Gold Haze Lives “Life In Abundance”
Written by Vocalo Radio on January 27, 2022
“I wouldn’t trade the journey for the world, bro. It’s been a blessing.”– Gold Haze
Chicago producer and rapper Gold Haze looks back on the past 10 years of pursuing his passion.
The Chicago-based creative has collaborated with artists from all across Chicago and beyond over the years — including Timbaland, Flex Sinatra, Joey Purp, G Herbo, Ausar, Vic Mensa and Brittney Carter, to name a few. Gold Haze also had a busy 2021 — releasing solo album From Here On Out in February and an EP titled Life In Abundance with friend, collaborator and co-host of the Through The Wire podcast Peeweedaplug in June. Both works center the subject of the pursuit of success through hard work. A decade into his career, the focused hip-hop producer and rapper Gold Haze has never stopped pushing forward.
In a conversation with Vocalo mornings host Bekoe in January 2022, Haze expressed pride in the work accomplished by fellow members of Chicago-based RICHVI$ION collective, like Peeweedaplug and rapper and designer Flex Sinatra.
“There are, like, just so many different legends that’s a part of [RICHVI$ION]… they play such a pivotal part of what’s going on right now,” he told Bekoe. “This is a well-oiled machine full of… just focused individuals.”
The pair also discussed Gold Haze’s early introduction to music production, focusing on his goals, working with Peeweedaplug on Life In Abundance EP and the rich diversity of Chicago talent.
Stream their conversation on Spotify or YouTube, or read it below.
Bekoe: You’re tuned in to Vocalo Radio, Chicago’s most valuable radio station. I’m your host, Bekoe, alongside a very special guest. This man is super-multi-talented — producer, MC, being behind the scenes making some of the best music with some of your favorite artists. He goes by the name of Gold Haze. How’re you doing?
Gold Haze: Blessed, bro. Blessed to be here with you, man, making this happen, man. You such a legend in the city doing this the right way, man.
B: I appreciate the feedback. You yourself, you legendary. I remember seeing you, just seeing your come-up and your growth, like, it’s been inspiring to see. And it’s been entertaining to see as well. And, you know, speaking of your beginning, what came first, Haze? Was it the production? Or was it the artistry? Because you do both.
GH: Yeah, I will say it was the production. And that happened, like, when I was a junior in high school, I started making beats just inspired by the clips I was seeing on YouTube from… at the time it’d be either Hit-Boy, it’d be Young Chop, it’d be WondaGurl — just different producers that inspired me at the time … and Lex Luger, definitely. Those four producers made me really want to tap into… just production, and just really … have my glimpse into it. And in time, you know, that’s when I discovered just different sounds, man, like through SoundCloud or YouTube, and I just always aspired to that and really just looked for inspiration through that way. That’s when I became a producer. I was just willing to just try anything.
B: When was that? You know, you remember the year?
GH: Oh, yeah, I will say it was definitely late 2011, early 2012. Around that time. I think I was 17 at the time.
B: You’ve been producing for a decade!
GH: A decade now, bro. Yeah, a decade. And it’s just crazy to see how quick it’s been. But all the information we’ve learned since then, you know, I wouldn’t trade the journey for the world, bro. It’s been a blessing.
B: So when, you know, when did you realize that went from having fun to, “Okay, let me do this professionally, let me make this a career”? Like, when was — what sparked and lit that candle for you, and led you to where you are now?
GH: This is different eras, it’s different times, you know. I will say maybe 2017, 2018 when I was working a nine-to-five and I was really like, “Damn, what’s, what’s gonna be next for life — next for my life?” Like, what’s going to be the … Do I want to continue to work for people, or do I want to really push myself and push my vision and just really trust the plan, and trust what’s in front of me? And trust my passion? I feel like that was really when I realized just how powerful music is, really. You know, and just how important it is to really put 100% in your creativity and 100% in your work. And … ever since then, I quit my job and I’ve just been going in 100% since. I haven’t been working since the pandemic, actually. I haven’t been working since 2020. And I think, since then, I’ve been able to really just keep the utmost faith because it’s really all I have right now, you know … You got to realize, since it’s all you have, you got to continue to put your all into it, and you gon’ get the rewards …
B: I’ve seen your growth. I’ve seen your development, and I’m so happy and proud of what has happened, you know, for your career. And a lot of the artists you’ve worked with, like, for instance, you’ve been affiliated with RICHVI$ION. I got to ask you, like, what’s RICHVI$ION? Also, what is the “vision” for RICHVI$ION, as well?
GH: RICHVI$ION, at this point, is just… we have a bunch of like-minded individuals that just see greatness in each other. I feel like we’re just pushing it as much as possible around each other. I feel like we’ve all been just tested in our lives, you know, so I feel like … we’re bringing that in the music. We’re bringing into everything that we’re doing. Like, when you look at P[eeweedaplug], he’s able to kill both lanes … he’s able to conquer music and basketball. He’s able to kill the content game, he’s able to just be amazing in so many different areas. You look at Flex [Sinatra] … he’s able to drop merch and then, with the Glory Road that he just came out with, he’s able to get his message across, and he’s able to still have an amazing catalog, you know. I feel like we’ve got so many different, like, amazing members apart of the team, man. [Campaign] Camo, Lena Bandz, Jxnoir, like, man. Heavy but light, like, there’s so many different people, pieces to the puzzle that’s important. We got [engineer] Darrion Jackson, amazing. There are just so many different legends that’s a part of this and … they play such a pivotal part of what’s going on right now. And this is a well-oiled machine full of … just focused individuals.
B: You mentioned P[eewee] earlier, you know, Through The Wire podcast, also a basketball fanatic.
GH: P is only 26 bro, like, P is only 26. Like, look what he’s done … imagine where P gonna be at in five years, for real. Like, this is something I’ve never seen in my life right now. He’s doing this… it’s amazing, bro. He’s been at it, and … to see where he’s taking it, it’s monumental, bro, for real.
B: We know we got some songs with you and P, because you all put together Life Of Abundance.
GH: Life In Abundance, yes, sir.
B: Life In Abundance, and, you know, P started out, you know, he was rapping. But then he took some time off, had a nice hiatus and here it is — you, Haze — link up with P and y’all put this incredible project out 2021.
B: And, like, what was the idea behind this project? And also break down, like, the thought process behind how it started.
GH: Yeah, me and P just wanted to get together and make some great music, man. P, one day he was like, “Yo, we should just, we should do it…” So we got these, these beats we were working on at the time. It was crazy, because when we did the first part of the project, it was like 2020, but it didn’t really fit the sound, like, we was trying to take it. So we took some time off and then we shot the cover. And when we shot the cover, we was like, “Okay. Now we know where we want to take it.” And then we just started, just working on more ideas and we knocked it out quick, bro. Like, P a legend with it, man … It’s been a real rush, like, a real inspirational rush. We’re just trying to inspire the people that’s just trying to make this happen and just try to conquer. That’s what it is, you know. Life In Abundance, that was crazy coming together, because we knocked it out in like two or three sessions, and then we shot some videos for it. It was fun. It was really fun. That was really a fun project to put together, man.
B: Was it tough for you to at least get him back in the studio? Or was he always in the studio? Like, what was that like?
GH: P never, he had never stepped out of rapping completely. You know what I’m saying? Everybody who … if you rapped once, you’ll always be able to, just… it’s like breathing, you know? Like, P just be so busy, you got so many other things going. It’s like, whenever there’s time, when there’s time to rap or whenever we feel inspired, it’s, “Okay, I got this verse,” you know, like, “Y’all check this out.” And then, we’ll just really build off of it. That’s why the project was so dope, because we didn’t force anything, like, it was, it was all off the energy. Like, I think the first, the first song we did was “Say My Name,” with Just Adam, and then, once we had that one I was like, “Okay, we got something crazy. We got something crazy.” We knocked out the other three or four, the other five, and then everything just … came together perfectly.
B: You know, you’re in both lanes of producing as well as, you know, providing some dope bars being an artist. How is that for you, on a balance to… like, is it, sometimes, can it be as challenging? Or have you finally found your way, where you know when you can, when you should spit on a track or when you should just produce and, you know, get that track out?
GH: No, I’ve fully found my way with it. I think it’s just not about, it’s about not forcing it, you know? I feel like, if it feels good, then write something to it. But if it feels good for somebody else, then just pass it, you know. I just, I can’t get myself caught into those thoughts, you know. So I came too far to even stress about, “Ahh, should I rap on it, should I not?” If you feel good, we’re gonna make it happen. If it don’t, then the other way around. We’ll just continue to just create some more dope music in the meantime, you know.
B: I say this every single show — how talented Chicago is, you know, and I’m speaking on all the creativity. Not just music, but art. Spoken word. Food, whatever! Fashion.
GH: When we think of Chicago, we think of Ron Louis, bro … Somebody like a Ron Louis, he’s next-level with it, bro. We got something dope coming soon, too, man, with me and Ron — shutout Ron. That’s a legend … that’s the standard, bro, like, people like him. I think he really, like, when he’s worldwide with it bro … he’s been having the vision, you know what I’m saying? Take it in now. That’s just, this is amazing, bro.
B: And, you know, Ron — also, for those that don’t know, you know, Ron Louis was also being mentored by the late and great Virgil Abloh … another legend from, you know, Illinois, helping another young legend come up in the game on a fashion tip. So, like I said, Chicago has talent — and, speaking of mentors, I got to transition from Virgil to Timbaland, you know what I’m saying? You remember this right here?
B: You know, that’s Timbaland rocking out to a beat that you produced.
GH: Me and him, me and him actually produced it, man. It’s crazy, bro. We collabed on that one. We collabed on a lot of beats, actually, bro. Timbaland a legend, man … it’s a blessing to be working with such a legend like Tim, you know. Like, just seeing his discography all the time and his growth, … just seeing the fact that he’s able to just be — just still, the fact he still wants to do this, you know. Like, the fact that he’d still want to work with up-and-coming producers, you know. Because he could have easily said, “No, I’m good.” You know, like, the fact that he’s just giving us the game and just working with us and giving us great energy and just being the legend that he is, man, it’s an honor.
B: To see y’all bond and have fun producing and making music together… I honestly want to know, mentally, how has that impacted you?
GH: Oh, man, it’s just made me more focused. It made me more focused. Because I know it’s possible. Everything is possible. Anything we put our mind to is possible. I literally wrote on my vision board, “Work with Timbaland” — like, the top of last year. And to see it happen, like, it just showed me that it’s possible, you know. You can’t ever limit yourself to any — to anything, because you got to give yourself every shot. And I just know for a fact that what we’re doing, it’s just holding weight, and that people are informed of what we got going on. And, man, the internet is so important, bro. Like, the content. The content, bro … now I just thank God for just giving me that, just the guidance of just how important content is. Like, 2020, that was when I really realized how important content was. You know, just 15 seconds, 20 seconds can change your life. It don’t matter what you’re posting, or the emotions you may be going through leading up to that post, just post it. You never know, because somebody can see that and become a new fan of you. Just like that, you know. Just got to show people that you’re working, man. It’s a new day. It’s a new time right now.
B: Can we expect more work from you in general, like, individual projects from you?
GH: Yeah, it’s a long year, bro. It’s a lot on the way. I don’t want to say too much, but in March I’m trying to jump on my book, Your Potential Is Endless. That’s gonna be a self-help book, pretty much for just creators. I was trying to really figure this out. Yeah, bro, I saw my, I saw my grandmother’s birthday. And it’s been ten years since she’s been gone, so I think that’s gonna be a dope way to start the year for me personally, too.
Interview by Bekoe
Introduction written by Milo Keranen
Transcript edited for length and clarity by Morgan Ciocca
More from Vocalo: