Here is the third and final installment of my interview with G-Side. Click here to read Part 1 and here to read Part 2.
Support G-Side by purchasing The ONE...COHESIVE by clicking here. Check out the rest of their catalog on iTunes by clicking here. Make sure to check out the other artists and projects linked to in the interview below.
DJ Sorce-1: Huntsville International is one of my favorite G-Side releases. It’s such an impressive project that I think it should be considered an album, not a mix tape. To me, the sound and style of COHESIVE was not at all like Huntsville International. I was kind of surprised by how different it sounded.
ST: With Huntsville International, we had a point to prove. People heard our previous album Starshipz and Rocketz and said things like, “Oh, the production is great. The rappers are OK, but the production is great.” We had to show that we could stand on our own as MC’s. That’s why some of those tracks on Huntsville International weren’t Block Beataz produced.
Huntsville International wasn’t called an album because we didn’t put the care and time into it that we put into our albums. That’s why COHESIVE doesn’t sound anything like it. When you get to the last songs on Huntsville International, it kind of leads you into the COHESIVE sound. But for the most part they sound totally different.
DJ Sorce-1: COHESIVE also utilized producers other than The Block Beataz. One of my favorite non in-house songs is “Pictures”, which is produced by Clams Casino. Can you tell me a little bit about how you linked with Clams?
ST: He got in touch with us via twitter. He was a fan of our music and ended up linking with our manager, Codie G. He sent us the original track and the Block Beataz ended up collaborating with him on the beat, so that beat is actually a Clams Casino/Block Beataz beat. I think the only song on COHESIVE that the Block Beataz didn’t add their touch on was “No Radio”, which Burn One produced. Everything else was a collabo with the Block Beataz.
"Numb" (Demo Version of "Pictures") - Clams Casino
"Numb" (Demo Version of "Pictures") - Clams Casino
DJ Sorce-1: What made you decide to do an entire song about texting naked pictures? “Pictures” has to be the first song ever recorded that’s exclusively dedicated to naked picture texting.
ST: We get a lot of nasty pictures.
Clova: We ask for a lot ‘em. We don’t just get ‘em, we ask for ‘em. (Laughs)
ST: We’re trying to popularize texting nasty pictures. Hopefully the rate of nasty pictures goes up a little bit because of that song. What’s more inspiring than that? You open a text message and there’s a butt naked chick right there. We had to make a song about it.
DJ Sorce-1: (Laughs) Let’s talk about the G-Mane verse on there. He absolutely beasts that Clams beat. I hadn’t heard much from him prior to his feature. Can you tell me about his background?
ST: We started working with him a couple of years ago. G-Mane is an OG. He’s from a place called Florence, which is about 45 minutes outside of Huntsville. He was in a group called Slave Kamp back in the day. They had a big movement and were really controversial. You should research them. But yeah, we do a lot of work with G-Mane. He’s like the new Nate Dogg if you ask me.
DJ Sorce-1: He sings too?
ST: Yeah. Those are his vocals behind mine on the hook of “Pictures”. His vocals are also on the “Relaxin’” record that didn’t make it on the album. He can lay hooks on anything. Some people say he sounds like Bun when he raps, but his style is pretty unique to me. I love his shit.
DJ Sorce-1: “Relaxin'’” was a great cut that didn’t make the album. Is there any more material that you’re going to be releasing online that had to be left off of the album?
ST: We have another album we’re going to try to try to drop at the end of the year. We’ll go back and beef up a few cuts that didn’t make COHESIVE and then we’ll make a bunch of new joints. When you’re working on an album, you always need to make a lot more songs than you’re going to put out so that you can pick the very best. We had a problem choosing how many songs we were going to put on the album. We were figuring that out up until the last day. We originally thought of sticking with the 1 theme and going with 11, but we just had too many good songs.
DJ Sorce-1: COHESIVE talks about some of the sweets of the rap game, but a lot of lyrics focus on the strain rap can put on relationships.
ST: Oh yeah. Whenever its album mode for us, we pretty much live in the studio and every relationship is strained. Business relationships, relationships with other people, relationships with your family and girl, it’s all strained during the process of recording of the album. In some ways I guess its ok because the emotion comes out in the music.
DJ Sorce-1: It must be challenging to shut people off like that. Do you think a lot of rappers struggle to find that level of self-discipline?
Clova: I think so.
ST: That’s probably why a lot of guys don’t get the recognition that they should. They’re really talented, but they let other things get in the way. With music, you get back what you put into it.
DJ Sorce-1: I really liked the way the album opens up. When Codie introduces you on the first song, “Shots Fired”, it seems like he was introducing you to new listeners while trying to make a statement to old fans. Why was it so important to have him open up the album for you?
ST: We made the intro when the album was done. If you listen to the album, Codie is the cohesion. He’s the glue that holds the songs together, the first voice and last voice you hear.
Clova: He’s like the narrator.
DJ Sorce-1: Can you explain Codie’s position in the Slow Motion Soundz movement.
ST: I don’t know if you got enough ink to write all that. (Laughs) He’s like our general manager. He takes care of our general business, whether it comes from down the street, Sweden, Canada, or Mars. They’re going to talk to him first. He’s the first line of defense. He’s secretly working on his album and shit, trying to outdo us. (Laughs) Nah, I’m fucking with you.
Clova: Codie makes it happen. He’s the mastermind.
ST: It’s important that people know that Codie is not an industry dude. Codie didn’t come from a family in the industry and hadn’t been working in the industry. He came out of the military and into being G-Side’s manager. Once he took the reins, that’s when things really started happening.
DJ Sorce-1: How did his transition from military man to G-Side manager happen?
ST: He’s been with Slow Motion since day one. Him and CP actually came up with the name. He joined the military to feed his family and he ended up having to go to Iraq. By the time he got back, G-Side was pretty much the main focus of Slow Motion Soundz. Whatever Slow Motion Soundz needs done, he’s down to do. G-Side and Slow Motion Soundz needed a manager, so he stepped up to the plate.
Clova: Over the last couple of years he has made so many connects and now he’s putting them all together. Codie taught himself and now he’s playing it like chess. He definitely got it man.
DJ Sorce-1: It seems like this was a very emotional, personal project for both of you. Are there any songs that stand out as favorites?
ST: I like “Nat Geo”. I really like the whole album, for real. I can’t even pick.
Clova: ST’s is “Nat Geo”? I think mine is “How Far”. When I heard “How Far” for the first time I couldn’t even believe that it was our track. CP, who produced the track, has been in the zone.
ST: CP’s daughter does some of the vocals on the hook. There are two female vocalists harmonizing, Victoria Tate and Kaylan Parham. Kaylan is CP’s daughter.
DJ Sorce-1: “How Far” is definitely one of my favorite records on the album. The production is brilliant and not at all what you would expect from a rap song. Is that a sample based beat?
ST: It was an interpolation of a song called “10 Mile Stereo” by Beach House. The guitar part was replayed in the studio by Codie Hampton. He played the guitar on “How Far” and he also did some guitar playing on Huntsville International.
DJ Sorce-1: Based on audience reaction, do you have a favorite song to do live?
ST: I think “Came Up” goes hard. We performed it in Huntsville a little while ago and it was crazy. That might be one of our favorite records to perform live. There’s a YouTube video of us performing it with a live violin. It was really dope.
DJ Sorce-1: Most of the reviews of COHESIVE have been very positive. One of the few criticisms of the album is that it’s very feature heavy. Do you have anything to say about that criticism?
ST: A lot of people think that the name of the album is supposed to describe how it sounds. It’s more about describing the way we move. There are 7 or 8 studios in our facility. We were all moving as one cohesive unit to make this record happen. That’s kind of how we go out to the clubs too. If we go out or travel, there are a lot of us. We move as one and we try to move cohesively. We showcased a lot of acts that are going to be coming off of Slow Motion Soundz in the coming years on this album. All of the people, except for Mic Strange, are Slow Motion Soundz artists.
Clova: Yeah, we tried to use our overseas connections and all that. We wanted to have a lot of people on there.
DJ Sorce-1: G-Side is clearly playing a major role in making the Slow Motion Soundz name a household one. Do you still question your decision to go all out despite the positive feedback COHESIVE has gotten so far?
ST: We do. When you’re not rich, you second guess yourself sometimes. Your financial situation won’t always make you happy. But as long as you’re happy doing what you’re doing, you just gotta keep pushing, whether or not you’re making the money you want to be making.