We often tend to complain that music sounds all the same. That the artists are copies of copies of copies. That the melodies and productions are lame. In short, we always say that nothing interesting gets released. So what’s the deal? We should go a little further than what’s on the radio and on the Spotify charts. The music market is huge! Gigantic. Actually even more than we could ever imagine.
There are at least 35 million songs available on streaming platforms. And that number is increasing every single day. A thousand songs are uploaded to Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Deezer and Tidal every hour. That’s 24,000 songs every day and 1 million tracks every six weeks. Extrapolating further, we’re talking about almost 9 million added to the streamers’ catalogs every year.
All of the above to make you understand that there are so many interesting and innovative groups, artists and musicians who are successful online, who have a great fanbase but who for one reason or other are not played on the radio and are not on the charts. And therefore it’s our job to present them to you! Today, we’re talking about EARTHGANG.
Who are EARTHGANG?
Over the past couple of months, there has been some noise growing up for an Atlanta rap group that’s not named Migos. For the past few years, this group has been under the insiders’ radar; getting cosigns from other artists, opening on tour for others, and trying to create a unique sound.
Who are EARTHGANG? Pretty much a hip-hop duo – formed by Johnny Venus and Doctor Dot – from Atlanta who has been friends since high school and cultivates unconventional musical and fashion choices. Yes, EARTHGANG are Atlanta natives, but you won’t catch it in their music, which sees some visible differences from the characteristic Atlanta Sound that is so recognizable in hip hop nowadays.
EARTHGANG’s southern hip hop sound is mixed with a solid slice of funk and soul. And it’s also undeniably weird. They don’t stay away from complexity in their music and are addicted to pushing the limits of their comfort zones. The duo from Atlanta has so much potential and talents.
The pair began releasing music while they were still students at Hampton University in Virginia at the beginning of the decade. The duo underwent a long stint as indie artists. Seven long years! Then, they joined J. Cole’s label, Dreamville.
Since returning to Atlanta in 2013, EarthGang continued to grow their channel through regular releases that ultimately caught the attention of J. Cole, who added them to his Dreamville Records roster in 2017. After a strong appearance on Dreamville’s compilation album ‘Revenge of the Dreamers III‘ this year, they released their major-label debut, ‘Mirrorland,’ last month.
Their rise is much different from what we’re used to perceiving nowadays in the rap game, with new artists gaining fan bases by hopping on mainstream collabs or by getting a major hit. EARTHGANG began doing their thing in high school, proceeding to grind for almost a decade through conceptual albums and EP’s to build their strong and organic fanbase.
“The name came to me abruptly one day. It represents what we’re made of and why we do what we do. It’s for the people by the people. Our music is influenced by the conscious and subconscious, and we create it to influence the like.”
Johnny Venus said.
EARTHGANG’s musical influences cross over 50 years of jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop. Johnny Venus has spoken about listening to a lot of Wu-Tang Clan and Method Man early in his life, claiming that Wu-Tang was instrumental in teaching the need for versatility. Doctor Dot’s influences were Atlanta through and through, idolizing TI to the point of imitating his famous fade.
Outside of hip hop, both have a strong love for jazz (Dizzy Gillespie in particular), as well as other artists including the Ohio Players, Madonna, and Richard Pryor.
EARTHGANG has released three excellent EP’s this year as part of a musical series celebrating their recent signing with Cole’s Dreamville. EARTHGANG also collabs very well with other artists, so be sure to never overlook a feature.
This year they’ve also released Mirrorland. It’s an album that distorts and swings in a constant phase of transformation. EARTHGANG avoid genres and contemporary labels. The uncommon energy is what keeps Mirrorland in action. EARTHGANG has much to show, and they have to get these ideas out without overwhelming the listener. They have found a balance that shows how experienced the duo has become.
Upon first listen, Mirrorland is for sure one of the wildest and weirdest rides of 2019. The experience is simply indescribable in words.
Check it out below.