G Perico Explores the "Progressive Gangster" Mindset in New 'Ten Eight' Documentary

“Being legendary, in this game, is more important than money..”

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Giving his fans a through breakdown of the motivations behind his latest project and current approach to music, talented West Coast emcee G Perico is unveiling his very first documentary. Fittingly-titled Ten Eight: Tha Documentary, G Perico’s new visual release examines the South Central-based environments that serve as the backdrops for his albums and provide the inspiration for his lyrical content. Ten Eight: Tha Documentary also sets out to show viewers G Perico’s  own unique interpretation of the traditional Los Angeles experience, going beyond his physical looks and deep into his experiences as a formerly-active member of the Broadway Gangster Crips;  unlike some of the other individuals who become the casualties of their communities, his exposure to that lifestyle provided him with an unorthodox mindset that’s closer to that of an artist and sociologist than a “gang member” and “criminal.”

“Everybody can put together lever lines, especially from the communities we come from. That’s what we do on a day-to-day: try to outsmart each other and say clever shit and basically just have fun — it’s our form of entertainment,” G Perico tells us. “For people who can actually tell a dope ass story with some dope bars and with a fire ass musical format, that’s the people that we like to tap in. I think all of those qualities are important. A great story teller always holds a higher place in the music game. You also gotta have hits too. It’s all relative.”

Presently, the South Central rapper is preparing to release Perico’s Innerprize Vol. 1, a compilation of freestyles that mixes “progressive sounds” with his own interpretations of “older” records that he grew up on and much more recent records that he currently keeps in rotation. Following that project’s delivery, a new full-length studio album is next on his agenda.

“We working on the actual album,” he says. “I got a lot of surprises I think people won’t be expecting on this album; the storyline on that is incredible; the music; the transitions; everything. That’s definitely the best shit that I’ve ever done.”

You can take a look at G Perico’s new Ten Eight documentary above, and check out our brief Q&A with him below.

What motivated you to create this new Ten Eight documentary?

I just feel like it was time for the people to get a time for the people to get a deeper connection to where I was coming form. Of course they hear it in your music and maybe interviews, but I never really started from the very beginning and showed them that I am actually coming from a real place.

One thing that keeps on coming up is this “progressive gangster” concept. Could you break that down?

Progressive gangster is moving forward, because what a lot of people tend to do — especially with the street shit these days – is talk about old shit; whatever we done we done it it already. the Next play is how can we move the scenario forward and make it better, and still  maintain the essence of myself. It’s basically just growth and the next level; doing some shit thats never been done before. I have a lot of new shit that I’m gonna be introducing at the top of te year.

Is that one of the reasons why you have your own store and focus on building up your own community as well?

Definitely. I have a leadership responsibility. When I was coming up, I had someone to look up to and now that I’m of age, it’s my discretion which direction I’m going to lead people to. What better direction than growth?

Do you feel like this last album is a lot more different than your past projects?

It’s definitely a lot more polished as far as the music and the structure of the songs. I took a different approach this time. It’s basically my bait; it’s basically like a bait project to get more supporters, more fans and more people to pay attention to what we are doing on my side of town and the thought process behind what were doing. The music is meant to bring more people into this world.

I feel like a lot more people know about me and we’re building outside of my regular demographic, and I’m just showing why you should know the G Perico experience and show them what it is.

Do you consider yourself part of the new West Coast and LA scenes and place yourself in the same group as rappers like Drakeo the Ruler, 03 Greedo, AzChike, Shoreline Mafia and other artists like that?

I’m definitely part of that wave, I just got my own specific sound. I’m definitely part of what’s new, because I wasn’t around for the old shit and I don’t put out the old shit. A lot of people compare my shit to the old shit, and that’s why the whole point of progressive gangster music is to differentiate myself form the stigma of the old shit. A lot of people don’t even listen to the music: they just look at the curls and they automatically throw me in some old shit. They throw this G-Funk shit on there, which also lets you know they don’t listen to this shit. The actual G Perico shit, as a whole, is uptempo; it’s moving; it’s gangster as f*ck. I’m also definitely part of the new wave, because theres people getting their shine right now who have been around much longer than me

I think it’s weird when people see the Jheri curl and compare you to other old-school artists and put you in a box like that. Your music is completely different; you can can tell you’re from the West Coast, but your sound is unique and you’re almost on you own level.

Right, and that was one of the points of the documentary, because there’s just so many misconceptions about me.  The documentary is the intro; I don’t want to get into the whole story at one time because I don’t think they will be able to digest it all at one time. This is to increase the people’s understanding of where I come from. I’m not some person who locked myself in the room and put myself together listening to some old West Coast rap (laughs) — even though I love it. I’m an actual person with a story to tell, I’m not the new version of anybody. I’m the real G Perico, the one and only.

I notice every project you drop has a different sound and style to it. How important do you think that is?

I think that’s what keeps people fresh in the music industry. Being a student of the game, I notice that a lot about the greatest artists — they not dropping the same project over and over again. Let’s take a look at one of the OG dudes still doing it right now: take a look at E-40; his music is still exciting because it’s fresh every time … he’s always putting out a whole new thing. I think that’s what makes a great artist, and that’s why I would call myself progressive. We’re moving forward; how can we be a better version of ourselves without leaving out the essence and the people still connecting. That’s what make a great artist to me

In the documentary, you say that you believe being legendary is more important that money. What do you think it means to be a legendary artist?

If you inspire enough people and you do some dope shit to make people want to step their shit up or grow, you’re a legend. If you’re just into the money … that’s great for business, but this is actual art that people are going to talk about forever if you do it right. If I do some legendary shit, that means I’ma stay paid. If you just do the “what’s hot” shit,  he’s gonna get paid fo a year or two, then it’s gonna be over. That’s not legendary, you’re not getting written down as a legend. I definitely don’t want that on my name; I want to inspire loads of people for years to come. 35 years from now, I want people to still hold on to my words and thought process. Being legendary, in this game, is more important than money.

Are you planning on making documentaries like this a regular occurrence?

Yeah, that’s why I ended it that way. There’s a lot more to the story, I just basically told the story from the angle of Ten Eight: that studio I was in was on 108, the store was on 108, I got shot on 108. That was basically the storyline behind the project. Also, it was giving people the insight into G Perico as a person. Moving forward, I’m definitely gonna give more content on just me, my current life and where I came from. There’s still shit-loads of things that I feel people are gonna wanna see. You can’t jus put it all out at one time. Moving forward, even if it’s not in a documentary form, there will be some sort of visual that connects people with information. There will be more coming.. Every project has to have a story behind it.

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Scott Dudelson/gEtty Images

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