Sunny skies, water ice, and a star-studded line up is the perfect way to make an epic in-person return. After a two-year pandemic pause, the Roots Picnic 2022 did just that.
HOT 97 touched down at the Roots Picnic this past weekend. While we were there, we got the opportunity to catch up with platinum selling artist, G Herbo. He was the closing act for Day One, June 4th, at the TD Pavilion stage. His highly energetic performance included songs from his albums “Swervo”, “PTSD”, and “25”. His latest album “25”, which was his highest charting debut album, tells a story about his maturation as a person and how reaching that age is considered a milestone. After his set, which concluded around ten o’clock at night, he sat down with us to talk new music, Summer Jam, and his mental health center.
Let’s talk about your best selling album, PTSD. At what point did you decide that you wanted to be vulnerable with your fans?
G Herbo: Honestly, in the process of me recording that album, I don’t even think It was me trying to figure out how to be vulnerable or tap into that. It was a time in my life where I was growing as a man and I wanted to express myself. I always express myself through music and try to let fans tap into my life so I can not only help myself but help them to.
There is a deluxe version of PTSD with almost thirty songs. Why did you think you needed you needed a volume one and volume two?
G Herbo: I had so much music throughout the whole writing process. I was trying to get better at telling my story. I had fourteen songs that could do the same thing as the original version. So I went with the deluxe album basically two albums in one. If I feel like I got music strong enough to do that, I’ll do that.
On your latest project, 25, you are transitioning into your manhood, you were a new father and fiancé, for your new album do you have an overall theme that you are focusing on?
G Herbo: For my next album, I’m just focusing on showing the growth, you know what I’m saying. And of course, fatherhood plays a part of my music. I had my first child, Yoshon, when I released Swervo and then you know as I am growing as a man, I appreciate being a family man and being around my kids more. I think that that affects my music a lot because every decision I make has to reflect on them. So for my next project, it’s [the theme] just showing a lot of growth. I will always be the caliber of rapper that I’ve always been but I’m just getting better and better at my craft every year so I’m excited. I can’t wait for my fans to hear this shit, man.
How is the Swervin’ Through Stress community service initiative going?
G Herbo: Its going great, we’re helping a lot of people. We provide free therapy for kids and facilities for AAU teams. We just give back as much as we can in Chicago because we’re just tryna save the youth, ya know. That’s the future and that is what is important to me just as much as music. I don’t really pay attention to the notoriety that it does and doesn’t receive. I just try to keep doing my thing, that’s a part of me as an artist. I try to give back to my people as much as I can.
You’ve been making music for about ten to twelve years now. If this music thing didn’t work out for you, what other career what have been thriving for you?
G Herbo: You know I am talented at a lot of things but when I knew that this was my passion there was never know if about it. I had a conversation with my dad when I was fourteen and he asked me “What’s your Plan B?”, I’m like “aint no Plan B, this sh*t gon’ work” and I did everything in my power and made all of the sacrifices to make sure this is what I was going to do in life and now I am doing it. So there wasn’t any other path for me. I was determined to make my passion become my reality and it did.
In 2014, Nicki Minaj brought you out for Summer Jam. Can you talk about that moment, what did it mean to you for her to do that?
G Herbo: That was a big turning point in my career. You know I was young, I was seventeen when I met Nicki Minaj and that’s where I started gaining my confidence as an artist just by being around those people. There were people that I looked up to my whole life so I just took that and added fuel to my fire. Shoot here I am eight years later, doing the same thing.
.@NICKIMINAJ GAVE ME MY FIRST BIG SHOT PUT ME ON THAT STAGE WITH HER & I AIN’T LOOKED BACK SINCE! LOVE YOU 4 EVER EVER!! 👸🐐 pic.twitter.com/9nK2amZfDp
— G HERBO (@gherbo) May 14, 2021