By Fred Gonzalez
G. Love returned to South Florida recently with Special Sauce to lay down some of his unique blend of hip-hop and blues. For nearly 20 years the Philadelphia-born Garrett Dutton III has been touring the globe and rocking audiences since his humble beginnings at bar gigs in Boston. Now he’s writing books, posting home videos on YouTube and releasing his latest album, Superhero Brother. We caught up G Love as he was finishing up rehearsals at his home studio before embarking on the 20-city tour.
How often do you try and get down to South Florida?
I try to get down there as often as I can because I’m living in Boston these days and its cold as shissle. We have played the University once in Miami and we have been playing the wonderful Langerado Festival since its conception. My ex-girfriend was working down there last year and so I got to spend a lot of time in South Beach.
What comes to mind when you hear the word Miami?
When I hear the word Miami I think of Will Smith’s song "Going to Miami". I also think about Cuban food, the art scene in the downtown area, Dwyane Wade, Shaq, Scott Storch, a lot of money and beautiful women. and the truffled deviled eggs at Prime 112.
Do you have any favorite hangouts when you come to Miami?
I have spent most of my time in South Beach. I find South Beach to be a lot of fun but I have to leave after a couple days because let’s just say I have too much fun!
Your music. You have kept to your style for over 20 years. How have you seen hip-hop change? What keeps you true to your style?
My style is easy to stay true to because I’m in this thing for the love of making music. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’d love to make a 100 million bucks like my friend Scott Storch, that would be sick. However, my music is somewhat ecclectic and off the beaten path musically. I am hoping my new song "Peace, Love and
Happiness" hits. It’s climbing the charts and has a message that’s good for the world to hear.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
My musical idols and inspirations range everywherew from Bob Dylan and John Hammond to Q-tip and KRS-One.
You have played all over the world. Do you have any memorable performances? Ones that you look back and say, ‘Damn, that really was a kickin’ show’?
Every night! Well- that’s what you want to say. Usually we do say it too! Of course, some shows have to be better than others and we certainly have had some amazing hits. But really it could be in Tokyo or Trenton. It doesnt matter as long as the vibe is thick.
We just caught a video on YouTube of you and your son singing Milk and Cereal. Can you tell us how that came about?
Well that song Milk and Cereal is crazy. It was this sick jam we came up with one night on the tour bus when I was clowning around with my backup singers. We cut the song but it only made it on a B-side sampler. Years later a couple college kids made a video and since the youtube era the song has blown up with literally hundreds of people making their own versions of the milk and cereal video. (Check it out here.)
We hear you are working on a couple of books, including one about being a traveling dad. Can you tell us some more about that, and where the idea came from?
I wrote and had illustrated a book called "Little Daddies" it’s a book for kids with travelling dads. We are just looking for a publisher. Its really an amazing book. I wrote it to comfort my son because I’m always away for weeks at a time and that’s hard on the little ones.
Your new album Superhero Brother seems to have some strong social and political messages. What are you trying to get across on the album?
This record is like a conscious party. I wanted to express how I feel about the was in Iraq and the end of Bush’s reign. I wanted to sing about some real issues but make sure I keep the people dancing.
If you could hold a concert for any superhero, who would it be and why?
I guess Spiderman because he was always my favorite and he was always behind on his rent.
When you started as the house band at the Plough and Stars, did you ever think your career would eventually grow to websites with video blogs, jingles for Foster Grant and Coke, and traveling all over the world? Do you ever just pinch yourself when you consider all you have done?
Who woulda thunk it? I knew I just had a dream to make a record. I put everything I had into making that dream came true. I’ve been working hard everyday to keep the dream alive.
Philly Cheesesteak, Boston Clam Chowder or Miami Cuban sandwich … which would make the best topic for a G-Love song?
That’s tough. I’m gonna represent for Philly although the Cuban Sandwhich sounds like a better song!
Can you freestyle us a few lines of the food you picked from above?
I can’t wait to get my hands on that cuban sandwhich
It’s slamming and it’s lying in my gut like a hammock
Now I’m lounging by the pool at the Delano trying not to waste my money
Oops where did it go
Damn that sure was a nice martini
But the ladies look fine in their string bikinis.
I’m just a kid from Philly go call your mother
Here’s a little love from the Superhero Brother