First Impressions: G Herbo – PTSD

An Intro To G Herbo

G Herbo is a 24 year old rapper from Chicago who wise to fame in the early 2010’s under the rap name ‘Lil Herb’. Herbo started rapping back in 2012, first gaining attention in August of that year with the song ‘Kill Shit’ with fellow Chicago rapper Lil Bibby. The song secured the rappers a co-sign from Drake, and Herb continued to grind out singles and features throughout 2013 before releasing his debut mixtape ‘Welcome To Fazoland’ In February of 2014. The mixtape received broad critical acclaim, and In April of 2014 he collaborated with Nicki Minaj on his first hit song ‘Chiraq’. Herbo continued to grind in 2014, releasing his ‘Fight or Flight (remix)’ with assistance from Common and Chance The Rapper, and then closed out 2014 by dropping his second mixtape ‘Pistol P Project’ In December.

Herbo had another strong year in 2015, starting out the year with some solid singles and features, most notably his feature on Chief Keef’s ‘Faneto (remix)’ in April. In August he announced he had a new mixtape coming soon, and then in September he announced that he had signed to Cinematic Music Group and that he had changed his rap moniker to G Herbo. His third mixtape ‘Ballin Like I’m Kobe’ dropped at the end of September and received widespread critical acclaim. Over the next year or so he dropped a bunch more singles, most notably ‘Lord Knows’ with Joey Badass, and then In November of 2016 he released his ‘Strictly 4 My Fans’ mixtape. After another couple of months of singles he followed that up with his ‘Welcome To Fazoland 1.5 EP’ in March of 2017, an EP containing songs which didn’t make the original cut.

Herbo spent most of 2017 hyping up his debut album, releasing singles and videos throughout the year. In September of 2017 his debut album ‘Humble Beast’ was finally released after almost 2 years of trading the project, and boasted features from artists such as Lil Yachty, Lil Uzi Vert, and Jeremih. Herbo spent the first half of 2018 hyping up his sophomore album with a string of singles and loosies including the popular track ‘Who Run It’, which later received a Lil Uzi remix. In July of 2018 he released his second album ‘Swervo’ with features from 21 Savage and Juice Wrld, amongst others. Herbo closed out 2018 with a feature on Vic Mensa’s ‘Rowdy’, before starting 2019 off with another single release of his own, ‘Up It’. The single was his first for his third upcoming album ‘Still Swervin’ which was released in February of 2019. Herbo continued the momentum throughout the year, and wrapped up 2019 with the release of his mixtape ‘Sessions’ in December.

And that should just about catch you up! On 28th of February 2020 G Herbo released his 4th full length album ‘PTSD’, with 14 tracks and a range of features from Chance The Rapper to 21 Savage, as well as a rally of others. In the lead up to the album he released 2 singles, ‘In This Bitch’ and the Jacquees assisted ‘Shooter’. Below I’ll be reviewing the album in two parts, first will be my track by track observations on each song as a listened through, and following that will be my thoughts on the album as a whole. I’ll include some discussion questions and links to stream the album at the end. Enjoy!

Track By Track Review

1. Intro – Amazing Beat, is kinda cinematic with these glossy synths but has amazing drums too. G Herbo’s delivery is hungry and confident, and he flows super well. Lots of solid bars too. Changes his delivery and flows up lots too, good variation. Some real enjoyable and impressive rhyme schemes. Goes hard the whole song, just bars on bars with no hook. Great intro

2. Glass In The Face (ft. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie) – More Real grand production with thumping bass. Flows are really solid from G Herbo again, with more enjoyable delivery throughout his first verse. A Boogie sounds amazing on the hook, real enjoyable melodies and a solid rhyme scheme throughout. Herbo changes his delivery up in the second verse, isn’t too bad. Second verse isn’t as strong as the first though, don’t like all the punching in. Decent song, on the fence overall

3. Gangsta’s Cry (ft. BJ The Chicago Kid) – Real majestic instrumental again, real glossy synths that are quite pleasant. Hook sounds alright but is way too repetitive. Much less energetic delivery from Herbo, works really well though, has this emotional, reflective feel to it. Flows well too, has some great rhymes and great lyrics. Really enjoy BJ singing in the background, sounds more like part of the beat which makes is seem even more beautiful. Second verse has a much higher energy, but just as many solid bars and rhymes, and more great flows too. Really nice sung outro by BJ, sounds beautiful and is a nice way to end the song. Good song with a bad hook, but I like it overall

4. In This Bitch – Beat is super average on this, just a basic trap beat. Herbo has this real low energy delivery and basic flows, and way too much repetition of the ‘In this bitch’ in the first verse, not too enjoyable. As the song progresses the repetition eases off, but song is still quite boring with the lack of exciting flows and delivery. Bars aren’t too special either. Repetition makes an unwelcome return towards the end. Below average song

5. Death Row – intriguing guitar based beat, has this real foreboding feel. Hook has a real solid flow to it, and the rhymes are great too, quite a catchy hook, and great transition into the verse. Real hungry delivery again, flows well over the beat and has some solid bars throughout. Enjoy the vocal effect used in the second half of the first verse, is a nice change in pace. Hook is definitely enjoyable. Interesting flows in the second verse but they’re super enjoyable. More decent bars and rhymes too. Once again love the vocal effect on Herbo’s voice. Real enjoyable song all the way through

6. Party In Heaven (ft. Lil Durk) – Real majestic beat again, has like these vocal samples that sound amazing, nice low key drum beat too. Nice little intro from Durk, Real pleasant melodies. Great verse from Durk too, rides the beat super well and flows well throughout his verse, just sounds great. Hook is short and sweet, enjoy Durks melodies on it and it’s quite catchy. G Herbo has some super impressive and enjoyable flows and rhymes in his verse, delivery is a bit low-energy but it fits the vibe of the song perfectly. Some great bars too. Final verse is an amazing touch, love that G Herbo and Durk both have a few bars each, they have a great chemistry and each of them flow great with lots of great bars scattered throughout. Really good song

7. PTSD (ft. Chance The Rapper, Juice Wrld & Lil Uzi Vert) – Juices singing on the hook is really pleasant, has some real addictive melodies and solid lyrics too, great hook. G Herbo sounds amazing again, hungry delivery and his flow is on point, changes it up a bunch as well. His singing is surprisingly enjoyable too, nice little touch to end his verse. Chance flows fantastically over the beat, has some solid rhymes and bars too. Delivery is a bit grating at time with his slightly sung parts, but is still a quality verse. Juices little refrain after Chances verse is real pleasant, more nice melodies on display and a real enjoysble rhyme scheme. Uzi’s singing is really nice too, more strangely enjoyable melodies. Really enjoy his little outro, is a nice end to the song, and love Juices final couple of lines. Lots going on, but a good song overall

8. By Any Means (ft. 21 Savage) – intriguing beat, has like this distorted saxophone or something that’s quite captivating. Takes a bit too long to get going. Don’t really like G Herbo’s verse at the start, the repetition is annoying and the delivery lacks energy, sounds bad. He switches it up a few bars in and the rest of the verse is real solid, great flows and a real hungry delivery, with some more great emotion packed bars throughout. Goes hard for like a solid minute, redeems himself. Good transition to 21 Savage, much more solid start to his verse. The rhymes are solid, the flows are enjoyable and change up every couple bars, and gets more and more exciting as the verse progresses. Enjoy the ‘no hook’ structure of this song too, and the beat gets more and more addictive as the song goes on. Great song other than the first few bars.

9. Gangbangin – Love How the rapping starts straight out the gate. Herbo flows amazingly once again, rides the chill guitar best super well and has an enjoyable delivery throughout. More great bars and rhymes too. Hook is a little strange but is actually real enjoyable. Is long but has lots of decent flows and bars amongst it. Second verse is solid but far too short, seemed out of place. Good song but the second verse left a bad taste in my mouth, on the fence

10. Lawyer Fees (ft. Polo G) – Instrumental on this is real beautiful, super pleasant piano melody and low tempo trap drums. Polo G has some great melodies on the hook, and the rhyme scheme is insanely catchy. Delivery is a bit boring but still a good hook. Herbo brings the energy with some super solid flows and a real hungry delivery. More great bars and rhymes from Herbo once again. Second verse has just as much energy and just as many impressive bars and rhymes. His flow is so enjoyable throughout, another enjoyable verse. There’s this strange contrast between the hook and verses, but doesn’t really take away from the song. Polo G’s verse has some nice bars and rhymes but his flows are real one dimensional and his delivery has no energy to it at all, easily the worst part of the song. Real good song for like 3 minutes, but is boring towards the end, could do without the Polo verse. Decent song overall, on the fence

11. Feelings – Some Real personal lyrics from Herbo, has some great rhymes and flows super well too. Rides the beat decently and has this real enjoyable delivery. Has some great sections and some average sections, delivery and flow gets a little stale at times. Spits for like 3 minutes and is enjoyable for the most part, some real impressive storytelling and bars all throughout the track, and some impressive complex rhyme schemes. Another ‘no hook’ track, which is more impressive than it is exciting. Decent song but nothing too memorable

12. High Speed – what a vibe, has this amazing guitar melody that is crazy catchy. Has this amazing electric guitar that comes in 35 seconds in, is insanely enjoyable. Herbo has this hungry delivery again, which changes up often to this more somber delivery. Flows amazingly throughout, with lots of changes to his flow, and a bunch of really enjoyable flows. More great rhymes and personal lyrics. This beat is ridiculously enjoyable and Herbo does it justice. No hook yet again, but didn’t need one. Great song

13. Shooter (ft. Jacquees) – Heard this when it dropped a week or two ago and was pleasantly surprised by how good it is, big part of why I wanted to peep this album. Jacquees sounds amazing on the hook, really pleasant voice and some really enjoyable melodies. Hook is super catchy too. G Herbo is great on the verses, rides the beat with ease and has a bunch of decent flows and bars throughout. Was a big fan of this on first listen, and am enjoying it more with each listen. Only issue is the song drags on 30 seconds too long. Great track

14. Intuition (ft. Sonta & 2PRETTY) – Don’t really care for the spoken intro, but it’s forgivable considering this is the albums outro. The singing in the intro/hook is pleasant but the lyrics are repetitive and overall it isn’t too catchy. Do enjoy how it’s used as part of the beat throughout the song though. Herbo has some more real solid bars and rhymes but his flows are basic for the most part. Strong delivery though, isn’t too bad overall, but less exciting than lots of his other verses. More pointless speaking in the middle, is an unneeded change of pace. G Herbo’s second verse is a bit more enjoyable, has some really solid bars and the flows are quite solid throughout. More decent rhymes and delivery too, can really hear the emotion in Herbo’s voice. I don’t mind the spoken word outro, is a strange touch but doesn’t sound too bad. Love the production on this overall, but the song is a bit lacking, just decent

Album Review

I went into this album with fairly low expectations, largely due to the fact that I haven’t been a big fan of anything G Herbo has put out in the last 2 or 3 years. I felt like when he changed persona from Lil Herb to G Herbo he also changed up his style of rap to this strange off beat delivery, with off-kilter flows that sound jarring with how badly they mesh with the beat. But this album was a different story! Overall I felt like this was a very impressive album and one that far exceeded all of my expectations. With some stellar production throughout, a hungry delivery from Herbo, and flows that were almost always perfectly on beat this album was a very enjoyable listen. Add into that the fact that there were a bunch of enjoyable features, and you have a solid album with a whole range of different sounds and styles, all of which were executed amazingly.

There were only a couple of minor criticisms I had about this album, so I’ll get those out of the way first. I felt that there was some unnecessary and unenjoyable repetition at times, such as the hook of ‘Gangsta’s Cry’, and the start and end of ‘In This Bitch’, which is the only song on the album I didn’t really enjoy at all. I Thought the 21 Savage assisted track ‘By Any Means’ had a real bad start, taking too long for the vocals to start, and the having some super boring delivery to start the song. And the last noticeable thing that annoyed me was the Polo G collaboration ‘Lawyer Fees’, which was really solid for the first 2-3 minutes, but then becomes really boring for the last minute or so with Polo G spitting a mediocre verse with this real lazy and boring delivery. As a result I felt like the Polo G Feature was easily the worst on the album, and if you had cut his verse out it would not only make the song better, but would mean that I enjoy every feature on the album. Other than those minor inconveniences the only other ‘bad’ things were a couple of average beats and some mediocre delivery from Herbo at times, but nothing bad enough it stuck out or brought the song down.

The highs were much more prominent, with almost every song having high points either from G Herbo himself, or from one of his many features. G Herbo has never been the best at hooks, so I think it was great that he enlisted A Boogie, Juice Wrld and Jacquees for hook duty for ‘Glass In The Face’, ‘PTSD’ & ‘Shooters’ respectively. All three artists delivered an amazing and catchy performance which really brought the song together. He also had some great features delivering quality guest verses; ‘Lil Durk’ showcased his amazing chemistry with Herbo on ‘Party In Heaven’, 21 Savage flowed so perfectly over the distorted saxophone in ‘By Any Means’, and both Lil Uzi Vert and Chance The Rapper gave a solid performance on the outstanding posse cut ‘PTSD’. And the final feature I wanted to mention is BJ The Chicago Kid, who didn’t have a lot of presence throughout ‘Gangsta’s Cry’, but provided some beautiful background singing and a wonderfully sung outro that made the song far better without stealing the spot light at all.

I honestly expected most of the features to be enjoyable though, so wasn’t too surprised in that regard. What really caught me off guard on this album was how impressive G Herbo was in nearly every aspect, and how enjoyable he was for nearly the entire duration of the project. His flows were clean and on beat and always switching up, he rode every beat wonderfully, and his delivery was hungry and confident most the time. Herbo delivered a couple of real enjoyable hooks himself, such as on ‘Death Row’ & ‘Gangbangin’, but where he really shone were his songs that had no hook at all. These songs with no hooks; such as ‘Intro’ and ‘High Speed’ allowed Herbo to showcase his personal and emotion packed bars and tell a story, all while using a variation of different flows and deliveries throughout. So really one of the most impressive things on this album is G Herbo himself and the versatility he shows across the 14 tracks. I thoroughly enjoyed 8/14 tracks on this and am on the fence about another 3 or 4, so there’s a lot I could rave on about.

So in summary this is a very enjoyable album, and personally was one of the most impressive of the year based off expectations alone. I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking to get into G Herbo, including anyone who has heard him in previous years and wrote him off. This is easily his most accessible, impressive, and enjoyable projects of the last 3 years, possibly ever, and I look forward to seeing what G Herbo has coming up next!

Final Notes

You can stream PTSD on Apple Music here, and on Spotify here!

Or listen for free on YouTube here!

My favourite songs were Intro, Gangsta’s Cry, Death Row, Party In Heaven, PTSD, By Any Means, High Speed, and Shooter.

What were you’re favourite songs on PTSD?

Who do you think was the best feature on the project?

Thanks For Reading!

– Shan –

One thought on “First Impressions: G Herbo – PTSD

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