By Christmas of that year, he decided he wanted to pursue music more seriously, and asked his parents for a studio setup for his bedroom. In Hamilton, his single-stoplight hometown, there weren’t many other people doing the same, but Kidd G tapped a friend, Nolie Beats, who was one grade above him in high school and had some experience with production. Over that holiday break, the two worked tirelessly, recording several songs a day: “We thought we were making Billboard hits,” Kidd G said.
When word got around that he was attempting to make music something more than a hobby, he was met with don’t-get-above-your-raisin’ skepticism in his hometown almost instantly. “Things really started getting serious when I started hearing all these rumors around my hometown about me,” he said. “Parents looked at me like, ehhhhhhh, and I was like, all right, so this is what I’m doing now.”
Kidd G found motivation in the local naysayers. He continued to hunker down, and began posting songs on SoundCloud and promoting them on TikTok. “It started with me making songs for myself,” he said, “and me trying to make that one song that my friends are like, OK, I’m going to get in the car today and I’m going to listen to Gabe’s song.”
Several of them are great: the burly “Simple Things (Imma Ball Remix)”; the glossy “Gravity,” with its Lil Peep-esque plaint, “Told you I love you, I didn’t even mean it/Sent me a text, I didn’t even read it”; “AKs and Glock Nines,” a song about heartbreak that Kidd G said was in fact inspired by a rift with his father, pain he was trying to obscure.
Last spring, he was discovered by Rebel Music, a Miami label and management company with a hip-hop focus (YNW Melly, Hotboii, Kaash Paige, Dominic Fike), which signed him. “I’m really intrigued by just the genre-blending side of it, because that could pull in so many kids that are just like him.” said Javier Sang, Rebel’s founder and chief executive officer. The label flew Kidd G and his parents to Miami for meetings and studio time. (At one session, Kidd G’s mother delivered a prayer in the recording booth, which ended up on “Letter.”)