“I do have a recurring nightmare about getting raided or going to jail. I haven’t had it in the last year. I used to have that dream so often, it would seem so real. Them kicking the door in or some type of raid, but I ain’t been having it. That’s why I said “These n!**@s worried about going out and getting faded, I’m worried about losing a load & getting raided” on my record that my man Frost Gamble produced.” Gre8Gawd reflects after being asked about dreams.
Given the authenticity of the lyrics from an artist whose project titles include Snow Day & Wolf SZN, such nightmares aren’t exactly unexpected. With the run he’s had in the last couple of years he’s been able to fully focus on music. His newly untroubled nights are a testament to how successful his dedication has been. Both of the aforementioned projects were critical successes and earned him a spot on acclaimed MC/producer Roc Marciano’s Pimpire Label.
Recently we had the chance to discuss his upcoming self-titled project, as well as a pair of collaborative EP’s one with Roc, and another produced entirely by Mobb Deep’s Havoc he has coming out. We also get into why artists like Benny The Butcher consider him an Upstate NY legend, how he ended up on one of the last songs with Mobb Deep, and much more.
DGB: I’ve noticed in your songs you make many references to receiving help from women in trafficking. Given that you are known for the authenticity of your lyrics, how would you spot or be able to ascertain which women were potentially receptive to such endeavors?
GG: You know what it really is? Just being a good judge of character. I’ve been around all walks of life. I’ve been around the shadiest of the shady and cats I’d give all of my trust too. A lot of times all it takes is a 5 or 10-minute conversation. Or not even a conversation because the energy don’t lie. I’m big on energy. I tell people not to underestimate energy. The energy means more than anything. Sometimes even without the conversation, I can give a good read. I can read people well.
Certain people make you earn their trust. I was the type to give you a whole joint and hope you fuck it up. Well maybe not hope you fuck it up, but know where I’m going to take it if you do fuck it up. You have all the trust in the world with me. Then you do something and knock it down to 90. Knock it down to 80. Once it gets to 50 I’m ready to fuck you over. I always look at things optimistically and like I said I’m a good judge of character. So I didn’t get fucked over very often. Not to say that it never happened. It did, but it didn’t happen often and they knew not to try to be too slick. With females, it’s easier than men. Men guard their true feelings. With women, I can see if they’ll be good, or if I need to watch them. If I need to watch them I just leave them alone.
On one of the songs on Snow Day you mention turning down someone who wanted half a kilo because that wasn’t a large enough purchase. When those occasions occurred did it hurt their feelings?
It might hurt their ego, but it keeps the type of people I don’t want to deal with away from me. The type of people I’d have to do something to. Like I said you probably heard of me the first time you purchased a key. I’m not coming outside for no four and a halfs, especially not no 62s, no zips, none of that. I’m not even putting my shoes on for that. If that’s what you’re into you probably dealing with somebody else. You got to get to the point where you were dealing with what I was dealing with. I always knew that it would keep me out of trouble. I didn’t have to rip and run a lot. I’d take the situation to the person and they’d call me in a week to come pick the money up. All that ripping and running is how you go to jail. Going in and out of the same crib, going to the same spot. Now people are watching patterns. I’ve been on both sides. I’ve been on every side of hustling. I know what it looks like when someone’s scheming. I know what it looks like when they’re watching. They can’t really get a pattern when you only come out once a week. Less chance of getting pulled over. It lessens the risk and gives you a longer span of being able to get to some money.
On an interlude on Snow Day, Benny The Butcher calls you an “Upstate Legend” in New York. For those not in the know what does he mean by that?
He was basically saying the God don’t mess with everybody. That if you got a song with me or I co-sign you, you’re that guy for real. In real life. He wasn’t really talking about in the streets. He was talking about when I co-sign an artist. That means something. He was one of those people. He was definitely always dope. I always fucked with son. His writing abilities, his whole grind. He was letting it be known that the God isn’t just a yes man, that I don’t be fucking with everybody. You got to really be talking that talk to get my attention.
Read part two where we talk about Grea8Gawd being on one of the last Prodigy songs, his upcoming work with Havoc & Roc Marciano, plus much more.