Meet IamG, a Syracuse Grad Shaking Up The Rap World with His French Montana Collaboration
Alright first off — can you tell us where you're from and how you got started? Where'd the name IamG come from?
I started by making really shitty but funny freestyle videos in a cafeteria with my friend because every morning we had the first 2 periods free. After a couple weeks, It got to a point where I’d go out to parties and kids from other schools would be like yo your that kid from the rap videos right? They’re hilarious, keep it up. After a while the freestyle got better and it wasn’t as funny so I decided to write a song. 1 song led to 2, 2 to 3, etc.
Who are some of the biggest names you've either collaborated with or worked with?
When I was with Shadyville, they brought me around D-Block so I was able to get a feature from Jada. The first single off my mixtape is also with French Montana, which we did almost a year ago. It’s crazy how well he’s done. I’ve also worked with Chris Webby, Mike Stud, Cam Meekins, who have all been doing their thing too.
You've been performing at WIP for a bunch of different events, how did you get linked up with those guys?
Absolutely by chance, I was home for spring break so decided to go to Greenhouse for the night with some friends. The performing act wasn’t that good and people were leaving the dance floor. One of the managers asked if I would like to perform and I happened to have some new songs on a cd with me in my car. I got the CD and they put me on stage 5 minutes later. I did let me see it, Endzone Flexin and 2 More. When I got off, people were dancing again so they asked if we could set up more shows. The same people own WIP so I got booked for both clubs, they brought me back the next weekend with DJ Clue and DJ Camillo. These are guys my friends and I would turn up to when they were mixing sets on radio so it was dope to be on the same bill as them.
What's your daily grind like in terms of working?
When I decided I was going to take this seriously I knew I had to get better. I put a studio in my house so I could work all hours, day through night, and really dedicate myself to the craft. My engineer, Jesse, comes over once or twice or week for us to chop up beats and record. The rest of the week I’m usually writing or doing shows. If I’m writing, I work like it’s a 9-5 even if I have writers block I’ll listen to new beats or just work on some other aspect of my project or career. I still have a long way to go but such is the road of progress.
Deuces Up is your entire group. Can you detail how you guys got started?
Yeah, everyone in Deuces is either from my hometown in Jersey or went to Cuse with me. Freight Train, one of the artists on Deuces, started rapping back in middle school so when I started senior year of high school, he taught me a lot of the basics. A. Sizz is another artist on Deuces, you’ll see him featured on a bunch of my songs. He’s from the town over but we run in similar circles and his bars are cold. Then there’s Indo and Foss who are affiliated with Deuces and very close friends from Cuse.
What's the groupie factor like for you since you've gotten bigger? Is Drake's “No New Friends” aspect in effect with your crew?
Haha the groupie factor…..you tryna get me in trouble. It’s def grown and more apparent but it’s actually not even because of music haha music puts me in front of people and they usually end up being drawn to how hard we go. But Sorry to disappoint, I’m in a relationship right now and I’m focused on music.
I like the song but I don’t really fuck with “No New Friends” because I’m into having new experiences and meeting new people. Everyone in my inner circle I’ve known for almost my whole life but I see them the most because they live close to me. I used to play soccer; I have friends from here to Bahrain that I get along with just as well. I met them a couple years ago but I can’t just call up Abdullah and be like yo lets ride on your camels (that’s not racist, his names actually Abdullah and he owns camels that he rides for fun, crazy guy). With that said, a lot of people used to hate and now that I have a song with French, try to act like we’re best friends. I’ll tell those people to kick rocks, but I’ve met the majority of my friends from doing things I enjoy so even if I meet someone through music, we already have something in common. At the end of the day though, every one is entitled to a change of opinion, I don't hold it against them at all.
Summer's ending, what do you have planned? And what's good with you for the rest of the year? What can fans expect from IamG?
I dropped an EP called, King of the Castle at the beginning of summer and I’m dropping the LP counterpart to it mid-October. It’s not finalized yet but some of the features are French Montana, Mike Stud, and various Deuces Up crewmembers. My video for Endzone Flexin is on MTV2, Jams, and MTVu, so check it out if you get the chance. I’m aiming to get another one on there before the years over too. I want to try to get the French record to radio, and I’ll be touring with Mike Stud on the Relief Tour all October, which I’m really looking forward too.
We heard you had J.R. Smith bumpin' your tune “Lemme See It” — how did that track get started, and what makes it such a monster hit?
Yea that was easily one of the best nights of my life. When I’m chillin at home I ball with him in 2k. He came to Greenhouse with Jameer Nelson one night I was performing. When the bass dropped for the hook of Let Me See It, I look over and he was rockin out in his section. I spoke to him for a little back stage, but definitely a memorable night for me. The tracks actually produced by one of my main producers Raw Smoov. He’s over in the bay so I thought it would be cool to approach a bay beat with an east coast feel. Raw is a genius himself, he also produced “Trick’n if you got it” by Mullage and “Who Booty” by John Hart, which was a billboard number 1. Let Me See It was the first track we did and it was such a great experience working with him, I actually flew out to Cali to work with him for some future projects right after I graduated. Man, they go in.
You're working with big artists for your next mixtape — can you name a couple for us?
The first single has French Montana on it and the second single has another big name that I haven’t mentioned as of yet. But I will say the guest spot means a lot to me because of where I grew up. I’ve been working with Mike Stud a lot so naturally he’s on the tape and I keep it real so the rest of the spots are left for the homies on Deuces. It’s a big mixtape like 15 tracks and some of the records have more than one feature. I wanted to make sure I left songs on there that are only me because I don’t want to become feature dependent. All in all, I think the general consensus from the people working on it and those that have heard it think it’s coming out well.