G4 Boyz Speak To Us About Their Spiritual Journey And Pioneering A New Wave

New York rap duo G4 Boyz, Ice Baby and Buggy, are two brothers of Nigerian and Ghanaian descent from Staten Island. Together, they've developed a flashy, energetic blend of trap and gangsta rap, with lyrical topics regularly heritage, money and jewellery. Taking pride in their heritage they use that as fuel to inspire young people to be proud of who they are and be confident no matter the situation.

 

We sat down (virtually) with the G4 boys to talk about their heritage, spirituality and of course, scamming.

Interviewer Thelma Khupe

Photography Press Images

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First things first, What have you been doing during this period of social distancing?

 

Buggy: I have a little game room here, so I’ve just been recording and playing video games. I also have a studio so working, trying to get as many things done as possible

 

Ice: For me, I’ve been writing music and stuff like that. Getting ready to drop some heat for y'all. Working, praying and fasting.

 

 

How did you come up with the name 'G4' and can you tell me a bit about Gwalla gang?

 

Ice: In school, me and my brother used to always dress up, always coming to kill stuff in Prada, Gucci etc. We were those Africans that always had to prove ourselves.

One girl called Britney saw me in the hallway and was like ‘damn you’re so fly like the G4’ I was like ‘what?’. I didn’t know what that was, so I went and did some research and found out it’s a plane. So I said ‘You know what? We’re gonna call ourselves G4 boys because we have our own level of flyness, you feel me?

 

Buggy: We started up Gwalla gang because it’s another part of us. So G4 boys are the duo, but Gwalla gang is a bunch of Africans, Dominicans, Spanish, Asians, we’re all foreign. It’s our street team, full of rappers, models etc. It’s more like a crew vs like the main artists. Like a creative collective. 

 

What was it like growing up in Parkhill with immigrant parents?  We’re sure the definitely tried to keep you out of trouble?

 

Ice: Me and my brother were born in Park Hill but were actually raised in Brooklyn. But growing up was kind of tough. Just being African was a tough thing, it’s like you always gotta prove yourself. We were from the projects and the other American kids would say things like ‘You smell’, just making fun of our food and stuff like that. Park Hill was full of Africans so we kind of took over the situation. We’ve always been about our business, not really trying to get in trouble but as soon as we started to get a bit older, we got into more mischief and we had to move then come back and stuff like that. But I loved it. I learned all my insights into music and the culture, I learned that being African was fly. I was very proud to come from Park Hill and what I learned from that was to be strong, never give up and always fight for what you believe in.

Buggy: For me, growing up in Park Hill New York in the early stages, being African, my mum never let us out. We would be on 24-hour lockdown. The only time we really went out was during school hours, that’s really when we were out and about. Kids would say things like ‘African booty scratcher’ and all these extra things to us, but one thing about me and my brother is that we knew how to fight. My mum used to beat my ass so much I learned how to fight. We used to whoop these n***a’s asses. It was weird to me because it wasn’t just white people saying this stuff it was black people too. Black American people were calling us these names and it was weird, like damn you look just like me and you’re calling me an African booty scratcher? That was the first time I’d witnessed black on black hate. So me and my brother formed our own thing and that’s when people started to gravitate towards us because we started to beat up the people that were supposed to be the bullies. And we started to dress fly. My mum was a hustler (Shout out to Galdice), she used to buy us cool clothes and she helped us to become stronger and more fly.

"In school, me and my brother used to always dress up, always coming to kill stuff in Prada, Gucci etc. We were those Africans that always had to prove ourselves."

You guys didn't really want to get into music full time because you were already well to do, where did the passion and drive for music come in?

 Ice: The real turning point was for me was a couple of years ago. My brother Buggy has always been into music. At the time I didn’t care for music because I thought what’s the point? Most of these rappers don’t even have money like that and we have what they have. Patek Philippe? I’ve got that, the cars? I’ve got that, we’re over here hustling and doing what we do. My brother was like ‘yo, you’re doing your thing for nothing. You’re talented’. And I think what really made me say alright I’m gonna focus on music was my brother telling me to get on this beat for Patek Philippe. I got