Horseshoe G.A.N.G is a collective of four blood brothers (Demetrius, Julius, Kenny and Andrew “Dice”) that breathes the familiar root of Hip Hop into their music. Being the brothers of Crooked I, there’s no surprise shedding on their well-respected name and talent. In 2011, the gang released a 17-track mixtape that went viral and officially marked the start of their career. Five years later, they’ve maintained the same hype and released yet another banging album entitled “Anti-Trap Music” this year.
Horseshoe G.A.N.G chatted it up with AAHipHop on their new album, the blessings of their success thus far and a promising quote that reflects their progressions in the next five years.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Aside from our elder bros Mad Man and KXNG Crooked, we were inspired by lots of rappers but mainly N.W.A, Rakim, Ice-T, 2Pac, Twista, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Of course, it would be expected to have some of Hip Hop’s greatest artist as your inspirations. It also transforms through your music since the start until now. Explain the musical growth you guys have collectively experienced from 2011 until now?
The time span in between 2011 and 2016 will probably be remembered as the period which officially shaped us as a group of artists. We put in a ton of work in the last five years. We feel like we’ve been put through an obstacle course, and it keeps getting more difficult as the years continue. We now feel free when we get into recording mode. We’re more comfortable musically, and we know we needed to experience every moment of the last half-decade to reach the creative space we’re in now.
In one sentence, describe your personal success and how it changed each of you individually?
“I’ve become a better man as a result of our musical growth.”
“Being able to pay rent and bills with rap money, allows me to focus less on distractions.”
“As the eldest brother in the group, I’ve experienced more disappointments, so It’s a huge relief to have this level of success.”
“I now have a better platform to voice my angry rants.”
Every collective has their ups and downs when working together but at the end, it’s always worth it. What are the pros and cons with working together?
We’ve had a lot of ups and downs in this industry… Probably way more downs. But as far as the highs and lows associated with being in a group goes, we don’t have any lows. Being a group, particularly brothers, gives us an unfair advantage. Our brotherhood is a mutant ability. We’re like the X-Men, and KXNG Crooked is like Professor X.
The G.A.N.G is on top of the underground scene right now, which is amazing. A lot of artists aspire to be in that position. Of course, I don’t expect you guys to be content with that, which speculates, are you willing to take your music to the mainstream media and if so, would there be any changes in The G.A.N.G’s sound?
We’d be lying if we said we never wanted mainstream attention. But these days, the word “mainstream” has negative connotations associated with it cause so many artists have to conform to gain mainstream attention or appeal. So God willing, we’ll keep grinding until our music reaches as many ears as possible. But if attaining mainstream success means compromising our integrity, then fuck the mainstream.
I agree, the mainstream has negative connotations, but it’s artists like you that we are patiently waiting on to change the game. But, let’s get more in-depth with your Latest album “Anti-Trap” What would you tell a new listener to expect before they listen to the album?
They should expect to hear the authentic Hip-Hop music. Deep, clever, aggressive, fun, dark, rebellious and never one-dimensional. Rap music has always served as a bright spotlight shed on a creative culture. Lately, that spotlight hasn’t been so bright. We’re trying to bring Hip Hop back to where it belongs.
It’s obvious that you are not a fan of Trap music (hence the album’s name), and lately, rappers are setting that trendy sound of trap for Hip Hop’s latest music. Is there any artist out that you guys listen to?
We listen to Jay-Z, J.Cole, Wale, Kendrick Lamar, and Drake, to name a few. But we also listen to rappers who make Trap music. We look up to T.I. and he’s one of the founders of the Trap sound. T.I. is one of few real Trap rappers who’s also a real artist and that’s why we respect him. He had songs like “Be Better Than Me” speaking in depth about Trap life. Even though the album’s title was “Trap Muzik” he displayed many viewpoints cause he’s a well-rounded artist.
Any future projects we should be on the look out for this year?
We’re working on a lot right now, but we don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet. We’re also working on a tour as well.
Let’s pretend it is 2021 and we meet again for an interview. Finish your response that starts off with “Didn’t I tell you five years ago that…”
Didn’t I tell you five years ago that we would be hailed as one of the greatest rap groups of all time?