‘The First Time’: G Herbo on the Origins of His Name, Meeting Lil Uzi Vert, and Becoming a Father

G Herbo remembers how the friend who gave him his MC name was also the same one who encouraged him to rap for a crowd in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s The First Time.

The Chicago MC credited an older, well-respected guy from his neighborhood with christening him “G Herbo,” calling it a “sign of respect.” As it so happened, it was this same guy who later encouraged G Herbo to freestyle for a crowd for the first time.

“I used to freestyle on the phone, so like voice memos when I had a flip phone, I used to rap on that and send it to all my homies,” he says. “And one day we were just outside kicking it, and one of my homies who I sent the voice memo to, just told me to rap, freestyle right here. It was the same guy, actually — one of my old homies from the hood, the same guy who started calling me G Herbo… I was kind of nervous but not really because I knew I had flows and freestyles in my head already, so I just went for it.”

Elsewhere in the episode, G Herbo spoke about making songs as a kid with his cousins, hearing his music on Chicago radio for the first time, and getting to meet Lil Uzi Vert. After a recent video of him grooving to Wizkid and Tems’ “Essence” went viral, G Herbo also explained how he fell in love with the track: “I was in the car with my girl and she was playing it, and I was like, ‘Damn, I like this record. I be hearing it a lot.’ I always mess with Wizkid, I always mess with his music, but I consume so much music I don’t really be knowing who’s who, and then you have a new artist that sounds like somebody, so I didn’t even know it was Wizkid until I actually saw it on the radio.” 

At the end of the video, G Herbo also spoke about the incomparable feeling of becoming a father: “You’re excited the whole term, the entire nine, 10 months, however long it takes for them to carry it, and then you don’t really know the feeling of being a father until your baby actually get here. So when I was in the delivery room and I actually got to see and hold my son for the first time, it was a crazy feeling — I didn’t even really think you could love a human being more than you love yourself.”