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G. Herbo or (Lil Herb) as was his former moniker was one of the breakout stars from the Chicago drill wave of 2012. However unlike many artists from the same city with the same sound, he has managed to craft his own unique blend of lyricism combined with gritty substance and a superhuman ear for beats. With all of these elements combined together you get a multi-talented rapper who has managed to create his own lane in the rap game and generate a loyal core fanbase. He has consistently delivered for these fans with constant mixtapes full of quality songs. In this article we will explain to you, Herbo’s humble beginnings and give you a glimpse of the career route that his led him to rap stardom.
Like most recent artists that came out of Chicago, or Chiraq as they liked to call it, they come from a place filled with violence. Death had become a regular occurrence to those residing in Southside Chicago, which became the murder capital of America. Out of gang violence however came a cry for help through the music that these young men made to express their grievances about the situation and in the process maybe even glorify it.
G Herbo, (born Herbert Wright) and also known as Lil Herb for the early part of his career was raised in South Shore, Chicago. This was a place commonly referred to as “Terror Town” and from the name you can probably guess why they chose to give it this name. Herbo’s first breakout success came from a single he recorded which was named “Kill Shit“. This had a menacing drill beat and Herb completely spazzed on it. On this track he collaborated with childhood friend, Lil Bibby. Bibby and Herbo would continue to collaborate on many other songs and their gritty raps complemented each other immensely well. They would each go on to garner individual successes alongside successful collaborations. “Kill Shit” would go on to become a viral sensation and was the introduction of G Herbo to the rap scene. Even from this single there was a sense that Herbo had the skill to make a lasting impression on this game rather than just being a one hit wonder. Drake was a huge of the song and there is an iconic video of him turning up to it. Drake was an early admirer of Herbo and had given him some tips on how to last in the rap game. It seems like Herb definitely took these on board.
Herb would drop his first mixtape in early 2012. It was titled “Road To Riches”. It is a lesser known project and is not widely available on the net. This early mixtape consisted of 15 tracks and many of them featured frequent collaborator Lil Bibby. This mixtape showed Herb finding his sound and experimenting with the style of music he wanted to adopt. There is plenty of gritty chiraq storytelling on this tape and Herb is slowly finding his flow and cadence. Bibby was also consistent throughout the tape. Even from these early days it was clear that these relatively young boys had the talent and potential that was required to be huge successes in the rap game.
After this tape, Herb began gearing up for his first official project which would be titled “Welcome To Fazoland”. But before this he wanted to really feed his initial fans so decided to release “Road To Fazoland” first. It included some songs from “Road To Riches” but also included some new gems. Around this time he also recorded his stunning freestyle to the popular “Versace” beat. He absolutely tore this Zaytoven beat to shreds. Sorry Drake and Migos but this was Herb’s song now. Herb’s flow on this beat was stunning and had a nonchalant air of arrogance about it. A star was truly born on this day. In this video he reps his crew to the death and shows his allegiance and loyalty to them. At the time of recording he was only 16, which is mightily impressive. He arrogantly proclaimed, “Nobody fucking with Herb I’m the best if I rap bout stupid shit”. Another standout line from the song was “Niggas hate how I’m spittin’, only the realest can feel it just shut up and listen”. From these lines alone you could tell this kid was cookin something special.
Fast forward to 2014 and we would get Herb’s first official debut mixtape. It had a lot of hype and buzz around it. Expectations were through the roof for this talented drill rapper. He dropped his debut don cannon hosted tape, “Welcome to Fazoland” on February 17th 2014. It would end up being a career defining tape for young Herbo. It has since garnered over 400k downloads on Datpiff. The mixtape had a whole slew of young chi artist features such as Lil Reese, Lil Durk, Lil Bibby and King Louie. These were heavy hitting artists in their own right but Herbo proved he was a step ahead of all them and outshined them on every song. This debut mixtape proved everyone’s expectations correct and also silenced the doubters. A solid gritty debut that was filled with in depth storytelling and a whole load of substance. His super hard-hitting flow shining throughout. The name of the mixtape paid homeage to Herb’s homie Fazo who was tragically gunned down in 2010. He was a huge influence on Lil Herb and Lil Bibby and on this tape Herb paid his respects. On this tape rather than adhering to the generic drill standards of the time, Herb implemented his own unique sound with a mixture of soulful production and hard hitting gritty drill production. The result was him being cemented as a serious player in the rap game rather than just another drill mc who would fade away like so many others had.
The year 2014 would prove to be somewhat of a breakout year for herb. After releasing his debut he got a chance to collaborate with one of the biggest music stars of the generation, Nicki Minaj. The song he was featured on was aptly titled “Chiraq”. The beat produced by Vinylz and Boi-1da was cold and menacing. The perfect beat for Herb to span on. He was given huge spotlight and attention simply for being featured on a Nicki Minaj song and boy did he deliver. His hard hitting flow tore the beat to shreds and new listeners became hugely enamored with the new artist for the way he expertly rode the beat. The song was a moderate mainstream success and it led to Herbo’s stock rising ever further.
But Herbo wasn’t finished yet. He had one final surprise for loyal fans just as 2014 was coming to an end. He put out a suprise project which he titled “Pistol Pat”. It was a 10 track project which featured experimental from Atlanta natives 808 Mafia and Childish Major. Herbo also gave a feature to fellow Chi rapper, Katie Got Bandz. The mixtape fed his core fanbase and served as a serious reminder to the rap game that Herbo wasn’t going anywhere.
In 2015 Herbo and Bibby linked up again for a sequel to their initial smash hit “Kill Shit”. They renamed part II, “Ain’t Heard About You”. The chemistry between these life-long friends was in full sight on this monster collaboration. Herb and Bibby utilized their usual gritty hard hitting flows for this collab. They went back and forth exchanging a number of witty lines between themselves. A notable from Herbo being, “Your bitch says she in love with my Hot Nigga verse Now she sucking my dick from freestyling”. Herbo also jumped on the “Computers” beat and absolutely spazzed with a mightily catchy flow. Later on that year in September, he would go on to release a project titled “Ballin Like I’m Kobe”. The title is a tribute to his fallen comrade Kobe who was a close associate. For this project he called upon his fellow chi-natives, Bibby and Lil Durk. Although the majority of the tape was left up to himself where he shined throughout. This project had 16 tracks and would prove to be one of Herb’s most honest tapes yet. He again would call upon a familiar gritty drill sound and combined that with introspective raps.
In 2016 Herb released a new tape which he dedicated to his OG fans by titled “Stricly 4 my fans”. He teased the tape by offering a snippet of the incredibly hard hitting intro which led to a monumental hype for the project. He began it with some iconic lines, “Look, they say a coward die a thousand deaths, And every time you and try and kill him why its always a thousand left? ” The full project would eventually get released on Black Friday. The only feature on this project was Herb’s longtime friend Bibby. This was a project where Herb wanted to feed his loyal fans who had been riding with him for years. The project’s production was of a warmer note when compared with past projects. The formula hadn’t gone through too much change for his project but there the growth of Herbo as an artist and as a person was clear as daylight. He tackled a whole range of complex and personal issues in his unqique and gritty style. Still only 21, Herb had proved he was the young man here to stay. This was the year where he also made it to the XXL Freshman which was a huge accomplishment for him and it solidified his presence in the hip hop scene.
Fast forward to 2017 and Herbo decided to feed his fans on St Patricks day with yet another project. This time it was a sequel to his 2014 debut “Welcome to Fazoland”. This was “Welcome to Fazoland 1.5”. By the time this project did come to fruition Herbo had released a fair number of loosies. But he felt as though he needed to deliver a proper package to remind listeners of his capabilities at crafting full projects. It is an EP that was dropped on Apple Music and it comes slightly shorter than most Herbo projects at just 6 tracks. But in just 6 songs he proved to the rap game why Herbo should be taken very seriously in 2017.
Currently Herbo has a number of upcoming projects to look forward to. He is working on a collaborative tape with Southside titled “Swervo”. He also working a hotly anticipated Bibby collaboration which is titled “No Limitation”. But most importantly he is set to release his long awaited debut album, Humbe Beast later this year. Stay tuned and we will provide with updates on any new Herbo songs and projects drop.