As the core members of rising hip-hop act G-Side, Alabama rappers Yung Clova and ST have become hip-hop ambassadors for their hometown of Huntsville. This year they dropped two great albums filled with funky, hooky, uplifting southern rap (The One . . . Cohesive and the newish Island), and just this past week they hit the New York Times homepage and Spin magazine, which named Cohesive the second-best rap album and eighth best overall album of the year.
Clova and ST have been grinding for years to get here, and as Miles Raymer wrote in his preview of their Empty Bottle show last night, “they project such a posi attitude that I find myself rooting for them to succeed.” I was grinning throughout their entire floor-rattling, pitch-perfect performance, where they whipped the small crowd into a frenzy with tunes about working-class strife, hustling, and reaching for dreams that seem as bright and big as the cosmos. Plenty of press on the group has made a point of discussing how ST used to work at a gas station (he now makes music videos) and Clova owns a barbershop.
Which gave me an idea. I’d been in dire need of a haircut for about a month, so why not interview G-Side about their day jobs while Clova gave me a haircut? I was a little worried they might not go for the idea, but they were all for it.