G Herbo (born Herbert Wright; October 8, 1995), or Lil Herb is an American rap music artist from Chicago, Illinois. featuring His third mixtape, Welcome To Fazoland, was met with critical acclaim. He has collaborated with major artists like Nicki Minaj, Chance The Rapper, and Common. On September 3, 2015 he signed a deal with Cinematic Music Group whilst officially changing his name to G Herbo. His latest project, Ballin' Like I'm Kobe was released on September 29, 2015.
Lil Herb (G Herbo) grew up in Terror Town, a neighborhood within East Side, Chicago known for its high levels of violence and gang activity. He was influenced by artists such as Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, Meek Mill, Lil Wayne, and Nas. He is close friends with fellow rapper Lil Bibby, with whom he has collaborated on numerous songs. Both artists are associated with the gang N.L.M.B., which was originally formed from the merger of No Limit, a renegade faction of the Almighty Black P. Stone Nation, and the Muskegon Boyz, a renegade faction of the Gangster Disciples, although the initials N.L.M.B. are also currently used by the gang to signify "Never Leave My Brothers," and "No Limit Muskegon Boys." Lil Herb, however, has stated that N.L.M.B. is a "brotherhood" rather than a gang.
2012–14: Career Beginnings and mixtapes
Lil Herb and Lil Bibby first gained attention with the song "Kill Shit," which has since been viewed over 10 million times on YouTube. Lil Herb and Lil Bibby gained broader attention within the hip-hop community when the rapper Drake tweeted that they were "the future".
Herb's first mixtape Road to Fazoland, was released on September 11, 2012. His second mixtape, Road 2 Riches, was released on May 22, 2013. His third mixtape, Welcome To Fazoland, was released on February 17, 2014. The mixtape features guest appearances from King L, Lil Durk, Lil Reese, Lil Bibby. It currently has over 300,000 downloads on Datpiff.
Welcome to Fazoland was met with broad critical acclaim. Complex magazine praised Herb's "dexterous" rapping style as well as the mixtape's "Titanic drill beats" and "contemporary vitality." BET awarded the mixtape four out of five stars, lauding the mixtape's use of "heavy bass, rapid fire snare and the occasional synth to accompany [Herb's] stories of paranoia, drug dealing and constant danger that tend to consume his psyche," while also commenting that Lil Herb, like other Drill artists, has helped "to do for his city what N.W.A did for Compton in the '80s: bringing awareness to what life is like in a city that has spent recent years as one of America's most dangerous places to live." The Chicago Reader described Lil Herb as "a fierce, gifted rapper who captures all the intensity, hostility, and emotion of a particular moment in just a few lines, and [who] can do it with such speed that by the time you've unpacked what Herb's said, he's already moved onto the next few grim portraits of his environment."
XXL magazine gave the mixtape an L (3/5), saying "Herb does a solid job of taking (...) drill music and adding his own twist to it through his variation of soul-inspired production on the tape and lyrical approach," while also praising the mixtape's "vivid imagery and creativity" and calling it "a vicious curveball." The Fader commented that, "since drill rose to prominence a few years ago, lyrical bankruptcy has remained one of its most common critiques; Herb's way with words defies the stereotype." Welcome to Fazoland is named in honor of Fazon Robinson, one of the first of Herb's friends to be killed by gun violence in Chicago.
In April 2014, Herb did a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. He contributed Common's "The Neighborhood" on his album, Nobody's Smiling. Herb was also selected for XXL's Show & Prove segment of the 2014 Freshman Class issue. Herb has recently recorded "Fight or Flight (Remix)" with Chance The Rapper and Common.
2014–present: Pistol P Project, XXL and Ballin Like I'm Kobe
On December 26, 2014, Herb released the mixtape Pistol P Project, named for a friend of his who was killed by gang violence. Stereogum commented that on the tape Herb displayed "the scorched-earth nihilistic intensity of his young Chicago peers, but [...] also the technical command and verbal dexterity that a rap classicist can appreciate." Complex magazine said the "wide array of sounds shows considerable growth" and that "the tape's eclectic tastes shine throughout."
On March 12, 2015 XXL had its annual freshman cover where they would showcase top new/developing talents within the hip-hop scene and would allow them to show their lyrical abilities in a cypher with the other freshmen. XXL would allow fans to choose who should be in the 10th spot for the freshman cover while the others would be chosen by employees of XXL after the voting was over. Lil Herb was in competition with other artists such as Bobby Shmurda, Dej Loaf, Fetty Wap and many more. The voting would go on for nearly 3 months until come the release of the cover on June 4, 2015. Featured on the cover were the Kidd Kidd, OG Maco and the aforementioned Dej Loaf and Fetty Wap. Lil Herb however was absent from the list. This led to an outcry from both fans and artists arguing that Lil Herb should have been featured on the cover. Another drill artist closely associated with Herb, Lil Durk, posted a video to instagram (which has since been removed) saying "Aye y'all better put Herb on that mother f*cking XXL cover," Durk said. "Only a few mother f*ckers probably deserve to be on that mother f*cker. [...] Shout out to Herb. Go crazy.". Fans continued to bombard XXL through social media demanding that Lil Herb be put on the cover. Lil Herb himself would then go on to respond to XXL and the fans by putting out a single appropriately titled 'XXL' where he spoke on his life, his development, the hip-hop scene and the fact that he did not make the cover. Herb was quoted as saying "Missed that Freshman cover twice like I ain't a factor/Ha, and still your favorite rapper's favorite rapper". The song was able to generate quite a response on social media and was then able to get the attention of XXL themselves. XXL gave compliments to the rapper's response saying he "switches between different flows effortlessly" and saying "Hopefully Ballin' Like I'm Kobe—Herb's forthcoming mixtape—drops sooner than later."
Come August 4, 2015 Lil Herb would tease on Twitter that he would release his new mixtape 'Ballin Like I'm Kobe' on August 10, 2015 in honor of his friend who passed away, Jacobi D. Herring on August 10, 2013 at aged 21. However, come the date the mixtape would not be released for unexplained reasons. Herb would then go on to announce on August 27, 2015 via Instagram that the mixtape would be coming September 1, 2015. However, once again the tape was postponed. After this, come September 3, 2015 it was announced that Lil Herb had signed with Cinematic Music Group and had officially changed his name to G Herbo as well as announcing that Herb's debut album would be released in 2016. Lil Herb would then begin releasing singles from the mixtape, including the track 'No Limit' which goes into detail about his life in Chicago and his gang, 'L's' in which he talks about those he had lost to gang violence, life choices he had to make and the regret he feels for his actions. He would also release 'Aint Right' featuring Lil Durk in which they speak on those who aren't living the life that they rap/talk about. On September 27, 2015 Lil Herb announced that 'Ballin Like I'm Kobe' would be released on September 29, 2015 exclusively on 'mymixtapez'. Leading up to the release, the final single 'Gang' featuring Lil Bibby was released on September 28, 2015. Come September 29, 2015 the mixtape would be released to a huge success. The mixtape would get over 10 million hits on the mymixtapez application and would receive over 300,000 downloads on other mixtape sites such as Spinrilla. Other artists within the hip-hop scene (particularly the Drill scene of hip-hop) gave their support to Herb through social media.