EarthGang

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EarthGang
EarthGang performs at The Mod Club in Toronto
EarthGang performs at The Mod Club in Toronto
Background information
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Genres
Years active2008–present
Labels
Members
  • Olu (aka Johnny Venus)
  • WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot)
Websiteearthgang.net

EarthGang (stylized EARTHGANG) is an American hip hop duo from Atlanta, Georgia, composed of Olu (aka Johnny Venus) and WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot – born Eian Parker).[1][2] They are co-founders of the musical collective Spillage Village, with JID, Hollywood JB, JordxnBryant, 6LACK, Mereba, and Benji.[3][4]

Formed in 2008, EarthGang released their first EP, The Better Party, in 2010. This was followed by several singles and two mixtapes, Mad Men and Good News in 2011. In 2013, the duo released their debut album Shallow Graves For Toys and was largely well-received, with Noisey calling it "one of the most well thought-out releases of the year" and praising the album's "playful delivery and biting lyricism."[5] Their second album, Strays with Rabies, was released to positive reviews in 2015. After signing to J. Cole's Dreamville Records, EarthGang released a trilogy of EPs: Rags, Robots (2017), and Royalty (2018), leading up to their major label debut album, Mirrorland (2019).[6]

History[edit]

2008–2009: Formation[edit]

The rap duo EarthGang was first formed in 2008 by Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, then both high school students in Atlanta, Georgia.[7] According to Johnny Venus, they had first met on a field trip in 9th grade at Benjamin Elijah Mays High School, with Venus later approaching Doctur Dot to ask about forming a music group.[8] Avid fans of rap and hip hop, both members had grown up listening to artists as diverse as the Ohio Players, Dizzy Gillespie, Madonna, and Richard Pryor.[7] About their name EarthGang, Venus explained in 2011 that "The name came to me abruptly one day. It represents what we're made of and why we do what we do. It's for the people by the people. Our music is influenced by the conscious and subconscious, and we create it to influence the like."[8]

2010–2013: Early releases[edit]

On January 26, 2010, the group released its first EP, the mixtape titled The Better Party. Their first full-length recording project, they recorded in a multitude of studio spaces, which, according to Venus, included "dorm rooms at Hampton University, closets in Atlanta, a house studio owned by 'Mr. Fish' (a fellow underground Atlanta musician), and finally in Hampton University's Music Recording Technology Jazz studio." The EP was mixed and mastered by EarthGang, with help from Jack Swain.[8] Also in 2010, they began touring in the United States, performing at festivals such as the A3C Festival in Atlanta.[8] They released periodic singles as well, and in November 2010 they debuted the song "Miss the Show."[8] In early 2011 they taped and released a music video for "Kick'n It", a track first included on The Better Party.[8] Soon afterwards they released the single "Opium",[8] which they would later film a music video for. The group self-released two albums in 2011: Mad Men in April, and Good News in December.

They released their track "The F Bomb" on June 4, 2012. The song would later be included on a 2014 album and was made into a music video. "Machete", a single produced by 808 Mafia, was self-released by EarthGang on February 10, 2013, shortly before the release of their music video for their 2012 single "Fire Kicking Tree Limbs". In March 2013 the group released "UFOs",[9] a slow single over nine minutes long.[9] According to a review in Pigeons and Planes, "Sexual, contemplative, sprawling, and slow, EarthGang's 'UFOs' veers far left from the duo's last music expedition 'Machete' and hews a bit closer to the earthy soul that typified so much mid-'90s Dungeon Family output."[9] They again performed at the A3C Festival in early 2013,[7] also opening for Black Fest at Stanford University.[7]

2013–2016: Shallow Graves for Toys and Strays With Rabies[edit]

On July 8, 2013, EarthGang released their album Shallow Graves for Toys on the imprint Spillage Village. The album includes several singles released earlier, such as "The F Bomb", "UFOs", and "Machete".[10] "The F Bomb" was produced by Hollywood JB of Spillage Village. The album was re-released on iTunes in the summer of 2014.[5] In response to Shallow Graves For Toys, in 2014, Noisey called EarthGang "an engaging, clever rap duo", praising the album's "playful delivery and biting lyricism" and calling it "one of the most well thought-out releases of the year."[5] Since the album, EarthGang has released several official music videos from the album.[10] In the summer of 2014, the video for "The F Bomb" was released.[5] On September 20, 2014, EarthGang began supporting a 40 date tour with their collaborator Ab-Soul, a member of Top Dawg Entertainment.

On February 26, 2015, EarthGang released a 7 track EP called Torba with track titles for each day of the week. The EP included features from Mac Miller, OG Maco, and JordxnBryant, with production from Childish Major, Shine, Zeroh, Hollywood JB, and more.[11] On July 6, Spillage Village released their second collaboration project Bears Like This Too.[12] On November 6, 2015, EarthGang released their second album, entitled Strays with Rabies. The album includes features and cuts from JID, DJ Khalil, DrewsThatDuDe, Ducko McFli, J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Richie Quake, SykSense. They were also one of the featuring artists on Mac Miller's GO:OD AM tour.[13] EarthGang has stated they as well contributed to the production of the album. On June 3, 2016, the duo would join Dreamville Records' Bas on his nationwide Too High to Riot Tour. The tour would later be reprised in Europe on November 13.[14] On December 2, 2016, Spillage Village released Bears Like This Too Much with features from J. Cole and Bas, and production from Mac Miller, Ducko Mcfli, Childish Major and J. Cole among others.[15]

2017–2019: Rags, Robots, Royalty, and Mirrorland[edit]

On August 31, 2017, rapper J. Cole's imprint Dreamville Records announced the signing of the duo and they released their Dreamville debut project the following day, the first extended play from their trilogy titled Rags. The project features guest appearances from DC Young Fly, Childish Major, Mick Jenkins, and fellow Spilage Village member and Dreamville artist JID.[16][17] Their second EP in the trilogy Robots was released on October 20, with SiR as a guest feature.[18] The third was released on February 23, 2018, named Royalty, with features coming from Ari Lennox and Mereba.[19] In 2017 and 2018, EarthGang co-headlined in the North American and European Never Had Shit Tour with JID, and guests Lute, Chaz French, and Mereba.[20] A year after serving as the opening act on the European leg of J. Cole's 4 Your Eyez Only World Tour, EarthGang were also the supporting act on 36 shows of the North American KOD Tour in 2018.[21]

On September 4, 2018, EarthGang premiered the song "Up" on the Berlin platform Colors Studio. On September 21, they released a single titled "Stuck" featuring Arin Ray.[22] In January 2019, the duo announced that they will be a supporting act for Smino on the Hoopti Tour.[23][24] On February 5, 2019, they released the second single "Proud of U" featuring Young Thug.[25] On July 5, 2019, Dreamville Records released their 3rd collaborative album, Revenge of the Dreamers III. Earthgang contributed to five songs including "Down Bad", "Swivel", and "Sacrifices" on the album. On August 30, they officially released the single "Up", and "Ready to Die" on September 2.[26][27] Mirrorland was released on September 6, 2019, and includes features from Young Thug, T-Pain, Kehlani, and Arin Ray. The production of the album was handled by a variety of producers including Olu, J. Cole, Elite, Ron Gilmore, Christo, Bink, DJ Dahi, Childish Major and Groove, among others.[28]

2020–present: Spilligion and Ghetto Gods[edit]

On September 25, 2020, Spillage Village released their fourth collective album Spilligion, with EarthGang part of the singles "End of Daze", "Baptize", and "Hapi".[29][30] The duo also released the single "Powered Up" and appeared on songs with TOKiMONSTA, Louis The Child, Sinéad Harnett, and Gorillaz in 2020.[31] On December 18, EarthGang released the first single from their next album, "Options" featuring Wale.[32] On February 16, 2021, EarthGang revealed the album title, Ghetto Gods.[33]

On December 8, 2021, EarthGang released the first official single for the album titled "American Horror Story".[34] On January 14, 2022, the second single titled "All Eyes On Me" was released, accompanied by a music video.[35] The third single, "Amen" featuring Musiq Soulchild was released on February 22, and was premiered on the Apple Music 1 radio show.[36] On the same day, they also announced the Biodeghettable Tour, with Mike Dimes and Pigeons & Planes supporting.[37] On February 25, 2022, Ghetto Gods was released, including guest appearances from Future, JID, J. Cole, Musiq Soulchild, Baby Tate, Lynae Vanee, CeeLo Green, Nick Cannon, and Ari Lennox.[38] On March 31, they appeared on the Dreamville compilation D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape, on the songs "Ghetto Gods Freestyle", "Jozi Flows" and "Everybody Ain't Shit".[39]

Musical style[edit]

Incorporating Southern hip hop and genres such as funk and soul music, EarthGang has drawn comparisons to groups such as Outkast, Dungeon Family and The Pharcyde, among other artists.[10] Stated the duo in early 2011, "When we create, our goal is to set the listener in a mood for each track... the style is all a part of the execution. You'll hear who we are, where we're from, and what sounds we like through our music. We pay attention to details."[8]

Members[edit]

  • Olu (aka Johnny Venus) – born Olu O. Fann on October 9, 1989[1][40]
  • WowGr8 (aka Doctur Dot) – born Eian Undrai Parker on October 25, 1990[1][41]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
US
[42]
US
R&B/HH

[43]
US
Rap

[44]
CAN
[45]
Shallow Graves for Toys
Strays with Rabies
  • Released: November 6, 2015
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital Download
Mirrorland
  • Released: September 6, 2019
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope, Spillage Village
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
40 22 20 81
Ghetto Gods
  • Released: February 25, 2022
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope, Spillage Village
  • Format: CD, digital download, vinyl
114

Extended plays[edit]

Title Details
Torba
  • Released: February 26, 2015
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital
Rags
  • Released: August 31, 2017
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download
Robots
  • Released: October 20, 2017
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download
Royalty
  • Released: February 23, 2018
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download

Mixtapes[edit]

Title Details
The Better Party
  • Released: January 26, 2010
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Mad Men
  • Released: April 30, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download
Good News
  • Released: December 26, 2011
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: CD, digital download

Compilation albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[46]
US
R&B/HH

[47]
US
Rap

[48]
Revenge of the Dreamers III
(with Dreamville)
  • Released: July 5, 2019
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope
  • Format: CD, LP, digital download
1 1 1
D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape
(with Dreamville)
  • Released: March 31, 2022
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope
  • Format: Digital download
11 6 4

Collaborative albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
US
Bears Like This
(with Spillage Village)
  • Released: February 2, 2014
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download
Bears Like This Too
(with Spillage Village)
  • Released: July 6, 2015
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download
Bears Like This Too Much
(with Spillage Village)
  • Released: December 2, 2016
  • Label: Spillage Village
  • Format: Digital download
Spilligion
(with Spillage Village and JID)
  • Released: September 25, 2020
  • Label: Dreamville, Interscope, SinceThe80s
  • Format: Digital download
141

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
US
[50]
US
R&B/HH

[51]
US
Rap

[52]
US
Adult R&B

[53]
CAN
[54]
NZ
Hot
"The F Bomb" 2014 Shallow Graves For Toys
"Liquor Sto'"
(featuring Marian Mereba)
2015 Strays With Rabbies
"Momma Told Me"
(featuring JID)
"Meditate"[55]
(featuring JID)
2017 Rags
"Robots"[56] Robots
"Nothing but the Best"[57]
(featuring Ari Lennox)
2018 Royalty
"Stuck"[58]
(featuring Arin Ray)
Mirrorland
"Proud of U"[59]
(featuring Young Thug)
2019
"Down Bad"[60]
(with JID, Bas & J. Cole featuring Young Nudy)
64 30 24 93 10 Revenge of the Dreamers III
"UP"[62] Mirrorland
"Collide"[63]
(with Tiana Major9)
9 Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack and At Sixes And Sevens
"Still Up"[64]
(featuring Reason)
2020 Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut
"End of Daze"[65]
(with Spillage Village & JID featuring Jurdan Bryant, Mereba & Hollywood JB)
Spilligion
"Powered Up"[66] Madden NFL 21
"Baptize"[67]
(with Spillage Village & JID)
Spilligion
"Hapi"[68]
(with Spillage Village & Benji. featuring Mereba & Big Rube)
"Options"[69]
(EarthGang featuring Wale)
Non-album single
"Run It Up"[70]
(with Snakehips)
2021
"American Horror Story" Ghetto Gods
"All Eyes On Me" 2022
"Amen"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as a featured artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Anarchy"[71]
(Jarren Benton featuring EarthGang)
2016 Slow Motion Vol. 2
"Can't Call It"[72]
(Spillage Village featuring EarthGang, JID, J. Cole and Bas)
Bears Like This Too Much
"D/Vision"[73]
(JID featuring EarthGang)
2017 The Never Story
"Voodoo"[72]
(Spillage Village featuring EarthGang)
Bears Like This Too Much
"Church"[74]
(Samm Henshaw featuring EarthGang)
2019
"Hope You're Happy"[75]
(Emeryld featuring EarthGang)
Young
"Fried For The Night"[76]
(TOKiMONSTA featuring EarthGang)
2020 Oasis Nocturno
"Big Love"[77]
(Louis The Child featuring EarthGang)
Here for Now
"Take Me Away"[78]
(Sinéad Harnett featuring EarthGang)
Ready Is Always Too Late
"Stargazer"[79]
(Tommy Newport featuring EarthGang)
2021
"Run It Up"
(Snakehips featuring EarthGang)
"You Comfort Me"
(James Vickery featuring EarthGang)
"Better Days"[80]
(Dermot Kennedy featuring EarthGang)
2022 TBA

Other charted songs[edit]

List of songs, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Bub.

[81]
NZ
Hot

[82]
"Wells Fargo (Interlude)"
(Dreamville, JID and EarthGang featuring Buddy, and Guapdad 4000)
2019 22 Revenge of the Dreamers III
"Waterboyz"
(with JID and J. Cole)
2022 29 Ghetto Gods

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Throwed" 2010 JID Cakewalk
"Purple Paradise"[83] 2012 JID, Stillz Route of Evil
"Rolling Stoner"[84] 2013 Mereba, JID Room For Living Remixes
"October / 3 Storms"[85] JID Para Tu
"Green Onions"[86] 2014 JID, Money Makin' Nique Lucky Buddha
"LeHooligangs"[87] 2015 JID, OG Maco DiCaprio
"Premonition"[88] 2017 Lute, Cam O'bi West1996 pt. 2
"New Malcolm X"[89] 2018 Sy Ari Da Kid, JID Better Safe Than Sy Ari
"Big Titties"[90] 2019 Rico Nasty, Kenny Beats, Baauer Anger Management
"Wells Fargo (Interlude)"[91] JID, Buddy, Guapdad 4000 Revenge of the Dreamers III
"1993"[91] Buddy, Smino, Cozz, JID, J. Cole
"Sacrifices"[91] J. Cole, Smino & Saba
"Jollof Rice"[92] Bas Spilled Milk 1
"Not Numb"[93] Childish Major, Buddy Dirt Road Diamond
"The Light"[94] 2020 Mick Jenkins The Circus
"Up Up Away"[95] JID, Vince Staples Revenge of the Dreamers III: Director's Cut
"Revenge"[95] Lute, Omen, Ari Lennox, Childish Major, Reason
"No Fear No More (Remix)" Madeon Non-album single
"Super Bounce"[96] Duckwrth SuperGood
"Opium"[97] Gorillaz Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
"Goat Head (Remix)"[98] Brittany Howard Jaime (Reimagined)
"Wildlings"[99] Tobe Nwigwe, Duckwrth Non-album single
"Problems" Domani Non-album single
"Choose"[100] 2021 Neelam Non-album single
"Out of the Blue (Remix)" RINI Non-album single
"Take It or Leave It" Angélique Kidjo Mother Nature
"Act Up" Rich Brian Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: The Album
"Honey" Jordan Hawkins Heart Won't Stop
"Never Be The Same" Friends Only, Kabaka Pyramid, Buddy, MediSun, Hector Roots Lewis
"L.O.V.E." 2022 Yung Bae, Jon Batiste, Sherwyn Groove Continental: Side A
"Ghetto Gods Freestyle" 2 Chainz D-Day: A Gangsta Grillz Mixtape
"Jozi Flows" Bas
"Everybody Ain't Shit"

Tours[edit]

Headlining[edit]

  • Never Had Shit Tour (with JID) (2017–18)
  • What On Earth Tour (2019)
  • Welcome to Mirrorland (2019–20)
  • Biodeghettable (2022)

Supporting[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Category Work Result Ref.
BET Hip Hop Awards 2020 Best Duo/Group Themselves Nominated [101]
Black Reel Awards 2020 Outstanding Original Song "Collide" (with Tiana Major9) Won [102]
Grammy Award 2020 Best Rap Performance "Down Bad" (with J. Cole, JID, Bas and Young Nudy) Nominated [103]
2021 Best R&B Song "Collide" (with Tiana Major9) Nominated [103]

References[edit]

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