Exclusive: GLC Talks Supra, Music, Kanye & More!
JimmyJazz.com recently had the opportunity to chop it up with one of Chicago's most promising acts, GLC (Gangsta L. Crisis). Although GLC is known for lacing a Grammy award winning verse on Kanye's 2004 debut release The College Dropout ("Spaceship") and put the world on to his baller genetics on Ye's sophomore set Late Registration ("Drive Slow"), the Southside GLC is no stranger to the grind. Through well-received mixtapes and leaked tracks from his highly anticipated forthcoming album, Love, Life and Loyalty, GLC is going to put the world on to his ‘Chi State of Mind'.
Aside from music, GLC revealed news about his upcoming sneaker release with Supra, his relationship with the late Dr. Donda West (Kanye's Mom) and even spoke to us about his old retail days at Chicago's premium urban fashion retailer, The Lark, which ironically is now a Jimmy Jazz location. Don't sleep! Read up and get familiar with GLC.
JimmyJazz.com: First and foremost, congrats on the Grammy and just having this amazing buzz. It's definitely an honor talking to you right now.
GLC: Man, thanks a million. Hey, I ma tell you something, it's an honor to be honored. I definitely appreciate you as well.
JimmyJazz.com: And specking of honor, that's a dope record as well...
GLC: (Laughs) Oh "Honor Me"?
JimmyJazz.com: Yeah, your flow on that record is amazing.
GLC: (Laughs) Thanks, man... I appreciate that shit. I'm feeling it right now, dog. I've been working like crazy- pounding shit out.
JimmyJazz.com: So is the album dropping this summer, Love, Life & Loyalty?
GLC: You know the politics and bullshit of this game... I could drop tomorrow, if I say drop tomorrow. But the only thing is, I really want to build my buzz. So the people could be like, "Awww shit, when that GLC coming out?" I need everyone in America and everyone across the globe saying that shit before I drop. I don't wanna be one of these dudes coming out selling 6K records.
JimmyJazz.com: I definitely feel you on that, especially if it's good music.
JimmyJazz.com: So obviously, you're from Chicago. When you picked up the phone, you called me ‘Joe', which is a word part of Chicago slang. You have a song, "Chi State of Mind", for those who have never heard that record, can you just interpret what it's like having a Chicago state of mind?
GLC: With that mentality (short pause) it's sort of like give all, take all. It's like you give your all, you go real hard... you trying to get what you trying to get. Sometimes you may not make it over the hump, so at the end of the day if you got to get you some springs, you gotta hit someone to get them springs, you gotta go purchase them... or what ever you have to do to get them springs on your shoes so you can make it over that hump, you gonna do it. It's just like... man, we can make it any where. It's a hustler's mentality, it's a playa's mentality, it's a macking mentality, it's a pimping mentality and it's also scholastic as well. Because at the end of the day, you got a lot of bright people coming out of the Chi, as well as a lot of hustler's. And at the end of the day, if you can apply that hustler mentality to the corporate America field, you could make it anywhere. Like Chicago has the coldest winter's and the hottest summer's. We survive that shit. If you could make it out of there with like over 168 day covered in gloom and shit, you could make it anywhere in the world, you know what I'm saying?
JimmyJazz.com: Specking of having a hustlers mentality... what was your hustle breaking into the hip-hip scene? How does a GLC hook up with a Kanye West?
GLC: I meet a young, inspiring Producer/ Rapper back in 93'. We were little kids and shit. I meet him through a mutual friend of mine. He was like my man makes beats and you rap... ya'll should get up. We got up, heard the beats, he heard the raps. We were on the same page and we just continued to develop ever since then. And that was a blessing, cause Kanye and I had the same dreams, we had the same goals. We both wanted to be somebody. We definitely wanted our music to be heard, more so than anything else. So it could help elevate our pimping, you know what I'm saying? Man, that's basically what it was and this is what it is today.
JimmyJazz.com: You were involved with Kanye on his debut, College Drop Out, and you received a Grammy award for "Spaceship"....
GLC: Yes sir.
JimmyJazz.com: You were also involved on his sophomore release, Late Registration...
GLC: Yes sir.
JimmyJazz.com: What kind of role has Kanye played on your upcoming release, Love, Life & Loyalty?
GLC: Ye [Kanye] has been executing producing. I value his opinion. He [Kanye West] and I don't see eye to eye on a whole lot of shit when it comes to music. Because, as you can listen to our music, our influences are different as hell. So, I listen to him to get that more worldly, more popular culture and just due to the fact that he's a music genius. He adds his genius to my project just by giving me advice and pointers.
JimmyJazz.com: Today, the video and mp3 for "Big Screen" are plastered all over the Internet. The same goes for the "Fight School" mp3. Which of the two is the official single from your project?
GLC: "Fight School". But aside from "Flight School", we got this other record, "Clockin' Lotsa Dollarz" featuring Bun B (of UGK). We gonna fuck the world with this one.
GLC: Then we got a record with Manfred Mann, a group that played this record in a movie, Blow Call. The name of the record is "Blinded by the Light". I actually got them to play on the album and sing on shit. So I got a record with Manfred Mann... (Laughs).
JimmyJazz.com: Is there a video for "Blinded by the Light"?
GLC: Yeah, we got a video too. So for "Flight School" everything is moving forward. It's looking wonderful. We just moving strategic. We letting it bubble on the Internet. Like the Internet has definitely been my tool, it's been my catalyst to help me get to this next level.
JimmyJazz.com: Specking of the Internet, I have to put this out there. On your Twitter page you tweeted, "Just chopped it up with the legendary Andre 3K..." What's good with that? Is there a collaboration coming?
GLC: Right now, I really can't speck on it. But I hope so... I pray for it. Cause he was like one of my favorite of all time. I was able to chop it up with him. I was really surprised that the guy knew who I was. He said, "I'm familiar with you, I fuck with your shit..." I was like ... Whoa. That meant a lot to me, coming from him. Just to hear him say that, it's like Wow, thank you. Cause this is one of the guys who influence me to what to do this music thing.
JimmyJazz.com: Going back to the album, who are some of the artists featured on the album?
GLC: Kanye West, T-Pain, Bun-B, Richboy, Twista, Shawnna, Really Doe.... Bump J, who just got picked up Feds in Chicago. All these guys are on my album and the producers are all out of Chicago. So, it's not only something big for GLC, but it's something big for the city. Cause the city embraces me, I wear the city on my sleeve and I carry it on my shoulder. So it's gonna be something big, it's gonna bring more attention and when I was down here playing my music in Atlanta, they was like "Damn, finally somebody that sounds like what we be seeing on WGN.
JimmyJazz.com: What's WGN?
GLC: Meaning the news channel that comes on down here and shows in Chicago news.
JimmyJazz.com: You mentioned that you look to Kanye to get a pop (music) point of view; do you travel a lot to get different views on music?
GLC: I sit back and watch other guys do their thing. As oppose to me talking down on them, I root for them... and I'm inspired by them. But when I get them calls from the crib talking about, "the gas bill gotta get paid (and this and that) and we ran into a jam or my nephew is in jail and shit like that... that inspires me. Because I realize that I have lives to change and shit.
JimmyJazz.com: You're a very interesting dude. Your lyrics and your whole style is very Chicago, but at the same time you hit the hipster/ alternative crowed. Why do you feel your respected outside of hip-hop?
GLC: I believe I'm big outside of hip-hop because they love me, and they respect the real. Real is universal. Right is universal. Either your right or your wrong and everybody look at GLC as being right. There ain't no in between. They embrace my concept, they see I be dressing fresh as hell, they like my shoes.... They see I be pimping (laughs).
GLC: So that's universal. If that ain't what you are on and you still like my music, thank you very much. But outside of music, we on two totally different concepts.
JimmyJazz.com: Growing up you worked at a clothing store...
GLC: I worked at 1. It was called The Lark. They did the most highest dollar amount per store in the country out of urban retailers.
JimmyJazz.com: Wow, that's crazy.
GLC: All of our customers were like urban millionaires and thousander's and shit. (Laughs)
GLC: (Laughs). These mothafuckas were always getting money. They would come to The Lark. And aside from that, due to the fact that it was near a really nice neighborhood, called Beverly, you'll occasionally get doctors and lawyers... all different kind of people came into the store. It was really good. If you were a hustler, you were in the prime place for your hustle.
JimmyJazz.com: You have your own t-shirt line that you distribute to boutiques in Chicago. You also did some work with L-R-G in the past. Are you doing anything else with fashion?
GLC: I got the t-shirt line. I'm about to do a shoe with this company called Supra. I'm about to do my own GLC sneaker. I have a cartoon I'm working on called "Haterville". I also play the main character in a video game called "Blitz: The League", it came out in the end of last year- "Blitz: The League 2". I got 2 songs in the game and I play the main character. I'm doing short films right now, like directing them and writing them with my partners, Noah Banks, Travis Long and Cousin Bang [who did Cam'ron's shit]. Aside from that, I'm just trying to make a better tomorrow... today.
JimmyJazz.com: You rap about losing your parents, we all know that as fans and you are vocal about it. Kanye lost his mom as well, and he's a close friend of yours. How has it been creative wise, how has it impact your music?
GLC: Man, defiantly. Because when he lost his mom I lost my other mom.
JimmyJazz.com: Sorry to hear that.
GLC: So I had to go through the shit twice. And my old man, he made his transition back when I was eight months. I learned how to walk and stand on my own two and then a few days later my old man died. When I was 12-years old I lost my mom. And then as a grown ass man I had to lose my other mom. But Mrs. West, she was the backbone of this shit. She actually changed my life as well as a few of my other friends. She saved our lives. If it weren't for her allowing us to go out to her crib and record our music and do our thing... we would probably be in jail, getting into mischiefs. Back then we really didn't understand we ain't really understand the concept of making your environment a product of you. But just being a product of your environment, that right there could of brought us down. My gratitude, my heart, my love, my life as well as my loyalty goes out to that women [Mrs. West] as well as my Mom.
JimmyJazz.com: You seem like a real conscious dude, do you have plans of being a mentor or being affiliated with programs that help misfortunate kids?
GLC: Well I am now. I work with this company called Swank Publishing out in Chicago. I go out to the Westside of Chicago and speak to inner-city youths that are in trouble. That need some guidance, aid, and assistance to help them better themselves.
JimmyJazz.com: That's good to hear. You're a real dude.
GLC: Man, I've been through a lot. People always tell me, "You're the realest, Nigga "or "your really real"... or this and that. And I just be like, "Thank you very much. You know how there's a bad women, right? You telling the bad women, how bad she is... sometimes, they be like what? Cause they see the shit everyday. It's just normal to them. So for me to be the way that I' am, it's just an everyday thing. So when someone say "Your really real" or this and that, I be like damn, thanks. But sometimes I be a little shock and shit that people would say that. Because to me it's just the only way to be. It's the way I've always been. And I notice when certain people tend to get a little fame, little bitches, little money and little power... their whole shit could change or disrupt. But to me, I could show you pictures from 10 years ago, where I had money, bitches, and power. There ain't shit new to me. Mothafuckers only act new when to a situation, when a situation is new to them. This shit is not new to me.
JimmyJazz.com: I feel you. People certainly take notice to that. It's unfortunate when money gets involved and how people lose focus.
GLC: Hell yeah. I have seen it all to often. But as I said, I don't let the bullshit worry me. I'm just going to keep going. Because, I owe this to my fans for helping me get to this point to keep going. I can't be like, "well my album ain't out the yet, I don't know what I'm gonna do" or you know how people point the finger and blame towards other people for their misfortunes?
GLC: I ain't one of those people. I accept everything. I'm a man, so I'm accountable for my acts. Whether it's a plus or a minus, I'm accountable for that shit. And that's what I have to live with.