When GLC made his first mainstream appearance on Kanye West's "Spaceship," scores of casual hip hop fans found themselves frenetically asking: "Who exactly is this guy?" And after re-appearing—two years later—on "Drive Slow," Late Registration's critically-acclaimed single, music lovers of all stripes found themselves clamoring to hear more of the Chicago native's talents.
GLC's immediate thrust into the public spotlight serves as a gentle reminder that there is no such thing as luck. By all accounts, his life story and eventual success prove that "luck," if anything, is simply the result of prior preparation that has been given the opportunity to present itself. And once given the chance, GLC took off running and never looked back.
After the release of several dazzling mixtape offerings, XXL named GLC as the biggest Chicago artist in May 2008—increasing the rapper's profile and national buzz for his long-awaited debut. In anticipation of G.O.O.D. Music's release of Love, Life & Loyalty, GLC managed to squeeze some time out of his busy schedule and settle down for an interview with Clayton Perry — reflecting on "Big Screen," the origin of his stage name, and Chicago's alarming homicide rate.
Your forthcoming album, Love, Life & Loyalty, will be released on Kanye West's G.O.O.D. Music label in latter part of 2009. Although multiple sources cite that you and Kanye grew up together and were childhood friends, none give any details on how the two of you connected and formed a musical partnership.
We got in touch through a mutual friend named Andre Frazier who went to the same elementary school as mine. He introduced me to Kanye. We had a lot of the same ideas. We love to check out the girls. We like clothes. You want to look good so you can pimp. We love music. His mother was like super just like my brother was. We had different avenues that we can relate to, so we kind of bonded at an early childhood.
Both of you collaborated on your newest single, "Big Screen," which is part of True to the Game, an album that generates funds and raises awareness for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Beyond the music, what does that particular project really mean to you? And what life events attached you to the project?
Well, I have respect for my elders. When I grew up in the organization that I grew up in, we didn't do certain things. We didn't disrespect our elders. That was like a no-no. It's something you just don't do. We all realize that without the Negro League, the older generations that came before us, we wouldn't be here. Therefore, I take my hat off to them and I express my gratitude for the way that they laid it down. The Negro League was formed because they allegedly were like, "You wouldn't let us play in the majors? F**k y'all, we're going to play in our own league." I kind of like that style – you make your own way. You know what I'm saying? The way that I got attached to the project is when I received a phone call from a friend of mine who was consulting for the project. He said, "Man, I think this would be a great idea for you to do. It helps generate money for this organization, this-and-that and help raise the awareness." I was like, "Yeah, count me in."