Could there? Fast forward almost a decade later to 2007 and Stephen, now going by ST (a shortened version of his first name), and Yung Clova (who considered himself lucky to be alive after almost being aborted as a product of rape) had been rapping together as a group the entire time. After seeking out the Huntsville production duo Block Beattaz (who were coming off a regional buzz anchored by the success of T.I. assisted single “Lacs & Prices”), ST & Clova were gearing up to release their first real project together entitled Sumthin 2 Hate. A little over a year later, they followed it up in 2008 with Starshipz & Rocketz, a G-Side fan favorite that was named after a song from one of their idol rap groups, 8ball & MJG.
Armed with a nice local and internet buzz due to the reception of S&R, the two small town rappers would name their next project Huntsville International as a response to the overwhelming love they were receiving online from fans all over the world. In 2009 when it dropped, G-Side fans praised it online to the point the group began to garner comparisons to iconic hip hop duos such as Outkast, UGK and Eightball & MJG. The success of The HIP led G-Side to performing several shows overseas, all while remaining unsigned. After the experience of crossing border lines, the two returned to Huntsville to record a new album sharing a new perspective with broadened horizons. They worked on their new album collaborating with producers and artists from across the pond, as well as with a new close knit circle of fresh talented artists within the city limits.
Released on January 1, 2011, this fusion of local and international “sounds” became The One…Cohesive album, what is considered by many to be a classic in the G-Side catalogue. The critical acclaim and grassroots marketing of the album by the close knit “family” of Slow Motion Soundz skyrocketed the group’s profile and landed them coverage by numerous national media outlets like MTV, Forbes, SPIN, Pitchfork, NPR, Complex, ABC, NBC and more. They also went on to perform for tens of thousands several times at various popular music festivals. G-Side developed a solid reputation for their well crafted, high energy, non-traditional live rap show featuring backup singers and guest appearances from other local collaborators they brought with them on the road.
Their buzz had reached a fever pitch and G-Side wasted no time getting back in the studio to work on another album immediately. Ten months and ten days from the last release, ST & Clova released Island on 11/11/2011. The album also received praise from fans and critics alike. Although Cohesive ended up at or around the top of many more Album Of The Year lists for 2011, it was not uncommon to see both albums make the cut.
G-Side was considered an underground favorite poised to take mainstream by storm, however the group would become frustrated with dealing with “industry politics” and the struggle of trying to get a deal for increased exposure while retaining ownership of the music they worked so hard to create. After getting so close yet feeling so far, the frustration eventually took a toll and, to the detriment of their fans worldwide, the two mutually agreed to split. Maybe there couldn’t be two kings. In 2012, ST released a string of solo projects for free online (R.E.B.E.L., The Expendables & Prelude to a G) to gear up for the release of his Block Beattaz produced solo album G…Growth & Development. Clova released one solo mixtape entitled Upper Echelon.
While ST generated some positive internet buzz on his own and Clova’s project garnered radio airplay that G-Side had yet to conquer as a group, 2013 was fairly quiet for both musically. Late in the year 2013, the group announced that they had secretly been working together on a new studio album as G-Side, the duo. Feeling as though they had some unfinished business to complete and a mission for a higher purpose, ST & Clova have now realigned their goals. Gone is the focus on “getting a deal” as the guys have decided to place more emphasis on being “people centered”. G-Side has touched thousands of people all over the globe through their music and look to recapture the feeling of just the fans and them.
The news of ST & Clova reuniting sent shockwaves of rejoice throughout the internet and local Huntsville music scene. G-Side fans celebrated and now wait in anticipation for new music from the group. The two both admit that fans are the ones that ultimately got the group back together. It was the people who eventually decided that not only could there be two kings, there was no other way it should be.
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