Are G-Side one of the most underrated and overlooked Southern rap teams? That’s a pretty bold statement to start a review with, but if I’m being honest “one of” might be underselling it. There’s an argument that the Huntsville, Alabama duo should be as well known as the rappers they site as influences — 8Ball & MJG, UGK and OutKast just to name a few. I can be the first to admit I’m guilty of overlooking them to. They got a very complimentary write up right here for “Starshipz & Rocketz” and yet I kept it moving without even checking for their next release. Shame on me.

“When I was in school they used to call me daydreamer
Actuality, turned a dream into a Beamer”
– Yung Clova

Clova and his partner ST 2 Lettaz called their fourth album “The One…Cohesive” and it certainly is. Chris Lee croons “the world looks so good from up here” over a Block Beataz beat on “Nat Geo” and you can feel that with every fiber of your being. What’s crazy to me is that the outro to this song has a lesson about “conducting yourself on the internet” that was a decade ahead of its time and even more relevant now. That’s a sign of making timeless music, which is the exact same vibe I get from the A-Team laced “I Am.” The words “this could be my last album” shook me a bit until I remembered there are at least three more after this one. I try not to use the word beautiful lightly but I defy you to listen to this song and not catch that feeling. “I did what I said I do, I am what I said I be.”

I’m genuinely getting goosebumps as I’m writing down my thoughts. Some rappers just rap to get famous, some rap to get rich, and some rap because they think they’re good at it (whether they are or not). Rarely, once in a blue moon, rappers have SOMETHING TO SAY that’s not only deeply personal but delivered with a remarkable amount of swagger and confidence. There’s a feeling from Clova and ST that nobody needs to tell them they’re good. They know they are. You could mistake the confidence for cockiness if you’re a hater. Listen to “BASS!!” featuring Freddie Gibbs and Stevie Joe though and tell me anybody on it doesn’t deserve to be feeling themselves like a chronic masturbator. “Life is cold. Either you gettin’ by or you gettin’ high.” Preach.

Trying to find negative things to say about “The One…Cohesive” is so hard that I have to let them do it themselves on “Inner Circle” — “So now the critics be comparing us to OutKast/it’s funny cause they treat us like some outcasts.” Maybe they were just too Huntsville for some folks, but I’ve heard longer Southern drawls from Memphis, not to mention a hundred modern day emo rappers who modulate their vocals so heavily you can’t understand shit. Maybe I should say “cain’t” understand? You’re going to chop it up with some deeply Southern emcees if you fuck with this album… but you should. They’ve got a “Jones” for the streets but can “Imagine” far greater landscapes. ST and Clova are dreamers who took a chance on themselves and deserve recognition not for that bold choice but for the boldly unique music they make. If they’re compared to OutKast it’s only because they deserve it.

G-Side :: The One...Cohesive
9Overall Score