Glasses Malone

glasses malone
Los Angeles, CA
Cash Money / Blu Division / Hoo' Bangin / Suburban Noize Records

Glasses Malone

Glasses Malone realized his life & career were at a crossroads. His mother had passed away and his oft-delayed and label altered “Beach Cruiser” album was released to little fanfare in 2011. Rather than fade away after this one-two punch, the Watts, California rapper decided to do something he’d been dodging his entire life. Become a leader. “It’s the only way I’ve ever been successful in life, when I took things into my own hands,” Glasses Malone says. “It’s what my mom raised me to be, a leader.”

Glasses Malone didn’t want to blame anyone else for the disappointing sales of Beach Cruiser. So the Southern California act literally took matters into his own hands. He studied music-making and became a producer. His landmark new album, #GH2 Life Ain’t Nuthin…, features Glasses Malone producing the majority of the album, with stunning results. “I’ve never produced music,” he says. “I may have produced an album concept, but this is the first time I produced an album, from the concept to the music composition itself. I struggled earlier in my career because I didn’t know anything about music.”

#GH2 Life Ain’t Nuthin… is the follow-up to 2013’s Glass House mixtape. That collection introduced G Malone’s new sound, one that remains gritty but that is also party and radio ready. Prime examples of this evolution are #GH2 Life Ain’t Nuthin… cuts “OG” & “Knock It Out.” The former features him embracing his role as an OG, while the latter features B.o.B. as well as pays homage to both Slick Rick and LL Cool J. With the musically rich “Thuggin’, Glasses Malone blasts local rappers for their silence regarding George Zimmerman and slams people for being quick to retaliate against their own kind. “I’ve got a reputation that allows me to stand on a platform and say what I want to say, and I’m willing to deal with the consequences,” Glasses Malone says. “We need to be inspirations to one another, but we need to call each other out on our BS every now and then. If people feel a certain way because I’m telling the truth, then so be it.”

In the third verse of “Thuggin’,” longtime friend Kendrick Lamar discusses his reaction to society. Appearing with Glasses Malone on a song with such heft came naturally for Kendrick Lamar. “I’ve known Glasses since I was in high school,” he says. “That’s about 10 years in the game knowing Glasses. It’s deeper than rap, way deeper than rap.” Glasses Malone takes things to another dimension on the cinematic “Price Tag.” He got the idea for the song reflecting upon the disappointment he felt Beach Cruiser was received.

“I was inspired by not succeeding, not getting any trophies off of Beach Cruiser, not getting a plaque on the single, off the album and not really getting to another level financially,” he says. “The idea for the song was, ‘This is how artists sell their soul. This is that position they would be in where Satan would come to them and say, “I can take care of this,”’ so I put myself in that mindstate and wrote a song. Being that I’m a God-fearing Christian, I know how that would end up. It’s the same every time. There’s no victories in that.”

Since his emergence in the aughts, Glasses Malone has been one of rap’s most important artists. His remarkable blend of street insight, social commentary and lyricism earned the California rhymer ringing endorsements from a series of rap icons, including Jay Z and Dr. Dre. As his rep grew thanks to a series of acclaimed mixtapes, including White Lightening, Glasses Malone was introduced in 2007 to Mack 10, who brought him to the Cash Money Records fold.
After signing to Cash Money, Glasses Malone released the popular singles “Certified” and “I Get Doe.” His debut studio album, Beach Cruiser, earned critical acclaim but didn’t reach the sales status Glasses Malone hoped and imagined it would.

That disappointment, coupled with the loss of his mother, made Glasses Malone reevaluate his position in life. Now that he’s crafted #GH2: Life Ain’t Nuthin…, he’s set on making himself successful. “It’s no peace until I get some trophies, until I get plaques” Glasses Malone says. “It’s no peace. It’s all-out war right now. It’s a war with everything, a war on everybody. I’m possessed by success.”