HarveyGanG or Die

On the come-up out the 262, HarveyGanG stays ten toes True

Head west out of downtown Milwaukee, about thirty minutes, and you’ll find yourself in Waukesha, the Republican center of Wisconsin where police are more worried about the kids smoking weed than what’s going on behind the scenes. It is a majority white county where racism is ingrained deeply, and where history is obscured with rosy facts that belie the grime underneath. This dichotomy is where HareyGanG came up, spending the first eight years of his life being raised by his grandma on the Northside of Milwaukee before his mom moved him out to Waukesha. “They don’t see you as being mixed out here, I’m just black,”, Harvey explained, a statement borne from his early experiences with the people in Waukesha. While the police are always on the lookout, he felt the racism most keenly from the kids around him in school. In a place where most kids have no experience with those who are different from them, and kids believe whatever their parents tell them, it makes sense. Throughout all the bullshit though, HarveyGanG has always stayed making sure that he puts on for the 262 because “Man, we’ve done a lot of shit out here, and I want people to understand what it’s like coming from here.”

HarveyGanG first started making music in 8th grade, becoming acquainted with it in a more formal setting while playing baritone in the middle school band. Like so many other kids going through middle school at the turn of the first decade in the 21st century, Harvey was heavily influenced by Wiz Khalifa when he started rapping. In fact, his moniker is a slightly tweaked version of Taylor Gang or Die (TGOD), switching out the first letter in the acronym to make it HGOD or Harvey GanG or Die. For Harvey, the vlogs are what struck him the most, seeing the lifestyle Wiz was living smoking out the pound while still grinding every single day to make his dreams come true. As a fellow 262 native, that seemed like a pipe dream in middle school, but Harvey was determined to make it come true. The first song that Harvey released was a Versace remix, and it was game on from there seeing as, “Man people used to be rapping it in the hallways at North,” no small accomplishment at a school that loves to hate on anyone trying to step into their own lane. He continued to progress throughout high school, dropping a few projects along with a spate of fire remixes, maybe the reason why southeast Wisconsin hasn’t seen much snow when I was in high school there.

It can be hard to keep your head up when you feel disconnected from those around you, but Harvey, a natural at connecting with people, was able to make friends quickly. It didn’t take him too long after settling in to find  himself in some trouble, “Man, I just hung out with some bad ass kids,” Harvey laughed while explaining. When there’s nothing else to do, what’s a kid to do besides find some dirt weed and get in some trouble? For Harvey, the music outlet started picking up a few years ago when he was discovered on Instagram by Maddi Madd. Initially skeptical, Harvey did his research and quickly found out that Maddi was the real deal, having sold millions of records ghostwriting for Flo Rida and Jadakiss to name a few. Technically, HarveyGanG is signed to Blimp City Records, with a distribution deal through Universal, a fucking beautiful thing to see for a kid from Waukesha. Harvey is still on his independent grind though, spending most of his time locked up in the studio, but has been slowly getting more and more shows under his belt, even during the past few months. Revently he did a party at Evolution and at Boscos as well. In 2019, he even took a trip out east to perform at a show in Brooklyn, a right fucking proper show at that. This last Saturday, HarveyGanG hopped on stage at what is one of his biggest shows to date, at the Miramar in Milwaukee. It has been a switch up in the past few years as he went from paying to perform to getting paid to perform, the true tell that an artist is making headway.

For most artists, the break in 2020 provided time to catch up on their music videos or put in work in the studio, but for HarveyGang it was just another day. He has been focused on the music grind for a while now and has numerous videos in the cut, waiting to put them on the right platform. With so many pages nowadays demanding payment, it takes time to sift through and find the ones that will actually help an artist grow their following, instead of just taking the money and leaving the artist with nothing to show for it. Since Harvey’s still working washing windows to make sure the music bread is straight, it makes sense that he wouldn’t want to throw money at anything not guaranteed to bring the right return. He did have an upcoming tape planned with fellow Waukesha native, ShadyLane aka Carter Lukas, who passed away this last weekend, and may he rest easy. Pour some out or light one up for a fallen artist, it is never easy to lose a friend and collaborator, especially one as solid overall as ShadyLane was.  The independent grind makes sense for someone so intently focused on bringing a spotlight to a previously unknown area. Really, his only consistent collaborator is his engineer, JobJetson. In 2021, the goal for Harvey is to get on the stages at Summerfest and bring that fucker down. He has been working to position himself for the reopening of the world, and has been doing a pretty damn good job of it.

HarveyGanG’s music itself is very indicative of his upbringing among the different areas of Wisconsin. He is truly himself on track, speaking from the heart, and letting it rip over numerous genres of beats. He refuses to limit himself to any sort of traditional sound, which is smart, to distinguish himself from those around here but also in order to stand out on the national stage. He has been making moves around Milwaukee still, lining up a feature from Donno, whose lyrical stylings match up well with HarveyGanG. One of my favorite lines of Harvey’s, “Even though I’m average, spendin money is a habit” really encompasses the feel of what its like to be making it in a place like Waukesha. It is a slow grind, but Harvey is here for every minute of it. His talent lies in his ability to play it cool and be himself regardless of the situation around him. He might not yet be the biggest star in the world, but it’s coming, and he’s more than ready for when it does. And until he does, you can find HarveyGang posted in the 262, smoking out the bong and stayin strong through the bullshit going on all around. You can give his music a spin on all platforms, so go check that shit out!

Instagram: @harveygang

Soundcloud: @HarveyGanG

Youtube: @HarveyGanG

Jake Zinda

23 years old, from Wisconsin Hip-Hop Journalist @CMAG N.S.C.T.D.

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