Published on October 6th, 2022 | by MuzikScribe


El Gant: Into The Light


“Leave It Alone” follows right on the heels of “Let The Lions Roar” — Tell me a lil bit about this joint…

This was exciting for me because Premier produced it, and did the cuts. But with that, I just didn’t want to do a record where I’m peacocking over a dope beat. This has social commentary to it. I’m talking to the listener, and reminding them to stop and look around. The more we go in endless cycles with all of the useless information being peddled to us on a daily basis, the more ignorant that can become.

Of course both songs come courtesy of your new solo LP, O.S.L.O. — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?

O.S.LO. is an acronym for “Our Sun the Last Original.” It started as a dedication to an emcee I grew up with who recently passed called ‘The Last Original,’ but then endured a lot of additional loss while writing this album, so it is a dedication to their memory and how I’ve coped with loss.

How then does O.S.L.O. either differ and / or compare to previous El Gant entries?

This album I may have written in kind of a dark place, but the listener gets to know me more on a personal level which is something I always wanted to evolve into as an artist.

O.S.L.O. is a Fat Beats release — What particular string of events actually led up to this inking?

In 2020, I released an album with my group Jamo Gang [Myself, Ras Kass and J57] through Fat Beats. So after speaking with them during the making of this album, we decided to work together again via distribution. They have been very good to me as an artist, and I always enjoy rocking with them!

As an emcee, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?

It depends really. A lot of times it’s cathartic for me and I create after going through a lot of trials and tribulations, which there has been so much of. But even if there wasn’t, I just like to write. I think I’ve grown so much as a person the past 10 years, and I like to speak about it to process it and also inspire others.

Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Josh Gent?

I always was into music. The first album I had was Led Zeppelin IV, my neighbor gave me when I was 5 years old. I played it over and over, and knew I wanted to perform. When I heard my first Hip-Hop record, EPMD “So Whatcha Sayin’,” I knew I wanted to start writing rhymes. So I make a group with my friends, and started rocking local shows. After I was done with school, I was the one who kind of took it more serious and started performing at showcases in N.Y.C.. That’s really how I got my start. Next I knew, I was on MTV battling legends and signing record deals. However, I learned some hard lessons fast.

Where exactly do you hail from? And growing up there, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?

I grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York. We would record Stretch and Bobbito off the radio, and that’s when I was inspired to really rock that style of Hip Hop; underground and lyrical. But my strongest influences were guys like KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane, Black Thought and Scarface.

In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?

I would say high level boom bap. I’ll always be a boom bap kid, but I also always want to give the listener something to think about.

Where does your moniker originally derive from?

Everything Lacking Greatness Accomplishes Nothing Tangible. I know, I know it’s a lot…but I live by it.

Switching gears here…

What has been the key to your longevity?And, what will continue to sustain you in music?

I think the key was never falling for trends. I was asked to do records in the style of every era; Crunk, Trap etcetera…and I always went with my intuition. I think that always helped me stick around because I never pandered.

What do you want people to get from your music?

I want people to listen to it and think, but more importantly I hope I can help and inspire people. I want them to know that some of those negative things they may be thinking about are common, and there’s a way out. Other music I make, I just want people to nod to and get a temporary escape from their lives.

On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?

I am. There is always good and bad music out there, and you can’t have one without the other. But more importantly, there are a lot of talented people out there and I think with streaming it’s a lot easier for them to get their music out there and build a following…and the fun part is finding them. When I started, you were either signed or selling CDs on the street. It’s cool to see all these new creative ways people are making it in the game.

Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?

I’m always business minded, so I own a few things. I have a dog training company, a bar in Manhattan, and a few other investments. It’s cool because I grew up with not much and worked my ass off to create all of this stuff. But, at the end of the day I’d like to retire peacefully and split my time between N.Y.C. and Italy. I’ll always be making music though!

To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?

Too many to list, but I feel like my greatest moment is still ahead of me!

What’s an average day like for you?

Espresso first! Then there is always a work out and a quick 20 minutes in my sauna. After that, I’m off to the races. I’m usually running around until 10 or 11 working on one of the businesses, then taking time everyday for my music. I don’t really watch a lot of TV, so at the end of the day I’ll read something then pass out. I’ll always reserve two days or nights a week though to catch up with friends or go on a date or something, haha! You need the balance or else you burn yourself out, which I learned the hard way!

Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…

It was such a long hard process to get to this point, so I am so responsive with fans. I appreciate their enthusiasm and do my best to respond to everyone, and even go above and beyond when I can.

What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?

My favorite part is performing. I love giving that energy and then getting it back from the crowd. The least is the industry aspect. Going to those functions where everyone just follows around the most popular person in the room, and having to have those lame conversations with people that just want something out of you I’ll never enjoy.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst! But most important, enjoy the process. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s not for you, kid.

What’s up with Jamo Gang?

They are my brothers! I talk to Ras and J57 every week. Proud to have them on this album, and one day we will get the band back together for another album.

Lastly, what’s next for El Gant?

Tour, tour, tour! Then I have another album ready to go next year. The guns are loaded!

Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?

Nope! Haha!

Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?

Order the vinyl on, and be on the lookout for the video to “Leave it Alone” with Premier. It’s a movie!


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