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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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July 2010 - January 2013
Artist Of The Week - G.T.P
Monday, October 18, 2010

The first time I saw G.T.P, which stands for Ghetto Transcends Potential, perform I remember the distinct feeling that the boom-bap was back. Sure, a lot of artists talk about bringing it back, but G.T.P moved the crowd in such a way that it was undeniable. People were shouting the chorus by the end of their third verse.

The G.T.P. foursome of Ron Solero (producer/emcee), John Mega (emcee), Just A Poet (emcee) (pictured L to R), and DJ BooshWheelz (DJ/emcee - not pictured) have been recording individually and as members of different projects for years, but will drop their first official G.T.P album on Halloween. John Mega says “listeners can expect is a scary movie gone crazy with a twist of Che and a pinch of armageddon.” This week I caught up with three of the members of the group to find out more about who they are, how ghetto transcends potential, and what it was like for them to perform overseas.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with a little G.T.P history. How did you all come together to form the group?
Ron Solero: The group started out with the core members of me and John Mega. Not too much later the decision was made to offer Just A Poet a slot in the group. John and Just grew up together in the same building. I’d been introduced to Just through his aunt and the connection made was instantaneous. Going through the motions of hanging out, having ciphers and what not, became the norm, so when talk of forming a group came up the chemistry was already there. Knowing that a DJ would complete the cypher, DJ BooshWheelz was approached at a Bondfire event and recruited to join the ranks.

Adam Bernard: As a group you’ve only been together since 2009. What were you all doing in music before this?

John Mega: Before G.T.P Just A Poet and I were in a group called W.A.C.O Division during the mid 90s. Just A Poet was one of the big dogs of the crew and almost got signed to Rawkus Records.
Just A Poet: Hip-Hop's been pumping in my bloodstream since its inception. After its “Golden Era” had passed, and the beginning of its decline, I knew what I wanted to hear and felt that I had to take matters into my own hands. After attempting to collaborate with two separate groups throughout the years, and a short lived stint at a solo career, allowing life to intervene, I continued to write to keep my skills somewhat intact. When approached with the opportunity to give it another go round and showcase my lyricism there was no question that I'd be ready and willing.

Adam Bernard: G.T.P stands for Ghetto Transcends Potential. Break that down further for everyone. How does ghetto transcend potential and how can everyone be G.T.P?
Ron Solero: When you live in the ghetto, no matter which one you are from, you are automatically counted out. We want to show people that no matter where you are from you can become whatever you want to be with hard work. Most kids growing up in ghetto believe that they only have a few choices in life so they tend to idolize the local drug dealer. We are not trying to knock anyone’s hustle, but what you say and do is looked up upon by the youth. G.T.P is more of a mind state trying to show the youth in particular that there is nothing that you can’t accomplish if you work hard. There are very few people who live in the hood who have been outside the city, let alone overseas, so we are trying to show them that if we can do it so can they. Transcend the limits that others will place on you.
Just A Poet: There are no limitations that are acceptable to us, even self inflicted, as one will continue to uplift the other if any doubts begin to arise. This is how “Ghetto Transcends Potential.” Possessing the willingness to not allow stereotypes of who you are thought to be from your surrounding environments, and the determination to continue striving for what you know you deserve from your own hard work and dedication make anyone G.T.P!
John Mega: The truth is we are all G.T.P because we all been through rough times in our life. People from the ghetto want to transcend into something more then just thugs.
Ron Solero: Anyone can be G.T.P as long as they never settle and smash through any barrier or obstacle stopping them from their goal.

Adam Bernard: You have a few years on you compared to some of the other artists in the scene. How much wisdom comes with that age? What missteps do you see young artists making that you know GTP won’t make?
Just A Poet: {laughs} The age card. Of course there's more that we've seen/experienced having some years on a lot of these up and comers. Our generation had the sense to not be too heavily influenced by the calling of “fast money,” the so-called “easy way out” of doing nothing more than slinging on the corners and other petty nonsense that is so much more glorified nowadays. We've actually GROWN UP - though not completely; we've done away with childish things but remain “young at heart” - and expanded our trains of thought.
Ron Solero: We do have a few years compared to most of the people on the scene but this is, in our opinion, an advantage. We are not worried or concerned with what other groups are doing. We remain true to what we have set out to do and that is to keep the essence of hip-hop alive. The biggest misstep that we see daily is when a new artists follow the latest trend. Hip-hop is about creativity and originality. Following a trend is the biggest mistake we think an artist can make. Take Auto-Tune for example. Everyone was using this as a tool until (Jay-Z’s) “Death of Auto-Tune” came out. Before this everyone was trying to make the hottest ringtone. Following in someone’s footsteps will only take you as far as they go. When you make your own path you decide how far you go.

Adam Bernard: Speaking of going far, you guys aren’t just making an impact in NYC, you’ve also been making noise in London and Germany. How did those opportunities come up and how would you compare the scenes in London and Germany to NYC’s?
Ron Solero: We were offered a show in London by DJ Snuff, founder of End of the Weak UK, after he saw us perform at the Pyramid Club (in NYC). We went out to London in 2009 for the End of the Weak World Freestyle Championships and opened the show and introduced the UK to Ghetto Transcends Potential. From our performance in London we linked up with numerous movements in the UK, the biggest being The People’s Army. We were then invited back out to London and offered several shows in Germany. This was a valuable lesson that taught us every time you perform you are presenting yourself to anyone who sees your performance.
Just A Poet: Another invitation, another trip, further performances and solidifying a fan base; what more could be asked for?! As opposed to what is a competitive environment here at home, where everyone is out for themselves, overseas hip-hop scenes seem much more receptive, respectful, and appreciative of other artists' skills. I wouldn't say that all artists here at home seem to look down on others, but you can feel the difference in the atmospheres when performing.
John Mega: The overseas scenes are a lot like the 90s in New York.
Ron Solero: Or what has become the Golden Era of hip-hop!

Adam Bernard: Finally, give me a few other things G.T.P could stand for that you’d be happy with.
Ron Solero: Gifted Thought Process, Guidance Towards Progress, Generals Teaching People, Gods True Poets, and Gift to The People are just some examples.
John Mega: If I were younger I would call us Get That Paper, or Get That Pussy {laughs}, but I’m cool with what we have.

Related Links

Reverbnation: reverbnation.com/ghettotranscendspotential


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:35 AM  
  • At 12:40 PM, Blogger YC The Cynic said…

    The Boom Bap is Back! GTP deserves all the recognition in the world. They've LIVED their homework, and they've taught me a thing or two as well. Simply put, they're dope.

  • At 7:49 PM, Blogger Luis said…

    Great article on some great talent like G.T.P. It's good to see talent recognized.
    Many Blessings

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