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Garden State Hip-Hop

Goodbye Tomorrow on ’05 2k20 skkkknNnn’ – Exclusive GIGSoup Interview

Following-up from his single ’04 $$ Like That Could Change Life (2k19)’, Goodbye Tomorrow has released ’05 2k20 skkkknNnn’, a hard-hitting, free-style track where Preme reflects on the events in 2020. The track features a mixture of old-school hip-hop, smooth R&B, neo-soul, and synths. Probably its best line is a warning to the hip-hop industry: ‘This a written notice for these industry watch dogs. It’s bigger than hip hop. Y’all wasting dead prez on a watch dog.’

After two years of a “work” hiatus, and with our uncertain social-political climate, GT’s recent comeback couldn’t be more timely. GIGSoup sat down with GT to talk about the inspirations behind the singles, the upcoming EP ‘fake mad ACTUALLY [manifesto of a fallen king]’, and why the message should always be more important than the music.

What first inspired you to get into music?

I think the real inspiration for getting into music is like the natural rhythm, no pun intended, of life. I always been interested in words, writing sh*t. I used to write lyrics before I ever got into making music. I think music is so natural, like a language for people that it just kind of happened. Then, as time went, people kept pushing me and telling me to go further. Goodbye Tomorrow exploded off that.

Who are your like first influences, or who are still your major influences to your sound?

Dang, influences to the sound. That’s so tough. We draw inspiration from so many random, like, eclectic, not rap sources. Who inspired me personally, like as a fan, is so different than what inspired the sound. I think a lot of the sounds [are] inspired by electronic music and synths, and New Age jazz. I guess where it’s synths and jazz, that’s the inspiration behind the sound. Then, pulling it more to like old school hip-hop sound. So, I always loved, love, love, love Andre 3000, like always growing up. Then, Mos Def and Kanye West. Those are the main influences on me as a shorty on people that was doing [that] stuff. Kanye closer to my contemporary age, or range, but obviously being from Chicago, his whole total presence of “I could do way more than just music” is obviously inspirational. He could do a whole Broadway and paint it silver. He will never stop doing new stuff.

What was the inspiration behind ’04 $$ Like That Could Change Life (2k19)’ for you?

That’s all, really. There’s a lot of talk in 2020 about this and that. Donating $10 million to this community and that community. Everybody always got some random financial solution that’s going to save everything. It’s like, man, money could do so much, or money could do nothing, or money could be wasted, or money could be “what is money?”. Money could change life [and] could mean so much stuff. [For] somebody could mean “oh, I changed my life and I’m going to get 15 chains, and Imma be dripped out”, or somebody could be like, “bro, that’s gonna change, because I’m gonna cop my mom’s apartment building and she’s gonna stop paying rent. Her neighbor gonna stop paying rent. My granny’s gonna stop paying rent.”

It could mean so many things. I think it is necessary that that black people have the conversation of what exterior money is worth. Why we keep giving our money to other people, other places, other companies, other faces that don’t look nothing like us [or] care about us at all. It’s analyzing that and kind of like, can we decide on a trajectory so we could be together on it? Then, we could make moves. That’s the song.

What’s was the inspiration behind ’05 2k20 skkkknNnn’?

That’s another one. The new song is one that I made this year. I think in March. It’s kind of a freestyle thinking on what’s going on. The same thing that’s always been going on. COVID just highlighted these people. It’s always been poor people struggling. Black people struggling. Latino people struggling. It’s always people of color, quote-on-quote. We always struggling. So, there’s nothing new. I’ve been thinking about this since I was a shorty reading books. I’m grown up and it’s the same issues. Ain’t nobody changed nothing. We’re in a time loop.

What caused your two-year hiatus, and why did you decide to return now?

I didn’t really take a hiatus. It was more so like sharpening in my story. Sharpening in our stories before a huge, like campaign or unfold. We was just perfecting the sound. Honing the mission. Getting everything in line. It’s a lot of threads that have been moving through the journey that we’ve taken in our music. It’s kind of like trying to knit all that into one thing. One cohesive, crazy thing. We was working on this ridiculous album that’s not even about to come out. It’s not even the thing we about to release, but it’s one of those sound defining things, just like the ultimate Goodbye Tomorrow. We weren’t on hiatus. We were just working. We’re not gonna show our face, show ourselves, brag-about-it type of people. So, I had a whole secret place where I showed the whole thing. It exists, but we were not on no hiatus. We was working diligently. We have an extensive vault.

Could you share potentially? What we might expect next from you?

Yeah, we have an EP coming out. I hesitate to call it a EP. It’s more like a little mix tape project thing, but that’s coming up next. These two singles that we dropped so far are off of that. It’s called ‘fake mad’. It’s a little project we threw together with some old song because it’s all about black lives, black power, black money, black bodies. It’s just about what everybody started talking about this year. We always been talking about. I’ve been saying these things in lyrics for 150,000 years. But, every turn, every grip of the way, when we were on a little label, even down to when we were on some super indie stuff, everybody [said] “no, no. Nobody want to hear about that. Why are you talking about police, and you’re talking about this and that. Bobby Hutton? Who is that?” Now, that everybody on the front like they on it, these [are] the times I’ve said, a lot of times, not even all the times, but just the hottest times I’ve talked about that. Then, it’s a couple of new little joints. So, that’s the next thing. Then, after that, it’s a whole thing. It’s indescribable. You just gotta experience it.

So, you pretty much described the purpose of the EP. Could you share a little bit of the creative process guys you’re having right now?

So, normally, when I work on a project, it’s a contained thing. This one is more like a collection. I think it’s five old tracks, like three or four new ones, and these are saying the same thing from different points in time. It was less of a crazy creative process than it was just finding the right songs that sound good together that also address the same things. We got an extensive vault, like I said, and it was like finding those. Then, everything that I have been just linking up with my homies when we get together to work on GT. Everything I had been saying for the last year and a half happened to be about all that, too. So, it was just “let’s finish that one. This one down there is done. Why we ain’t put that out? Let’s put them together and drop this.” [There’s] a really crazy video that’s from that project as well. Just like years in the making. Crazy best video we ever did, the type of art [behind it].

In terms of the stuff that you’re going to release now, how do you think your upcoming projects differentiate between what you first came out with? How do you feel like you’ve grown as an artist?

Man, it’s just better. I’m a better person. Better human. I’m more in tune. I think everybody I associate with always was better than they was. So, for one, it’s just more real and it’s more important. Everything we’re saying now is important. It’s plain. It’s critical. It’s impactful. That’s always to me been a point of lyrics at all. They gotta mean something. They’ve got to do something. They gotta move people in a specific way. I think that’s on 10 now, and people have always given me credit for that. Now, I could look backwards and put it at like a three. This is a 10 out of 10. It’s biting criticisms of reality, and then after that, it’s like, how do we establish a new reality, and less like we created it, and make the blueprint for that in the song. It’s important. I think it’s important. Everybody think their stuff is important. Objectively outside myself, this stuff is important. It’s important music.

How do you feel, like all these events, the recent presidential election, the black lives matter movement, and some people have a misconception about the violence in Chicago. How does that affect you as a musician and your creative process, and your writing?

To be honest, the whole thing threw me off. I think it affected me obviously. I’m an artist, I’m empathic. I feel what people feel. So, everyone was messed up. Messed up. Everyone was feeling horrible. So, that affected me by itself. Then, on top of that, I feel like I’ve spent the better part of my life getting over my anger at the societal situation that my people have found themselves in. From time in the morning, we always been on this. It ain’t nothing new. So, to hear people talk about it like it’s some newfound problem, “a lot of police things getting out of hand.” I’m like man, they was hanging people on polls in the fifties in the street, laughing at it, taking pictures. So, it’s like it’s always been a thing. We need to understand where we find ourselves. That whole thing just made me more mad than I’ve ever been. I always have battled with anger. “Fake mad”,  that’s what it is. They ain’t mad for the right reasons. You just upset, can’t even focus it.

Then, I start being in my ego, talking about how it’s my fault because I should be at some crazy, more higher, influential, powerful position, where I could like start to shift the world back into balance. I had to confront that. I had to deal with that. I had to really lock in and be like, “no, your purpose is to keep talking and keep spreading what you’re saying.” We’re gonna find the way to unite under a common banner and we’re going to take back what’s ours. That’s facts. It ain’t no like “oh, we could do it.” We’re going to do it. So, I had to lose all that as just a gas to reaffirm what we are. That’s been the point. I think it was just a test. Every time you start getting to the top of the mountain, you finish feel[ing] some wind trying to blow you back down a few little levels. But, we just got to dig in, and stay focused on our mission. Stay locked in on ourselves to make our path. So, that’s where we on.

Out of the three that I mentioned, you think has impacted more your upcoming EP, and what you feel in terms of putting into your lyrics as an artist?

Definitely the Black Lives Matter stuff, just because that’s the most consistent constant to my home. I look at Malcom X like he’s my spiritual Grandpa or something. So, that’s what I studied in school. That’s what I read as a shorty. That’s what always has been the topic of extreme passion for me. So, I think, like I said, it was very stressful to see so many different opinions. Even right opinions was dead wrong [and] was said. It just didn’t work. Nobody was saying the right things. It was kind of like, I think you didn’t feel like I wanted to say the things I say. Somebody gonna I have to say the right thing, even if five people hear them say it. Things spread exponentially like a virus, but a good one.

Since you had so much early success on, what do you hope to achieve now, especially with your upcoming EP coming out soon?

Ultimately, is to spread that message. That’s ultimately the biggest truth. I mean we could talk for hours about aspirations on some tangible things like beyond music. Music is not really the ultimate pursuit. This is the means to an end. This is a means to spread a message because it’s the way messages are consumed. So, ultimately, whatever success we accrue through this, any financial gain, any millions or billions or $10s that we make here is being funneled back into building the platform. To either, a) put somebody in our back and free them from the system, and help us free our other brothers and sisters, which we need to de-program us from how we buy into whatever control team they got now. We buying a $10,000 car for $100,000 because they put a little logo on it. It’s [to] free ourselves from that. Free ourselves off their little weird power grids. They control scripts that we get sold and told every day. It’s to free people from that and whatever means it is. If I could get enough capital, enough money, enough resources, I try to destabilize the value of the dollar. I try to be like, “oh, remember when they used to try to charge you for electricity?” Boom, free for everybody.

If I could get that much power and control, that’s what I want. If I can’t, it’s just consistently spreading the message that each and every individual got the power to destroy any obstacle in their path. The longer we let them tell us and trick us into thinking that we don’t have that, [it] will never happen. So, it’s a vicious circle. They take it from us, so that they [can] convince us that we can’t have it back. But, we could have had it back the whole time, because we didn’t have to give it to them in the first place. We got powers. We gotta wake up to our powers. I think that’s ultimately the goal. So, I measure success, by like, “can I free some people out of the matrix?” If I can get some people out, and turn them into like crystalline light, [or other] little weird analogies everyone uses; angel, warrior, samurai, Jedi, or whatever I could help him to activate us all. That’s how I measure the success. I hope people like the music because it’s fire.  That would be successful, too.

What would you tell other upcoming musicians or other people that are in a certain predicament that want to get out there, and also spread the message through music? What would be the advice you would give them?

First step is to be real with yourself. Ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re doing it for money, or you’re doing it for fame, or you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. You should examine that. Obviously, I ain’t gonna tell nobody what to do, but if you really trying to make a real-a** difference in the world, you gotta do what you’re supposed to do. Then, further than that, it’s like, you gotta be good to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to nobody. You gotta acknowledge, when you do have success, as small as it may seem, you gotta acknowledge that a lot of people dying for that same thing that you take for granted. That’s real. That’s human advice. That ain’t even for a musician. Period. You got to know yourself and you gotta know your worth, but you gotta be humble at the same time. So, ultimately, just be a good person. If you can manage to be a good person, and still manage to navigate the music, then you’ll win. Period, because it ain’t short-term, when you’re trying to win long-term. You’re trying to win. When you need God, whatever God you need, you gonna need somebody. Even if it’s you in the mirror.

You definitely need him for sure. Go out in this world trying to be successful for the world and then feel completely lost without God. Without that God-driven purpose, I definitely agree with that.

We had five running rules trying to signify it. It was “don’t feel too important, know your people, know yourself, be swift with your enemies.” I don’t even know the fifth one. I’m going to get beat up, but that’s the most important. Don’t feel too important. Ain’t nobody is so important to treat someone like their little bro. Everybody equal. That’s another real advice. All the advices to be successful and be truly successful are just really advice on how to be a good person. If you respect those around, and all of those that came before you, and look out for who come after, each one that look out and provide, That’s it. The world and the universe, God and everything, any anything that could be on your side, will be on your side and give it back to you 7, 10, 100 fold. You get back what you put in times a million. So, you put in bad, you get a million bad back. Put in good, you get a million good things. Gotta keep the balance.

You can find more information about Goodbye Tomorrow at...