After 30 minutes, Fishkill Correctional Facility cuts the call off. Up until this point, the conversation between former Bad Boy rapper Trevell Coleman aka G. Dep and AllHipHop honcho Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur spanned his hopes, his higher learning in prison, his time with Diddy and the squad, as well as his thoughts on returning to rap.
In this installment, he discusses the competitive nature of the early 2000s and what it took to be down with Diddy after Biggie was slain. He also debunks the notion that incarcerated individuals cannot keep their ear to the streets outside of the beast. Dep offers his favorite rappers of the current era as well as his Top Dead or Alive rappers that were coming.
Lastly, he talks about his family, particularly his sons and his relationship to them.
AllHipHop: How competitive were y’all (Bad Boy Records)?
G-Dep: I mean, it wasn’t really that… I was more competitive, it was my own personal thing. I felt like I had to try to be the best G-Dep, that I had to be. But, as far as anything that we felt we had to be better than anybody else, that wasn’t really the vibe. It was kind of just because, not to be funny, at that time, that Bad Boy was it. It was dudes that was hot, of course. But, it was like the monster that we was dealing with was just making sure you make hits. That was all we had to do because we knew that we was already in a good position. As far as having to really try to be better than anything, that really wasn’t the case. You know what I’m saying?
AllHipHop: Yes, it’s funny.
G. Dep: All we had to do was make hits. That’s crazy.
Yes, that was our job. It was just like, “Yo, here’s everything you need to do everything that you need to do.” That was really it. We had the production, we had the facility, so it was like just go, do whatever you were trained to do, this is what you do it. That was basically that. It was just Hip-Hop – it seems like always is actually the beat of the culture, so it seems like it always gravitates to people that are at the pinnacle of their lives. It was just the right time and the right stage for us to say the right thing, we had to talk about it, so that was the right time to do it.
AllHipHop: Yes, that’s a fact. That’s crazy, definitely. What do you think about Hip-Hop now based on what you’ve heard?
G. Dep: I mean, I still think Hip-Hop is still beautiful to me, man. This is what brothers are going through. This is how they’re feeling. This is the sound of the music. When I listen to Hip-Hop now, it’s funny because really to me, it just sounds like what Hip-Hop was supposed to become.
When you used to hear… When people used to emulate Hip-Hop back then, or not emulate it, but more so kind of just try to portray what Hip-Hop was, it was like they couldn’t really figure out how Hip-Hop really came about or how to even explain it so they would just mimic how they thought it should sound, and these fake little beats they used to put out.
Think about if we were watching a show, like South Park or something like that, and they would put on a song and the beat would be all just what they thought Hip-Hop was. This is what Hip-Hop turned into, it actually was that, but they didn’t really realize what they were doing.
To me, now when I listen to Hip-Hop, it’s evolved to the point where I feel like this is what it’s supposed to sound like, it couldn’t go any other way. It’s funny, it’s kind of surreal, man.
AllHipHop: Anybody you prefer to listen to? Anybody you like in general? Or, is it just a general listening type of thing?
G. Dep: I mean, I dig brothers, man. I like Kodak Black.
G. Dep: Yes, man, I’m digging Kodak, man. Let me see, I like Lil Baby, Lil Baby don’t really… I like Drake, that’s obvious, son is good. I like to listen to whoever’s the newest dude. That’s my thing nowadays. That’s what I do. I listen to whoever’s new, whoever’s new – I’m on it. I’m just listening like, “Wow, I see where you going with it,” because I like to see what’s going on. The youth always dictated Hip-Hop, because they basically… That’s just the young idea, the young, what’s going on. 22Gz, I’m checking for all that. Especially if it’s the dude’s from the area where I’m from, I try to check for stuff like that.
AllHipHop: Yes, that’s a fact. Yo, it’s kind of crazy though, with that youthful energy has brought a lot of chaos to the game to some extent too. Maybe, I don’t want to generalize, because obviously everybody’s not wilding, but we lost a young rapper named Takeoff from the Migos and he was only 28.
G. Dep: God bless his soul, man.
AllHipHop: Yes, man. I mean, I’m trying to figure out… A lot of us are trying to make sense of it because it’s tragic and it’s crazy. It feels like we’re losing somebody at least every month, somebody, not a… Major artists are dying.
G. Dep: That’s a fact. You right, man. That’s how I thought about it too, man, they’re killing brothers that’s prominent brothers. I don’t understand how they doing that. It’s crazy.
AllHipHop: Yes, it’s changed. I think the respect level too has changed a lot too. I don’t know if artists are valued the way they used to be. I could be wrong. Or maybe people just really jealous, man, because I can’t put a finger on it yet. It could be a combination of stuff. But, did you have any opinions on that, of just some of the ugliness with the culture? Or, has it always been like that?
G. Dep: I mean, I think it’s just more artists that are out there now so it seems like these brothers… Before, you couldn’t really reach out and touch rappers, rappers were kind of scarce to find, man, where can they hide? Now you can run into dudes, dudes are around. I think it just has a lot to do… Me and my boy was talking about it, I think it has a lot to do with just brothers… Everything is just so accessible.
Dude’s is making theirselves I think a little too accessible, because they feel like they can just do that. We were just saying, it seems like the brothers are just getting caught out there, they’re still teetering on the street a little too much, because every dude that I’m hearing of, they got caught up in the hood somewhere. If you think about all the dudes that got murdered, the last few dudes, man, the last 10, let’s say, they always in the hood somewhere. The wrong place, the wrong time.
We got to really look at ourselves once we get in those positions like businessmen, that’s the sacrifice we got to make. You got to make a sacrifice that… You could get nothing in this world without sacrificing. If you feel like you got to do something two, three in the morning, you got to be careful. I mean, I don’t know the brother’s situation, but I do know from the outside looking in, it just seems like brothers just got to be mindful of who they are and kind of stay out of harm’s way, man.
AllHipHop: Yes, absolutely.
G. Dep: That’s a fact. I mean, if I’m staying… I could be wrong, I’m in jail, I don’t know, I’m not out there. I don’t know the vibe of why dudes is putting themself out there, why they feel like they can. I don’t know why that is, but from my perspective, if I’m that prominent and I want to party, I’m going to go somewhere where… Instead of going to the local club, I’m going to go somewhere we’re all in the same position. Or, I’ll just throw my own party and make sure everything is… That’s how you just got to be, man. You can’t slip up.
AllHipHop: Yes, that’s a great idea actually, just throw your own party. AllHipHop does one thing for every single interview just about we do. We ask artists the Top 5 Dead or Alive rappers, top five favorites or influential rappers on your career. Did you have a top five?
G. Dep: Yes, I definitely had a top five, man. Definitely, man.
AllHipHop: Who’s your top five?
G. Dep: I could say, honestly, man, my top… I mean, all my top five rappers are the pioneers, man. I could say Big Daddy Kane.
AllHipHop: Okay, good.
G. Dep: Big Daddy Kane, LL.
G. Dep: I would say Rakim, excuse me. I know it sounds like kind of obvious, but these were my influences. Big Daddy Kane, LL, Rakim. Let me see. Nas. I would say those are the… I’m kind of skimming because I’m just going to give you the top five that… You got four and a half and you got three and a half, but I’m going to just give you… You figure Nas and B.I.G., because I was still a youngin, even though they were young too at the time, but I was a young guy listening to them in the nineties and I was like, “Wow, this dude is dope. These dudes is dope.”
I was just going to say, but the dudes that made me pick up a pen in the first place was, like I said, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, LL, stuff like that.
AllHipHop: I don’t want to assume this, but did you ever meet Biggie?
G. Dep: Nah, I never met B.I.G., man. I never met Biggie, man. I seen him in the tunnel one time, if I’m not mistaken, it looked like him. I think it was him though, because they said they were in the house and I seen him. He was standing behind the bar with a fur on and his sunglasses, the shades he used to wear, so I said, “That had to be him.” But, he was kind of fresh, new on the scene, so it was like he blended in real easily. But, the dude knew he was somebody because he just was standing there like… I was like, “I think that was B.I.G.” But no, I never met him.
AllHipHop: Right. Definitely, definitely. All right, man, well look, the last thing I want to ask you, man. I know you have twin sons and they kind of out here. How’s that relationship? If you know, how is that relationship?
G. Dep: Well man, those are my little mans, man. I love them. I love them so much, man. They in college, and we share our college experiences somewhat. When we talk, they’re so articulate and intelligent and I just thank God, man, that they went in that direction, man, and decided to do something positive. Just follow their instincts as far as what they wanted to do, because a lot of people know… They know what they want to do or they think they know, but they don’t pursue it, and they’re actually… Their mother is making sure that they go in the right direction with their aspirations. That’s a beautiful thing. But, our relationship is good, man. We definitely need to spend more time with each other, obviously. When I go home, that’s my plan, man. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. Yes, man.
AllHipHop: Yes, no doubt. Is there anything else you wanted to say and tell people?
G. Dep: That’s all good, man. I just wanted to just peace out. Peace to everybody, man. Have a blessed day, man. That’s about it, man.
AllHipHop: All right, man. I appreciate you. Keep your head up and stay positive. Stay blessed, man. I’m going to keep you in prayer, for sure.