Gerald Walker
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Gerald Walker

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | MAJOR | AFTRA

New York City, New York, United States | MAJOR | AFTRA
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Hip Hop World

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When I was first introduced to Gerald Walker, it was via his lengthy song titles (like "That Thing In Your Chest Doesn't Beat. It Counts Down" for example). What kept me listening to his music, however, was his knack for crafting melodic and memorable songs with producers like Cardo. After releasing a myriad of mixtapes, Gerald has released his his debut studio album, Target.

Perhaps as an ode to his extra-long song titles, Gerald ironically keeps the song titles on Target relatively short... while Target itself is a double-album coming in at 23 tracks. With contributions from the likes of Slot-A, Oddisee, Esta, Cardo, Add-2, J.LBS, Swiff D and more, the album also formally introduces eight member vocal ensemble, The Walker Family, which provide assistance on songs like "Invincible," "Follow Through" and "No Heart Feelings." Stream Gerald's Target below; your ears will thank you. - 2DopeBoyz


Gerald Walker did the one thing that I consistently advise all local emcees to do; pack your bags and go. Whatever his actual reason for leaving may have been, it worked. The New York transplant has worked feverishly to deliver his first double album, which is consequently his debut album. Target, was released through One Step at a Time Music and INgrooves (for those who don't know...that's kind of a big deal).

The best way I can descibe Target is "the soul that's missing from hip hop". Seriously, it's so smooth I had no idea i'd listened to two albums by the time I was done. It has the "consistent head nod factor" that has disappeared from 50 bpm music we've come to hate but accept. It's fairly easy to to tell that Walker took his time with this project and amassed some of the most exceptional beats for his particular style of emceeing. The addition of The Walker family, an eight member vocal collaboration, only enhance the already melodic flow of Walker. The seasoned vet effortlessly carreens through the double album while still dropping some epic lyrics.

I've decided not to waste your time reviewing every song and pulling out my thesaurus to more accurately describe the album. It's solid from front-to-back. I'd go as far as to say it's one of the dopest albums we'll hear from a Milwaukee dude. That said, how it will be recieved in Milwaukee? Our city is infamous for not supporting artists on the rise. I suppose this is why Walker says:

I'm Milwaukee's most hated, but still n***a Milwaukee's most celebrated

most polarizing, hell, the most overly debated

If I got clipped, n****s probably be elated

Throw confetti to the sky, scream and shout as they parade

Cause I did it when they couldn't fathom or create it....

-Target

Pick up Target today on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play along with the book Gerald Walker wrote "Target Practice: 52 Weeks To Completing My Album". - Those Hip-Hop Guys


Gerald Walker is a person who sees a challenge and runs towards it. While many in music are just consistently working on dropping EP’s in hopes that stardom shows up at their doorstep one morning, Gerald took a step in being more creative and giving fans and other artist a walk-through in the process of making his double album “Target” in a exquisite 52 week layout.

Working on the process on your latest work, what made you think “I need to write a book and speak on the process of Target?”

I always try to challenge myself personally. I already knew that I could put together a cohesive album but writing a book would be a challenge because it takes dedication. I believe our time on Earth is short and if anything unfortunate happened to me I wanted to leave something behind. Plus, I think I’ll get quite the kick of reading my 26 year old thoughts – as an elderly man – granted God allows me to become one.

This book is just now coming out; you talk about the 52 weeks of putting together your album, so when did you start actually piecing all of this together?

Well I started the book in fall of 2013 and it took me 15 months to complete. The 52 weeks are mainly a concept so people can read it over the course of a year. I felt it would be more digestible for readers that way. Whether one reads it in its entirety or each week doesn’t matter.

Who helped you with the order of making this a complete book that isn’t just random thoughts as most ideas and processes start?

I started putting it all together based off issues I would deal with. It’s honestly just a collection of stories and gems other industry homies, close family and friends would share with me. Not just a bunch of platitudes but one big amalgamation of shit I’ve gathered along the way.

What did you learn about yourself through the creation stage of the book plus the album?

I learned that I can do almost anything I want to (within reason) all it takes is dedication and commitment. It also showed me that I’m a more disciplined than I gave myself credit for. I wasn’t the model student in elementary & high school so teachers, guidance counselors and Principles told me how undisciplined and lazy I was. It stuck with me growing up to the fact that If I tried and failed I would say “yeah, they we’re right… I’m no good.” But after the completion of this project the self-dialogue changed to “yo, I wrote a book and dropped a double-album. And they’re both good too! F**k what anyone say! I can do whatever I want.”

We joked via Twitter about being included in Oprah’s book club but what if the possibility of your book being promoted by the mogul happened, how would you react?

I’d be shocked, appalled and excited to be honest. So much of making it in any industry now is based off notoriety. And her co-signs are beyond huge. I would also love it because the older women in my family would go nuts.

Our second part of our interview rightfully Gerald Walker talks about the double album Target, putting together his vocal troop “The Walker Family,” and doing something special the would be appreciated which is how the book and double album came about.

So in 2013 leading up to beginning the work on Target, what was your mind state and thinking on putting out your next work seeing as your previous had been freebies for fans?

The mind-set was to grow and not do the same thing over. It’s interesting because every few years a new artist comes and changes the landscape of the game (usually) with some fresh, original shit. For example, Kid CuDi’s ‘A Kid Named Cudi,” Wiz Khalifa’s “Kush & OG” or even Drake’s “So Far Gone.” I could name more projects but those releases had almost every up & coming producer / rapper emulating their style. I always found it odd that up & coming artist tend to love the guy who brought a fresh sound – but then would blatantly copy that style. No lie I’m even guilty of it. But with this “Target” album I wanted to make the music that I WANTED to make and do it MY WAY! I wanted to do something original that’s not being done in hip-hop.

We’re you worried at all about breaking into mainstream or just pushing the limits to see your fans response to the work you gathered?

I wanted to show the growth to my fans.

What were the most important decisions you made during the creation of Target in 2014?

I would stay moving from Milwaukee to New York City. Also, going on my first headlining tour was an important decision. Tertiary, I traveling out of the country was super important for me. What all those things gave me was perspective.

Attached to the project and seen more than a handful of times are “The Walker Family.” Could you give us a little more insight to who that is and the importance to the project?

The Family is my nine member vocal troop. As a shorty I was a huge Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers, Kirk Franklin & The Family and Fred Hammond & Radical For Christ fan. Even to this day, to be real. I loved how those choirs would back those guys. So I decided to do it because I listen to so much 90’s gospel and R&B – that it’s hard not to. It’s funny because I’m not gospel rapper. So it’s like blending four different genres into a new one. It’s important because it made me musical director for a vocal ensemble. Which meant another challenge. I even took a class at UNC – Chapel Hill on theory and how to effectively rehearse and be a director to do it. It just forced me to grown up musically.

Rarely do we see double-disc projects anymore seeing as a lot of individuals have such a short attention span. How did you land on the decision to make it 23 tracks long?

As a kid my favorite artist all dropped double-albums. From Biggie and 2-Pac to Bone Thugs ’N’ Harmony and Jay-Z. I just feel a double-album is what every artist should attempt at least once. See, with a double album there’s ample opportunity to create filler tracks. So for one to create a cohesive album without filler (to me) is the ULTIMATE test. Plus, most retailers don’t like releasing double albums now and days. So finding a label or distributor to do it (especially on my level) is extremely difficult. Luckily, for me INgrooves shared my vision and helped me and my OSAT Music label do it.

When you finally had the product of the project and the book completed, what were your first thoughts?

To be honest, I just remember I having a bad day. One of those rare moments where I questioned why I even did music. It’s funny looking back because I remember walking down the street, praying to God, reciting this Nipsey Hussle lyric (laughs). It was some song of his where he spits “I know that I can’t win them all, but I can’t keep losing!” I just remember in all sincerity walking down the street praying that lyric. Like ‘Man, God… give me a sign or something”. And when I arrived home it was a box of physical albums and books waiting on me. And when I finally held em in my hand I just remember these last few years being worth it. The endless nights, blood, sweat and tears; just all being worth it. And at that moment I was ready and haven’t looked back.

Get that TARGET album now on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play or wherever digital music is sold. - Jenesis Magazine


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Rapper-songwriter, Gerald Walker was born in Chicago and raised by his mother in Milwaukee, WI.
Walker grew up heavily influenced by hip-hop, 90's R&B, jazz and gospel; which is conveyed through his
sound. The Chicago up-and-comer has gained respect as one of the leading artists to come out of the
Midwest. Since 2009, the young artist has released nine independent record label mixtapes and EPs
under Milwaukee based marketing group, One Step at a Time Music (OSAT).


Walker released his debut tape, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend, in September of 2009. The release
created a buzz around him, leading to features in outlets such as: Complex Magazine, URB Magazine,
SOURCE Magazine, and 2dopeboyz.com. In 2011, Walker released one of his most successful mixtapes
to-date, The Other Half of Letting Go. XXL Magazine endorsed, calling him, “an artist that hip-hop
shouldn’t let go unnoticed.” By 2011, Walker began recording with Taylor Gang producer, Cardo, and
toured with Interscope Recording artist, Yelawolf. Walker was also featured on the MTV'S Rapfix Live
hosted by Sway Calloway.


At 24-years old, the Milwaukee native decided to set out to pursue his dreams and move to NYC. He
released two indie projects in 2012; and in 2014, Walker completed a 14 city headlining tour, “The
Target Practice Tour,” in anticipation for the release of his album, TARGET. The sound Walker creates on
the new album is deeper, smoother, lyrically complex than his past albums. This innovative sound will
not only showcase his artistic journey; but also launch Walker to the forefront of the music scene.
TARGET will feature live musicians, horns and gospel arrangements from background singers, “The
Family.” Musically, the album infuses different elements and creates something new and refreshing.