Last year, Chicago rap growler G Herbo (formerly Lil Herb) and Atlanta beatmaker Southside teamed up for the collaborative album Swervo. They must’ve been happy with it, since now they’re back with another one. Today, Herbo and Southside released the new LP Still Swervin. It builds on the chemistry that the duo established on the last album, and it works as a great showcase for Herbo, who’s staking his claim as a vital and important rap voice.
Herbo has had next-up status for a long time now. He was a teenager when he first emerged alongsided likeminded collaborator Lil Bibby way the hell back in 2013. (And this might be a good time to catch up on Herbo’s great 2014 mixtape Welcome To Fazoland.) But in the past year or so, Herbo has really been pushing his rushed, emotive, off-beat flow. He’s growing, as both a stylist and a writer.
Herbo started out rapping in gruff old-soul cadences over crackly samples, so maybe Southside, with his gleaming synths and trap drum patterns, is an odd match. But Southside knows how to keep himself restrained, making sure his sharp and clean tracks never overshadow Herbo. And on first listen, Herbo is in the zone on Still Swervin, rapping with unflinching intensity about the mental wages of growing up in dangerous circumstances. The only well-known guests on the album are Gunna and Herbo’s protege Juice WRLD; Herbo himself is the real reason to listen. And you can stream the album below.
Still Swervin is out now on Machine Entertainment Group.