G-Side – “Cinematic”

Time to give G-Side their flowers, dammit.

Hailing from Huntsville, Alabama, the home of fine ladies, box Chevys and spaceships, the duo of ST. 2 Lettaz and Yung Clova came out swinging in the mid-’00s as G-Side, buoyed by the Southern takeover of mainstream rap at the time and the ascendency of Internet rap blogs, and for a minute, they seemed poised for a come up. Ambitious, hungry, and inspired by legendary Southern acts that came before them like Outkast and 8-Ball & MJG, ST and Clova had a really strong chemistry, a forceful energy, and great beats.

And the beats! Mannnnnnnn! Working with the equally underrated Huntsville production collective Block Beattaz, G-Side had a very spacy, chill, BOOMING sound, plucking samples from the pop, indie, and electronic realms for the emcees to play with. The addictive low-end and futuristic, eclectic soundscapes are a wonder to experience. It’s a shame the team has been dormant for the past few years.

And G-Side too have had their ups and downs. After a notable streak from 2007 to 2011 the group called it quits in 2013, with both emcees dropping solo efforts (2 Lettaz’s solo debut still bangs!). They reunited the next year with their fantastic GZIIGODZ record (still quite a banger), but somewhat cooled as the 2010s went on, with their latest being 2018’s The 2 Cohesive. It’s a damn shame that they never quite hit critical mass, but G-Side still left their mark on Southern rap.

“Cinematic” from 2011’s iSLAND is a great example of G-Side’s brilliance. Employing a punched-up sample of Blue States‘s “Season Song,” this listen absolutely knocks. ST and Clova ride the maximal beat immaculately, showing out for themselves and their city in an epic moment.

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