: Yeah, we emailed it to ’em, and he sent it right back to us man. He is definitely one of my favorite artists out now.

RubyHornet: Finally, I want to ask with artists like Yelawolf repping Alabama, KRIT from Meridian Mississippi, these artists are now getting major appeal do you feel like it is your time to reach that level? Especially with the Pitchfork show, very similar to how Gibbs grew his fan-base last year.

ST: Yeah most definitely, and that’s kind of what the whole last album is about. Just getting more people on to it,  and showing people we can consistently make great music, and I think everything is going to up from here plus we have a new album coming soon.

RubyHornet: Yes. Island, correct? What can the fans expect there.

ST: Yeah, something real crisp man, Cohesive was a huge orchestration this will be a little more stripped down musically, a little more Hip Hop too we got a lot more spittin.



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