There’s the quick and there’s the dead. As blunt as that statement comes across, there were never any truer words spoken. During Herbert Wright III’s maturation process, this utterance rang true just as much in the physical sense as it did metaphorically. Entering the rap game as Lil Herb, Wright grew up in one of the most heinous areas of Chicago – South Shore Terror Town. As an individual that witnessed homicides regularly, he became incredibly desensitized to violence. With that being said, he overcame every obstacle and made it out of the trenches to share his tumultuous surroundings through incredulous music.
Lil Herb is now known as G Herbo. That transformation took place in conjunction with the release of his debut album, Humble Beast. Before Humble Beast, Herb released a plethora of mixtapes within the genre known as, “Drill Music.” Each mixtape’s title served as a dedication to a fallen soldier within his inner circle. As a man who was immune to death, he did not tend to dwell upon the continuous and unending cycle of violence. On the streets, Herb stuck to the code and learned many important values of life. Although, his goal was to stand upon different avenues and reach higher plateaus. Ultimately, he just knew that if he did not want to become another statistic like many of those around him, there had to be a change in the formula.
At first, Wright was hesitant to pursue a musical career and would only go on to do so thanks to influence from his good friend, Lil Bibby. They are apart of a group called “NLMB” which stands for Never Leave My Brothers. Not only that, but music was meant to be released from the likes of Herbert Wright. His musical bloodline runs thick as his Uncle Kay Tone was apart of a popular group called “D 2 Tha S” and his Grandfather was the frontman for a doo-wop/R&B group by the name of, “The Radiants.”
Nuanced MidWest Narratives
This man tells tales of his stark realities and does not water down any content with inauthentic material or placefiller lines. Starting off, songs like, “Kill Shit” and “I’m Rollin” garnered significant attention and depicted his accounts of the grimey Chicago streets. With intoxicatingly blunt statements and pungent clarity, Herb’s delivery and raw content is what majorly differentiates him from the next man. He is precise, poignant, persistent and possesses unshaken dexterity on the mic. He fully embraces the adversities he has faced in life and leaves it all on wax. No part of his past in untouchable and he spills his entire soul into the booth each and every time recordings take place.
Rapping was not always Herb’s primary forte. He’s not afraid to share that it took him quite some time to abandon his street life in favor of a more rewarding and safe occupation. Once he became 100% committed to the music, Herb evolved to provide triumphant stories of resilience. A major focal point of his musical output focuses upon encapsulating the pain and lack of hope that have crippled the Windy City for centuries. His coarsely grained, urgent and painstaking accounts exist within a great spectrum that ranges between aggressive and emotional. Ultimately, his raw tales of street life combined with his transcendence into a better space in life grants him the utmost respect from important individuals within the hip-hop atmosphere.
Greater Than Rap
What really divides this artist from others is the way that he gets better with every body of music released. His debut album, “Humble Beast” charted in the Top 20 on Billboard 200 and evaluates his adjustments to advance and align himself upon the right path. His most recent effort, “Swervo (produced by Southside)” is much more energetic and carefree which, in turn, portrays different elements of his complex artistry. He raps with excellent candor and humility as he details his sacrifices with intensity and passion. With vivid conviction, Herb considers music as his highest form of salvation. If you add his gritty growth up together with his respect and acknowledgment for the greats that paved the way for him, Herbo is taking all the right steps to pursue and maintain a glorious career.
With absolute deliverance of his genuine story, Wright often taps deep into different levels of his soul. His forthcoming album, “PTSD” will cover the paranoia and head on a swivel mentality that accompanied his rough surroundings. He will do so with sobering reflections that will include commemorations as well as accounts of harrowing realities in a cathartic manner.
By sharing authentic renditions and doing so with great emotion, Herb provides boatloads of mass appeal. His stock skyrocketed following his freestyle over Three Six Mafia’s “Who Run It” on K104 Radio. At first, he did not even plan to attend the interview but after he was finished he started a viral “#WhoRunItChallenge” trend. His version was so strong that it turned into a recorded track and even caused the originators of “Who Run It” to re-record their respective song. With that being said, G Herbo does not apply metrics to his output in order to guarantee a definite cultural impact. By aiming to leave a landmark legacy, Herb intends to capitalize by building others up. That is a serious reason why he is apart of a conscious effort to unify the Chicago rap scene.
Not only that, G Herbo consistently embarks upon a mission to shift the looming perception of poverty and violence that surrounds the city of Chicago. As a wise individual, he is keenly aware that it takes much more than just the music to change the landscape of our world. Music is what got him here, so now he is using his platform as a way to provide resources that will better those from within his former communities. With a strategic, leader mentality Herbo has teamed up with his label, Machine Entertainment Group to revitalize his former elementary school in the black mecca of Bronzeville and start an apprentice program for children.*
The program will be held on a 4.5 acre campus that will serve as a tech incubator and multimedia center. There, opportunistic youths will learn about musical production technology, graphic design and audio editing engineering. They will also have access to merchandising, booking and management services. Also, it will give kids an outlet for recreation as cuts to the After School Matters Youth Center program was a major reason why Herb flocked to the streets instead of spending time in the gym. Herbo wants the kids to realize that there is no limit to what you can achieve and he is giving them the tools that will steer them into healthy and rewarding lifestyles. All in all, G Herbo is a man of unbreakable character and is certainly someone to emulate.
*If you were unaware, Mayor Rahm Emanuel cut 50 schools that predominantly catered to African-American students as a way to address Chicago’s $1 Billion deficit.