Creativity in isolation

Marinating on three new albums, local rapper Mi$tuh G is set for a breakout year

Mi$tuh G sits in his second home at Amplified Studios.

Mi$tuh G sits in his second home at Amplified Studios.

Photo courtesy of E-Moe

The year is 1997. Kendall Gums was 7 years old and an only child then. His mom—who frequently played Tupac Shakur’s “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” in the car—worked plenty, so Gums spent much of his time with his grandmother. Grandma spent most of her days working and taking care of Gums’ great-grandmother, which left the Sacramento native alone often.

Being a kid with no siblings, surrounded by adults, with much of your time spent with yourself… it gets quiet.

Gums took that situation as an opportunity to develop his writing. He started out as a poet, putting pen to the page whenever he had free time. He wrote constantly in his room, and this newfound hobby stuck with him even when his brother—who likes to dabble in rap, too—was born.

“I know how grimy and shady the industry can be,” said Gums on his brother’s desire to rap. “There’s a lot of fake-ass people in this game, and I want him to stay away from that… to just go to school, man.”

Gums graduated college, but his real passion formed back when he was just that lonely child accompanied by his own thoughts, with a notebook to bring them to life.

Writing was an outlet for a boy from Sac to speak out, and that talent spawned a desire to be a musician.

Now, 27-year-old Gums is all in on his music.

Better known in rap circles as Mi$tuh G, he’s fresh off the January release of his All G Mixtape, with three more projects due out before years’ end. The first is Local G’s Coolin’, an EP slated for spring. In the summer, an album titled Kold Game. Lastly, Kapital Business, two years in the making, will release in late 2018.

“The album is done. I’ve been keeping it under wraps,” said Gums on Kapital Business. “One thing I didn’t want to do is have this dope album with all these dope features and just put it out without the right marketing behind it. That’s what the mixtape is for.”

On the business side, Gums has had his own imprint for over a decade now–Kome Wit It Entertainment. In recent years, he became affiliated with Sacramento underground hip-hop mainstay E-Moe, who runs Pay$tyle Music and has worked with notable hometown acts, including Mozzy, Brotha Lynch Hung and X Raided.

Gums began work on Kapital Business prior to that relationship.

“I started working on the album before I linked up with E-Moe,” said Gums. “We worked together for about a year. We felt each other out, did business, and it was all good after that. Then, he saw what I was doing and said, ’Let me sprinkle a little bit of this and that on there,’ and got it mixed and mastered. That’s my OG.”

Gums cites fellow Sacramento rappers C-Bo, Brotha Lynch Hung, and then Tupac, of course—thanks to momma Gums—as sources of inspiration growing up, and he wants to capitalize on the foundation laid out by those who came before him.

“With the oversaturation in music nowadays, and ’mumble rap,’ I refuse to sell out to that. I just want to bring back that intricate, precise, rawness to the game,” said Gums. “I want people to feel the hard work put into the whole process.”

2018 belongs to Gums. He aims to build a lasting connection with fans the way his influences did with him.

“When I listen to certain songs, they put me back in moments I enjoyed,” said Gums. “I can remember what I was doing, how I was feeling and what I was going through at the time. I want people to have that same experience when they listen to something I made. I just want to make something memorable.”