Slope Media’s Jidé Nwosu was recently able to get an interview with Atlanta-based rap duo EarthGang. EarthGang is comprised of two men, Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot. The duo’s lyrical, unique style of rapping has catapulted them into the ranks of today’s top rappers. Their work includes impressive beats paired with fresh, playful stanzas. XXL Magazine recently wrote an article praising EarthGang’s latest album, Strays With Rabies. EarthGang has performed at large venues such as SXSW, and they have also toured the country with artists such as Ab-Soul and Mac Miller on his GO:OD AM tour. Slope Media has an exclusive look into the past, present, and future of these excellent artists!
Q. Atlanta has a very rich musical history, especially in the genre of hip-hop. How did growing up in Atlanta influence the style of music EarthGang creates?
A. “Atlanta has a rich history of Black people from all walks of life. Especially South West Atlanta. The AUC itself influenced so many black people from all over the country and world; also contributing to the city’s diversity. We have that limitless outlook on creativity.”
Q. How challenging was it to start a rap duo in high school? Who were the biggest proponents and opponents of your dream? How did you manage your time?
A. “In HS, we really didn’t have sh*t. Like we didn’t have any recording equipment, no instruments, just a friend with a studio he had in his basement which he rented out. We’ve always been forced to create out of necessity. Even in College we never had a mentor or someone to take us under their wing; just peers who we worked with and shared our skills. Our biggest opponent was our bank account lol. We just focused man; all through HS and college just perfecting out craft.”
Q. Rap duos are rare in hip-hop today. What was the motivation to keep EarthGang as a duo instead of starting as solo artists who collaborated together over time?
A. “We didn’t think bout it that hard. That’s how we started out. We were brothers before the music was brought up.”
Q. When did it become apparent that EarthGang could be very successful? Was it a boom or bust mission from the start, or did you put more work into it once you began to reap the benefits?
A. “Everything we did is boom or bust. But the more we poured time into it the more we discovered the talents that were already in us. We put more work into it because it’s what we love; what we were born to do. The production on “Strays With Rabies” was extraordinary, and the album has its own unique sound.”
Q. Can you describe the creative process required to achieve the specific sound that you wanted?
A. “STRAYS required a lot of changing environments and feels. We always use sounds that feel good when we’re going with production. We’re not so dead set on competing or keeping up with a current sound, trend. Music is constant. All aspects of it is kind of in style.”
Q. What are the best memories from touring with Mac Miller and/or Ab-Soul? What were your favorite cities that you visited while on tour?
A. “The best cities for that Ab-Soul tour were Seattle and Boston. Those places were crazy! Seattle was just a smokey sea of people and the pipes were sweating at the “Middle East” in Boston. Charlotte really went crazy on the Mac Miller tour. Like foooolish. Thats when things started to get wild. We drove across the whole country on that Soul tour. The craziest things happen to us on tour. We dodged a moose on the road in Montana. We survived a car accident in Florida. We saw gazelles in Wyoming. And the weed around the states is crazy; Denver and Seattle, LA, Michigan too. Don’t sleep. We made everyone taste that Hot a*s Hot Sauce called “Mega Death Sauce” in Boston. Sh*t almost took my boy Michael Christmas out of here.”
Q. What have you learned about the music industry from these tours and what do you like/dislike the most about being artists?
A. “We knew this already but we learned that the fans are the engine man. They are the most important and they make this stuff go. You have to work for your fans and keep them engaged and interact and enjoy yourself. It’s all about the experience. And about having a good time while you work hard. The Mac tour had a super lax environment. TDE ran a tight ship but they both had good energy and wanted to put on the best show possible.”
Q. What are EarthGang’s future goals? (Collaborations, cities to perform in, commercial success)
A. “We’re going to make EarthGang a Global brand and tour the world until the end of time. We’ve got the best fan base in the world right now, and it’s growing the right way. F*cking love Y’all.”
Q. Are there any future EarthGang projects that you have kept quiet until this point?
A. “Lol No. The stove is on. The coals are hot.”
EarthGang’s website can be accessed at www.EarthGang.net.
Liquor Sto’ is one of the more popular songs off of EarthGang’s recent album, Strays With Rabies. Stay tuned for more upcoming artist interviews!