Few songwriters are as uniquely good as Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, identified collectively as EarthGang. The Atlanta duo have been placing in work since highschool, inserting themselves into the expansive pantheon Atlanta greats. Alongside fellow lyricist J.I.D, the group fashioned Spillage Village, taking their reside expertise to wherever may need them. From there, endurance and keenness paid dividends. People started to take discover from Mac Miller, to Ab-Soul, to J. Cole. Now, the pair have joined the ranks Dreamville, enjoying a pivotal function in a single hip-hop’s most celebrated rosters.
They’ll possible outrap your favourite rapper, all whereas retaining a razor-sharp sense humor and melodious joie de vivre. Conceptually, the pair stay elevated. Their upcoming album MirrorLand has been likened to a film, and their three-act trilogy Rags, Robots, and Royalty showcased a imaginative and prescient past the right here and now. And but, that sense gratitude, love for the artwork making music, stays evident, even after their quickly increasing success.
When I spoke to EarthGang, the pair had lately returned from the KOD Tour, the place they shared the stage alongside J. Cole, Young Thug, and Jaden Smith. Throughout their time on the highway, many tales developed in flip. Some hilarious, others tragic. Yet the gratitude was evident of their respective voices. In reality, their outlook was infectious in its optimism, translated of their vigorous reflections on previous and current. Whether speaking about music, their come-up, fellow artists, or the late Mac Miller, EarthGang floor their phrases with a deep-rooted sense admiration for the craft, and those who observe it.
HNHH: Hey, that is Mitch from HNHH. How you guys doing?
Johnny Venus: Chilling, Chilling.
How was tour?
JV: It was superb. It was flat out unbelievable. Everything we might have wished and dreamed for.
Doctur Dot: This is like one the very best excursions we ever did.
JV: Like the Too High To Riot Tour with Bas was one for the books however this one proper right here. It’s simply stuff that legends are made . It’s similar to stuff you inform your nice grandkids and stuff. One for the books.
The loopy factor is it feels such as you guys are nonetheless solely getting began. You guys have such a prolific price dropping music. I really feel like the very best is but to come back.
Venus: These amateurs are actually doing it!
Nah, man! You guys are nice.
JV: Nah, I really feel you although! It’s actually cool. It is actually cool for therefore many individuals to be put onto us and it’s their first time and we’re on stage with Thug and Jaden and Cole. It’s like “I by no means heard these guys earlier than!” We’re introduced subsequent to those names so we sort gotta convey it.
Absolutely. I imply, your materials speaks for itself for my part. You’ve received a terrific physique work. I’m certain it was a terrific expertise. But earlier than we begin speaking concerning the KOD Tour, I’d like to have a look again on the Spillage Village motion. How did you guys come collectively?
DD: Yeah, converse on that, man! I really like to speak about that. Spillage Village was an concept that me, Venus and JID got here up with once we was up in Virginia. We had been all homies. We had been three homies from Atlanta in Virginia, at school rapping. We had been all hanging collectively and rapping collectively, and we had been like we must always actually make this a factor. We ought to decide to it and we began calling ourselves Spillage Village. It was simply one thing we might simply all the time say once we would go to events and go to the studio. Then once we received house again to Atlanta, we actually made it right into a motion. We began doing reveals throughout town underneath the title. All us collectively on stage collectively.
JV: Yeah. Every time we come house, folks ask us like do you will have any recommendation for upcoming artists? I be like, very first thing is, don’t cease. Because no matter we was going by way of, we stored making music. We simply stored making music after which we received house, we simply stored performing. Like any kind present. Pay to play kind reveals? Yeah bro, we did that. Every Monday we might carry out at Club Crucial, spend like $30-50.
We had been working as camp counselors. We had been struggling faculty youngsters like all people else however we might take no matter cash we had and go carry out these two, three songs and folk would take a look at us like who’re these guys? Who are these weirdos? But the title caught. It traveled and that’s all that mattered like consistency.
DD: Yeah. Picking up on what Venus stated, that Club Crucial, I don’t know if it’s nonetheless the identical, we been away for a minute, however it was T.I’s membership, bro.
JV: Folks nonetheless be in there performing.
DD: Yeah, I do know folks nonetheless be in there doing reveals. We was in there doing open mics and freestyles and all sorts shit. Off the highest doing freestyles and shit in there early, simply because we heard folks be getting picked up and blowing up out there. We didn’t know no different manner. And we from the Westside, however we was like, we in that shit.
You guys had been actually grinding again then.
JV: Yeah! When I received house like final weekend, I used to be calling this Uber and this dude, we had been simply speaking and I’m prefer it’s so loopy, I simply received again house and I used to be like, “we was on the highway with J. Cole.” And he was like “maintain up, you ain’t EarthGang is you?” I used to be like, yeah bro. And he like “man that’s loopy, I keep in mind when y’all was acting at Apache!” Apache is like one these spots, like a nightclub the place they do open mics and we’d are available there and like actually pay to play!
He was saying the identical factor. Like, “I’m so proud that y’all nonetheless touring and y’all stored it up”. Because quite a bit folks get aspect tracked. So much folks be like, man this simply ain’t for me. Yeah bro, for that to come back full circle, it’s simply superb.
I learn you guys had been doing a little engineering by yourself materials too. Just sort actually like a DIY method to it.
JV: That was straight a necessity, yo! When we went to College, even again in Atlanta, once we was recording in High School, the one purpose we had entry is as a result of two our companions. One was named Dex, we went to High School collectively, and one other one our companions, Mercy, he’s like a producer out right here. He makes nice music. He went to center faculty with me.
They each had studios at they crib, and like me personally, that is my first time ever seeing a studio, not to mention a studio in somebody’s home. So, I used to be like, , “oh wow, that is the place we recording.” But once we went to varsity, we didn’t have that, so, that entire first 12 months, we was making our personal information, we was sneaking into the liberal arts faculty as a result of they’d their very own studio in there.
We would depart a rock on the door and like one, two within the morning, we might simply open the door and sneak into the studio. We’d simply be there till we left. The custodian was cool, he would are available there once in a while and be like oh “y’all simply in right here recording y’all cool.”
Nice. I do know you guys have quite a bit influences outdoors hip-hop, and I used to be questioning when you really feel like there are benefits that come from increasing your style to incorporate different genres.
DD: Yeah. I believe increasing your self in any manner to assist improve your progress is a bonus. It’s simple to get a technique and get stagnant.
JV: It’s actually straight up about curiosity and inquisitiveness. If you all the time looking out and all the time making an attempt to be taught extra and making an attempt to show your self to extra, you’re going to perpetually be a conduit, what I’m saying? Whether its vitality, whether or not it’s musical information, whether or not it’s cash, networking. If you’re all the time always looking for additional information, you’re all the time going to have extra and be capable of give extra.
Like even once we determined to go to high school, we had been like, nah we wanna go to high school outdoors Atlanta. Now our path is totally different from let’s say a Migos path, or a Young Thug’s path as a result of they got here up recording with Gucci within the metropolis. That’s a ravishing factor, however we was like, we doing one thing totally different as a result of that is what we wish to do. It’s paying f for us in a ravishing manner.
No doubt. I wished to truly speak about some the stuff that’s happening in Atlanta. I noticed Cyhi Da Prynce tweeted out that the best lyricists alive proper now are from Atlanta, and I believe with out saying something, he’s enveloping you into that blend. So, I’m simply questioning, do you’re feeling like he is likely to be onto one thing there?
JV: Man, he simply know what town is about! We simply scrappers, anyone from Atlanta, we survivors bro! Put us anyplace, we gonna survive. We gonna come out on high. So, it don’t matter what we do. If we artists, musicians, mayors, medical doctors, we gonna scrap, we gonna come out on high. We gonna do it our manner, so for certain, I agree with him 100 p.c.
So, on that be aware, in phrases lyricism, I used to be doing a deep dive by way of your catalogs. Really sort attending to know all the lyrics and actually listening to writing as a result of I discover actually, from a writing perspective, some the very best out proper now. Super thought-provoking. There’s quite a bit to unpack there. I gotta ask about your writing course of.
DD: It’s loopy bro! We actually be tryna be humorous bro. That’s the trustworthy factor. We wasn’t tryna be intelligent and that’s the factor! laughs]
The humor is certainly famous. But I’m simply curious, whenever you guys sit down in a studio session and also you hear the beat, what’s the method like. Are you collectively? Are you doing this by yourself? Is it extra an inside course of, or is there quite a bit again forth?
JV: It’s something man. It can go any manner. It’s like being in a chemistry lab and having a special experiment to attempt on a regular basis. It’s a bunch instruments, a bunch components. It’s sort such as you received a blindfold on and also you simply strolling round grabbing issues and you want, oh this what we received? Like Macgyver fashion. Let’s do it, let’s make one thing with it. I really feel like that’s what creativity is about. Creativity is about utilizing what you will have and making new issues out .
For certain. So, wanting again on the KOD Tour, any memorable tales you’d wish to share?
maniacal laughter from each]
DD: I received one! This is an effective PG rated story I can share. When we was in Texas, first time we ever met Lil Uzi, we within the inexperienced room, we received hella weed, we received hella Texas women strolling round. It regarded like an old-fashioned Paul Wall video in there. I’m in that bitch. I received the tattoo artist in there. I’m in that bitch getting tatted up like individuals are watching and filming me getting tatted. Who walks within the room? Lil Uzi. When he come by way of, he dap niggas up, we chop it up for a min. Get jokes cracking. It was nice.
JV: Uzi walked into the dressing room sort like a superintendent or one thing! He had his fingers behind his again, like he simply walked in, like “what y’all as much as!” He was dolo.
DD: It was simply loopy. After Uzi walked in, all people simply knew EarthGang inexperienced rooms was lit. Now we inexperienced room legends for all excursions perpetually and ever.
That sounds fairly legendary. Do you guys have any plans to hyperlink up with Uzi sooner or later to make some music?
JV: For certain. Definitely. Most undoubtedly. We received extra tales. When we was in Minnesota. So, like through the present, we’ll go to the riser to look at Cole’s efficiency as a result of all people assist all people. Thug was there, we had been there, Jaden was up there. Next factor , Thug and his folks simply take f from the risers they usually head by way of the hall by way of the entire facility.
We following, all people strolling, there was simply this huge commotion, like this huge ol’ battle once we was going outdoors the place. We walked previous the place, we walked previous the battle, it was all tense, we maintain strolling, we following, we don’t know the place we going, it’s like twenty, thirty folks strolling. We going up escalators, by way of little backdoors, hidden alleyways.
DD: We crossed a bridge!
JV: Yeah, we crossed over a bridge! Next factor , we pull up within the Timberwolves observe facility. They shut f all of the lights they usually simply throw like thirty basketballs on the ground. All our camp is on the market capturing hoops. And it’s similar to man, folks don’t get to see this aspect artists, or this aspect tour life. It was simply nice for everyone. This was just like the fifteenth, twentieth metropolis. It was nice for everyone to blow f some steam and shoot hoops.
It simply sort gave us that point to bond and play horse. That idiot Jaden don’t even play basketball yo. Fool hit the half courtroom shot. Everybody was like “Ohhhhh!” It was like bro, you actually lit proper now. It was simply nice occasions.
On that be aware, I wish to sort take it again to the previous for a second, you guys toured with Ab-Soul and the Black Hippy again in 2014. How would you say these two excursions have in contrast?
JV: Yo, the primary time we met Soul, all of us got here on the bus. It was us and G. Them fools gave us similar to a lot weed simply f high. It was like “what’s popping? It’s good to have y’all on the highway. Here’s weed. Enjoy.” It was dope as a result of quite a bit folks don’t know, we didn’t receives a commission for that tour, they simply gave us that chance and when you actually about your grind, you gonna take that chance and take advantage of it.
So, we was packed like seven deep in a Chevy Traverse with baggage for like a month. But they actually reached out to us on day one like we glad to have y’all, bearing presents. It was sort the identical factor this time, aside from like we are able to eat, we didn’t must be packed. But like Thug despatched us bottles and stuff, like all people was simply displaying love.
All the excursions we been on man, all people simply been displaying love prefer it’s a communal environment like whether or not it was with Soul, or the late nice Mac Miller, with Bas, with Thug, with Cole, all people simply had a communal environment. It’s been stunning. Sometimes we had been struggling like with Ab Soul, after which typically you bought catering like with the KOD tour, however it’s nonetheless love like no one treating anyone like they lower than. Everybody respecting all people.
Awesome. I didn’t know that aspect tour life. You take the camaraderie as a right whenever you take a look at it as a fan. You know what I imply? But you guys are on the market for on the market for months.
JV: Yeah. For months. Like you see folks on a regular basis and this tour particularly, folks had been going by way of a lot. Like my father handed two weeks earlier than I went on the highway, and quite a bit folks don’t know that.
I’m so sorry to listen to that.
JV: Thank you. I respect that. So much folks didn’t know that. Word began to get round, folks had been simply checking in on me and ensuring I used to be alright. Then the final week, the final two weeks, our DJ informed us, he was like man one the sunshine dudes, the graphic dudes, his father handed whereas we had been on the highway. He ain’t get an opportunity to go house.
We had been actually capable of bond on frequent issues like maintain one another up throughout onerous occasions. People don’t perceive prefer it’s actually robust on the highway. You get to construct to that household. We had sleepovers with this man Thug on the bus, like enjoying GTA, like that common stuff.
JV: Yeah. Thug received all of the cheat codes. He hopping over buildings and shit!
Who’s the nicest at GTA although?
JV: I imply all you doing is robbing folks and beating folks up with cheat codes. It’s not that onerous. But Thug was fireplace with it although. He simply rampaging. It’s simply chaos.
I have been there with Grand Theft Auto. But I wished to ask about one thing, on extra a somber be aware. You talked about Mac Miller, Rest In Peace. I do know you guys collaborated with him on “Monday.” Is there something you’d wish to share concerning the experiences you had working with him.
JV: Aw man. Mac was actually the primary tremendous well-known particular person we ever met. We executed shook fingers with folks, however Mac was like the primary individual that was like, Oh that man can’t go to the mall with us. He can’t simply exit and stroll round with us. But on the identical token he was like, essentially the most real particular person. He invited us to his house, he invited us on the highway with him. Just strictly f the truth that the artistry and the respect for the artistry was there.
He revered the individuals who had been round they usually revered him. It was a household environment. Like he was our brother, he handled us like brothers. He despatched us beats and stuff. When we made information with him, he didn’t cost us nothing. It was similar to yo, let’s simply make music, let’s do it. I respect y’all, we are able to smoke, kick it like we brothers and we didn’t don’t have anything bro! We didn’t haven’t any kind offers, no kind followers, all we had was our music.
DD: We didn’t don’t have anything to fer this man. Nobody even regarded our path till he make clear us. He tweeted out the “F Bomb” video, and f the “F Bomb” video we had been capable of tour with Ab Soul and f that, we had been capable of meet Cole, and after assembly Cole, we was capable of signal to Interscope. He pushed the domino.
JV: He was the primary particular person!
DD: On every part.
JV: Everybody else that noticed us was like, “wassup. Keep grinding.” Even in the event that they knew us or didn’t know us, it was like “wassup, maintain grinding.” Mac was like yo, I’m opening up this house. We was chilling in his storage out in Malibu till like 5 within the morning simply blasting music, making information, writing. Like this my first time ever being in Malibu. Like Malibu, nigga I’m from Southwest Atlanta! I don’t go to oceans! Ain’t no oceans round right here! Ain’t no seashores round right here, bro. I’m in Malibu with Mac Miller?
DD: That was my first time in a G wagon. In Mac Miller’s G wagon.
JV: You know what I’m saying, we using round with this man! We didn’t don’t have anything and he was similar to tremendous benevolent, tremendous beneficiant. I wish to be certain folks know that about him. Like he was a terrific dude.
DD: Still is nice. Still blessing us.
Thanks for sharing that. He was good on the mic too. Like very versatile.
DD: He was so good at totally different devices, bro. Like even once we went on tour with him. That tour was like a very good tour for us. It was us, him, Michael Christmas, Cousin Stizz, we nonetheless cool with these guys from that tour. Stizz got here out on our Boston date. All them relationships was constructed as a result of Mac. And the best way he would have folks round and neutralize a vibe, that’s one thing you’re simply born with. It simply feels natural and it feels purposeful and the way it’s alleged to be.
JV: Yeah. We all chilling.
DD: To make folks really feel like they’re alleged to be round it doesn’t matter what, is fireplace. Everybody can’t try this.
The recreation misplaced a very good one. I keep in mind listening to that whereas working…It was upsetting. Took some time to sit down in.
JV: And the loopy factor that you just even saying that, is like we was on the highway when that occurred. We had simply received to Vegas. We simply noticed him in LA per week earlier than. He got here to the present! Everybody who was on the KOD Tour rocked with him. He got here to the VIP room, he was sitting there with all people. This is Mac Miller, bro. He was sitting there with all people. People who purchased their folks in, their followers, no matter, he was sitting there kicking it with all people. So once we received to Vegas. Doc referred to as me and informed me. I used to be fucked up bro. It simply so occurred that everyone on the tour, we galvanized one another. We held one another up.
DD: I used to be crying so motherfucking a lot.
JV: We was within the dressing room crying earlier than the present in Las Vegas. Just tears, weeping, we don’t know what to do. We don’t know what to say. That’s my buddy. It ain’t even about rap shit. That’s my buddy. He went to highschool and shit with our managers and stuff. That’s our folks. We was blessed to be round that neighborhood and that setting on this tour the place we might get by way of it.
I by no means met Mac, however he’s an artist and I believe he’d take some consolation in understanding that you just guys all bonded collectively and stored one another going. You know, fellow artists. I believe that’s one thing to be stated about that. I keep in mind after it occurred, J. Cole truly tweeted out some uplifting stuff and a few optimistic messages. It sort strengthened his place within the recreation, as a job mannequin. I’m simply questioning what’s your guys’ relationship with Cole?
DD: That’s the homie man.
JV: He like the massive brother I by no means had. I’m an solely baby. I come from a big prolonged household, however I needed to get quite a bit issues by myself. But he like an enormous brother that I by no means had like and it’s cool as a result of, you understand how typically huge brothers be all in your head, tryna inform you to do that and that, it ain’t even like that. He’s simply as excited as we’re.
I received any individual that been by way of some issues alongside this journey I can reference it from. It’s only a blessing. That’s our accomplice, he gonna get loopy with us, he gonna get wild, he gonna crack jokes, he gonna do all the identical issues that we do, however he simply seen a bit extra. So it’s like alright that is developing subsequent so maintain your eyes open.
DD: Yeah. Cole is nice for the highway maps. That’s one factor I can say about Cole. He predicted my son was gonna be born. On some bizarre stuff.
That’s loopy. When was it, out curiosity?
DD: November 21st. He didn’t say the precise date however he stated it’s gonna be the day you get house. And it was the day I received house from tour.
JV: Yeah. We was on the highway with J.I.D. It was the Atlanta date. The Atlanta date was the final day.
DD: We was getting nearer and nearer to the beginning my son. It was like properly inside the time restrict, like low-key a bit late. Cole was like don’t fear about it. It’s not gonna occur till you get again. And I used to be like what? And it was actually the day I received again. Soon as I received again. It was loopy.
EarthGang – “Stuck” ft. Arin Ray
Man, congratulations! It’s humorous you talked about J.I.D as a result of I used to be gonna simply say, mainly each time you see EarthGang and J.I.D on the identical monitor, I really feel prefer it’s gonna be good. Great chemistry there. Clearly you guys have gone manner again, and I used to be simply questioning, do you guys, perhaps a bit preview, you will have something lined up for the long run, perchance?
JV: Hey man. Surprises out right here!
I figured. I needed to attempt.
DD: Look out for that DiCaprio 2. It’s a tremendous undertaking. That’s one factor I can say.
JV: For certain for certain. It’s a terrific undertaking. With nice options. Surprise shock.
I have been wanting ahead to the final quarter releases. There’s a bunch good music popping out. I’m hoping for some MirrorLand personally, however I perceive.
JV: I’m hoping too. We all hoping. We hoping wishing and praying.
It’ll be a very good one. I’ve a sense. You gave us some nice music lately. We can’t get grasping. That’s gonna be good. What are you able to inform me about MirrorLand?
JV: It’s a film. It’s a visit. It’s an LSD journey. It’s a coming age journey. You gonna be proven who you’re, who you wanna be and the infinite prospects who you will be. All on this undertaking.
DD: And how far gentle can bounce!
Well rattling, I’m wanting ahead to it! I’m glad you had a terrific tour and thanks for sharing every part. I actually appreciated this dialog.
JV: Thanks man.
DD: Where you at Mitch? Where you positioned?
I’m from Montreal, Canada.
JV: Ohhh!!!!!!!! We love Montreal. Montreal is the place.
DD: We had been simply there!
You had fun?
They confirmed us good love man.
Canada simply received the authorized weed, so quite a bit individuals are enthusiastic about that.
JV: Montreal is a ravishing place.
Doc: Y’all are one step nearer to the long run.
Yeah. Well, I imply, you’re welcome again anytime.
JV: For certain. For certain.
DD: I used to low-key hate Canada however now I adore it.
JV: I’ve all the time cherished Canada, yo. The first time I used to be in Toronto, it was simply mind-boggling, bro! Toronto is such a worldwide metropolis, like coming from Atlanta. Atlanta is a hearth metropolis however Atlanta is turning into a worldwide metropolis. It’s like a global-southern metropolis, however whenever you go to Toronto, you see folks from like all around the world. Vibing and co-existing and it’s similar to man, I can’t wait till that vitality involves the South. The folks from the south received quite a bit to fer. Black folks from the south received quite a bit to fer the world. I can’t wait till Atlanta turns into that world metropolis.
I believe you guys have a very good foothold on tradition proper now. Atlanta is placing out nice music!
DD: Yeah. Shoutout to the path Atlanta goes in. Atlanta goes in a very good path proper now. I’m actually proud what’s taking place. I really like seeing this shit.
JV: It’s stunning.
It’s entering into quite a bit instructions too. You’ve received extra lyrically based mostly artists, some nice entice music, it’s only a mixture every part. Super well-rounded.
DD: Films are being shot right here. So much motion pictures.
JV: Great music.
Absolutely. Well what do you guys have deliberate for tonight?
JV: sung] Bout to go “Six Flags: Fright Night!” Bout to go to “Six Flags: Fright Night!”
DD: It’s sort chilly. I believe I’m going to look at that film Ferdinand.
JV: I would like to look at Nightmare Before Christmas. Everybody ensure you try this.
That’s a basic. Anyway, guys, take pleasure in your evening!
DD: Alright man, be secure.
JV: Thanks man!
Likewise. It’s been a pleasure.