Sitting in Beck’s Prime with a grilled chicken baked potato (so good by the way) and a cup of water in front of me, I find myself chopping it up heavy with a few DRTY ONE$ – E. West and Rell from the up and coming powerhouse GOE Firm. There are some people you meet in life and you just click. It doesn’t happen all of the time, but when it does, it’s special and you don’t take it for granted.
I had the opportunity to first get a taste of E. West the artist one evening my wife and I decided to get out and take in some live music in Houston, Texas. I must say I was really impressed by his live show and his dedication to his craft. I also had the pleasure in taking part in the listening party for his release of Free E West Vol. II: No Pictures Please and to get a chance to hear such excellence and in an intimate environment it allowed me the opportunity to build a connection with the whole team.
Fast forward to a night to remember, the E. West Experience at Café 4242, it was here that I knew this cat and the whole GOE Firm are the real deal and something special. We’ve been trying to link up and sit down for a minute. It finally happened and I’m excited to share that with you. In today’s Dirty South Club spotlight, I give you a glimpse into a little over 2 hours of what felt like old friends catching up and talking about their current successes and future endeavors. I couldn’t share it all, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy what we have here. I introduce to you GOE Firm’s own E. West.
I won’t even bother you with the name piece, we know you’re E. West:
So, for the people what do you do and what inspired you to do it:
I am a artist. I’m inspired by life, my life, those around me, and to try and put those around me in a better position. It’s not something I went after, it was just something that kind of came to me. It was a gift that I had and I worked it.
I perfected my craft and became very serious. The same regiment that a basketball player would have with his basketball play, I have with my music because it’s my craft. It’s what’s gone take my family out of the conditions they in and allow me to do something that I love to do on a continuous basis. My daughters are looking at me and I’m Superman to them, because they got dreams too.
How long have you been at your craft:
I started writing music when I was twelve. So it’s been about 18 years that I’ve been at it.
Yo it’s funny, when you’re creative and you say stuff like that people look at you like, but when did you start? Like, they kind of discredit that time frame:
E. West: Naaaaaaaah, I was really writing rhymes! I still got my first CD.
Rell: So he’s forgetting the part, he’s forgetting the group that he had. Well, he was a background person in one group and then he was the leading man in another group.
E. West: Man look, I did Christian rap for a group called Soldiers On A Mission. I started off as one of their background dancers. At that age, I’m still writing rhymes, but at that point I’m not able to rap. I wasn’t allowed to yet, but as I was dancing on stage I was learning the stage. I was learning what you got to have so people don’t lose focus. Man, I rode in hatchback cars on luggage just so I could go on tour with them.
Rell: Yea, that’s what I want you to tell, tell all of that!
E. West: We sleeping on floors and balling up shirts and laying on the floor while they splitting the bed or whatever. This is from 12 to like every bit of 16 or 17 years old. They let me get a verse off one of their songs and from there I did so well they were like, “you need a group on your own.” So me and the dude that was dancing we created a group and we were opening up for them everywhere we went.
When we started doing that, that’s when you learn that no matter how close you are with people and no matter how much you love them, they don’t have the same drive as you and you gotta go your separate ways.
Gotta keep pushing man:
E. West: My mom was like probably the catalyst and the person that reminded me the most, she was like, “You are not meant to be in a group.” She said, “You need to be by yourself. Because people just don’t have the drive that you do.”
Rell: Just to interject, I saw it too.
E. West: He came in around about fourteen or fifteen?
E. West: Yea about fourteen or fifteen we became best friends and he saw the same thing. You know, he saw how people were trying to put me down and trying to downplay my abilities. Because I was outshining people and I wasn’t trying to. It was just, I was happy you know to be a part.
I went through a lot. Still didn’t listen to mama and still didn’t listen to him. I got in another group and the same ole’ deal. Then we got into this group called Kill Switch. That’s another story to tell. That didn’t work out. That was supposed to be Houston’s DipSet. We were hard, I ain’t gone lie to ya. We were gettin’ it in!
From that group, two of us from that group broke off and did the Modern Day Good Fellas and that’s the one that’s in jail right now. From there it’s like I finally saw the light. At the time, we had Universal and Columbia interested, they wanted to hear the mixtape. Soon as we finished the mixtape, he wanted to be a youth pastor or something like that. You can’t argue with God, I’m not gonna argue with you about what God told you to do. It sucks, but it put me in a place where, that’s what propelled me into being solo. Ever since then I think now it’s been like 5 years since I’ve been solo and I’ve seen tremendous success. It’s like the group was my security blanket.
What do you see is the key difference in you as an artist now and when you were an artist in the beginning:
I hope this don’t sound cliché’ but honestly I think I’m the same. That’s the reason why it’s progressed that way is because it was the drive I had to have compassion for the culture and the compassion I had towards my content and who listens.
So what do you feel you bring to the game and to the craft that’s different than the rest:
I think it’s a matter of being a breath of fresh air. I think it’s the right combination of; it’s a perfect storm. You know what I’m sayin? It’s gonna ruffle your feathers when it needs to. It’s gonna confirm things we all think and know that maybe we’re not talking about. It’s gone be positive in a way where you can take it and you’re not going to even think it’s being positive. You know what I’m sayin?
How do you feel about rap or hip hop today? Not from a business perspective cause we know the business that ain’t gone change, but the craft:
I like to think of hip hop as a country or maybe a college. A college it has different classes, but no matter what class you’re taking, the core of where you are is you’re at a university. I feel like rap is a university and you have turn up and party music, where you ain’t suppose to learn or feel nothing intelligent about it. Then you’ve got Hustler 101, you know, everything you need to know about hustlin. Then you’ve got Gangsta 101 and R&B and even cross breeders who take a combination of all of those things.
I look at it as it’s in a place of imbalance and everybody’s doing the same thing. It’s like nobody wants to talk about real life and the couple people that are they stand out. Like Jay-Z with the 4:44, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar and with Logic making the suicide song. Like, I thought that was really dope. That’s what we’re missing.
Yea. For the record that kid is dope. I’m just saying:
Yes! Shout out to Logic. Shout out to you bro cause what he’s doing it’s very similar to what we’re doing here.
How do you define success:
Mm. That’s a good question and the reason is because that answer can vary. I really render success to, if we have a goal and we accomplish it then we’re successful in our own right. In terms of us being successful, I think it’s us being in position like a Bad Boy or Roc Nation where people start associating great music that’s changing the culture with GOE Firm.
What do you think is the best business or personal advice you’ve ever received:
My mentor told me, “If they’re meant to fly with you they’ll fly. But when it’s time to fly you gotta go. You can’t wait for anybody.” Anybody meant to be there, they’ll catch up and if they don’t then it wasn’t meant.
Heather B. gave me some advice about rap. She said, “write and memorize.” The last is, nothing great can be done alone. You can’t do this by yourself.
Nah, you just can’t. We love to talk about independent, but for me it’s interdependence. You couldn’t even get in this realm of life without your mother’s womb. You gone need some help:
Rell: Which is why we funded our own studio. You’re constantly ready to move, but you’ve got to wait on other people to do a studio session. We were like screw that, we gone start financing our own stuff. So now we can go in there anytime.
My last question I’ll ask, what do you love about the Dirty South:
Alright, this is what I like about this, because I’ve been following for a while. You can be interviewing anybody, but the commitment to making this feel like you’re up there. I didn’t know when I saw you the first time. I’m looking at stuff you highlight and it’s like you find what’s poppin in so many different genres and you highlight that and I like that. A lot of people first of all charge you to do that, but you’re looking for it. I feel like the Dirty looks for the win-win.
Connect with E. West and for booking: GOEFIRM@gmail.com