Chicago MC G Herbo cemented himself as one of the 2010s’ most pivotal rappers from the city. Moreover, his come-up from a hardened background fueled much of his most resonant and definitive artistry. In a new interview with XXL, G Herbo reflected on how leaving the streets behind ultimately helped his career move forward.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 30: G Herbo attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2022 at The Cobb Theater on September 30, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

Furthermore, the interview broke down specific lyrics from the 27-year-old’s track “Outside Looking In.” It’s featured on his 2022 album, Survivor’s Remorse: A Side. In a particular moment in the interview, XXL asked Herbo when he made this realization.

“I always knew I was special,” the rapper said. “It was just my environment. The circumstances that I was up against that made me make certain decisions. It was always hope for me. I knew that I was gon’ make something of myself.

“When I used to go visit my aunt house, all they really did was gangbang and sell drugs and s**t,” he continued. “Don’t get me wrong, it was family vibes, but that’s what I was exposed to. At my grandmother house, she liked to gamble. Her crib was like a party spot, a gambling spot. They played cards all night. But when you a kid, they not really paying attention to us observing everything that’s going on around. Referring to the birds and bees, I never had those conversations with my parents growing up. It just happened naturally. I was exposed to that type of stuff early.”

Meanwhile, the “PTSD” artist recently looked back on his personal past, as well. After he admitted to cheating on Yung Miami’s Caresha Please podcast, Ari Fletcher believed that he owed her an apology. Even though it’s in a very different context, recent interviews and discussions opened Herbo up to some very interesting conversations. Hearing him speak on how he relates art to family is a fascinating account.

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“I was ahead of my time,” the drill artist stated. “I was smart and people in my life that I looked up to, they looked at me as like, ‘That’s just lil Herbie, my lil cousin.’ They didn’t take me serious when I would bring up rap. When I was going to my first studio sessions and stuff like that, I never used to let my family hear my music or nothing. I never really spoke of my dreams and aspirations ’cause I learned early on, if people don’t see it for themselves, they’ll never really see it for you. All these years later, I’m still trying to like build that connection with my family.”

When asked how he changed his focused mindset to hip-hop rather than the streets, Herbo elaborated on the extent of that focus.

“I disassociated myself with the streets and with the outside world, I wasn’t engaged with nothing other than chasing my dreams. I believe in God, so when I have those moments where I feel chills or I have those deep thoughts. My calling, my destiny. I believe in that type of stuff, I wanted to focus on solely being a rapper. I took a flying leap of faith and I really did it.”

What do you think on G Herbo’s reflections on the streets and his career? Whatever the case, let us know in the comments down below. Also, as always, come back to HNHH for more insights from hip-hop’s most talented minds.