What do you feel like you bring to hip-hop that’s unique?
I don’t know. Nothing at all. I’m just like everybody else saying the same ol' shit. I think more than anything, [it's] my storytelling and my perspective. I just try to talk about really honest stuff that we all go through and we all can relate to. My style—if you take a look at me, it sets me apart from everybody else. I’m not like your average rapper.
How does being from Oakland influence your style?
Growing up there, Mac Dre was everything and that sound and the hyphy movement that was going on. It took me getting out of that and moving to New Orleans and broadening my horizons to realize there was more to hip-hop, more to music, more to the culture than just that bay scene that I was so heavily involved in.
When you think of West coast music, you always think back to the gangster rap days. How’d you shy away from that?
I think the rest of the country wasn’t as up on the scene we had bubbling up in the Bay in like the mid 2000s. Like you said, when you think west coast you think Dr. Dre, you think Chronic 2001, you think NWA, but the Bay was like our own island up there with its own scene that was really strong.
Would you consider it an advantage that you went to school for music?
Yeah. I’m really heavily involved in the marketing side of my music, the business strategy side, the finance side and all of that. Those were all things I picked up going to school. In general, this sounds simple, but college trains you how to think. It trains you how to write, so the whole experience helped in a lot of ways.
(Keep clicking for the conclusion of this interview, where G speaks on his craziest moment on tour—which you've got to hear—and what's to come in his career)