EarthGang open up about getting kicked out of school, meeting J. Cole, and why people need to put some respect on Big Boi's name.
EarthGang has earned a reputation as one of hip-hop's most dynamic groups, unafraid to push boundaries and capable of spitting bars when the occasion calls for it. And with their recent Dreamville debut Mirrorland and Spillage Village compilation project Spilligion in the books, many have been excited to see what Olu and Wowgr8, aka Doctur Dot, have been cooking up next. Today, the pair sat down for an in-person interview at The Breakfast Club, where they shared some key insight into their past, present, and future.
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Dot reveals that he and J.I.D were expelled from college for stealing, and while it was not ideal at the time, he argues that it helped forge the Spillage Village bond that sparked his musical journey. "After we got kicked out of Hampton, our parents put us out cause we was all disgraced and shit, and we ended up living together," he explains. "It was like, shit, I guess we gon' live together and start rappin'."
The pair also reflect on their first meeting with J. Cole, who was impressed after seeing them persevere through technical difficulties during a concert. "He was like 'I got a crib in North Carolina, I have a studio in there,'" reflects Dot. "I don't know what ya'll situation is, but ya'll want somewhere to record at? We was like, yes." Olu explains that they pulled up with one goal -- to make a track. "Cole had just made a beat, and he was like 'ya'll can't stay here unless you rap on this," says Dot, as Olu reveals that the song in question was J.I.D's Never Story highlight "D/Vision."
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At one point, the OutKast comparison comes up, specifically the narrative that "EarthGang is like OutKast with two Andres." "It's a compliment cause being compared to OutKast is fire," says Dot. "It's an insult because, just like Andre matters, Big Boi matters. If you really know OutKast, and you didn't just hop on Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, you know the records." "You know how Big Boi would come in on 'Southernplayalistic' and 'ATLiens, adds Olu. "You felt that anchor there. In a lot of records he was that anchor for 3000 to spread his wings and do what he wanted to do. And vice versa! A lot of times, Big Boi would [experiment] with the production...It's just disrespectful to not pay respects to both people."
As the interview winds down, Olu confirms that their upcoming album will be titled Ghetto Gods. "This whole conversation has been about respect for people coming out the hood," he explains, as Dot adds his two cents. "The balance of being a God and being ghetto, it's cool." When Charlamagne asks as to whether they'll be dropping on the same day as Cole, Dot admits that they originally announced that for hype. "We might be before Cole since we really don't know when that n***a dropping. When he do drop, we ready!"
Check out the full interview below.