Oakland-based rapper G2 recently returned to the music scene after some early successes inadvertently spurred him to reevaluate his intentions. “My music started to pick up speed, and I suddenly became more commercial than I planned to be. I started making music that I thought the fans wanted to hear, rather than being the kind of music I made from the heart. I almost quit because I wasn’t really doing my own thing. Recently married, I’ve entered a whole new world of dreams and challenges.”
How did you get your stage name? What made you decide to become a rapper?
I started making music after a really rough breakup with a girl a few years back and I guess I was just looking for an outlet, so I picked up a pen and started writing poetry. In the middle of it, I had the sudden idea that what I was writing would work into a song. Before then, I had no thought or interest in being a rapper. As a result, rapping became my second life, besides my professional life. As my first name starts with the letter G, the number two represents each of my two lives, G2.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
When I was nine years old I remember hearing Nothin But a G Thang by Dr Dre. Before then, I was all about The Beach Boys and didn’t even really know rap existed. After that, I was sold. I started working on a couple little kid dance moves, turned the radio up, and really got into it when I saw the video. It was like I was a hype man in the background while the doc and snoop were doing their thing. My imagination ran wild. It was like I was the guy riding the bike with Snoop in the Gin and Juice video. My life and interests definitely took a major turn then.
How did “Best Friend” come together?
I spend a lot of time thinking about my past, both the good and the bad, though one of the higher points was definitely my friendships when I was little. I mean, do any of us have as good of friends as we have when we were kids? Best Friend is about the relationship I had with my best friend when I was 6. A friend of mine more recently introduced me to his family, including his young daughter Eliana, who reminded me of my best friend when I was little and wow could she sing! The idea for the song was then complete.
What are your thoughts on the year in music so far?
Honestly, I’m disappointed with all the ratchet rap. Lyrics and beats are just getting worse and worse. It seems like rap is meaning less and less as time goes on. Rap was at its best from 1990-2000 in my opinion. Even the songs that weren’t inspirational had much better rhythm, but a lot of the rap meant something. More than half the time I hear new rap songs, I can’t stand it for more than 10 seconds. I really hope ratchet rap is a fad and real music comes back quick, though it looks like it’s going in more of the opposite direction and building rather than losing momentum.