2013 ended rough for Grand Hustle Gang. Doe B, born Glenn Thomas, was fatally shot in his hometown in Montgomery, AL at Centennial Hill Bar and Grill on Highland Avenue while he was in attendance to perform this past Saturday (Dec. 28). He was only 22 years old.
Details have been emerging since his death, including a suspect who is now in custody. 25-year-old Montgomery resident Jason McWilliams turned himself intothe Montgomery Police Department late Sunday (Dec. 29) night and was charged yesterday (Dec. 30) with capitol murder. Coincidentally enough, B.o.B, Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist and fellow Grand Hustle member performed at that exact same venue when it was known as Rose Supper Club. As the hip-hop community continues mourning for the loss of Doe B, B.o.B talked to XXL about how special he was, his first time meeting the promising rap star, and concert safety.—Emmanuel C.M. (@ECM_LP)
[Editor's Note: The funeral of Glenn "Doe B" Thomas will be held in Montgomery, AL at 12 p.m. this Saturday (Jan. 4) at Frazier Memorial.]
XXL: How did you learn of his death?
B.o.B: I woke up in the middle of the night. I don’t know why I woke up. I usually don’t just [wake up], every now and then, but I started going through my Instagram and I saw the picture that chicks were posting. I was about to just keep scrolling, I thought it was promoting something Doe B was doing. Then I saw the caption and the picture and it just stopped me in my tracks. I called a lot of people on my side to confirm what had happen and it was just unreal, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even go back to sleep.
What was going through your mind when you heard of his death?
Just the fact that your life is fragile; As artists, we always go out to the club and we are in the same situations. I remember the passing of Paul Walker. I was actually giving my family and my friends a test drive of my new car that same time frame as far as like just the parallel of it. It’s kind of crazy of how it happens like that.
Do you ever feel in danger when you perform at some of these shows?
I actually don’t, I never really feel that way. I feel like, if it’s my time, its my time. I don’t let fear interfere, it just makes me enjoy each moment more and be in the moment. Enjoy every show, every performance, every song like it could be the last time that I do it.
Is there every a time a city or state will get crossed off because it is too crazy?
No, not at all. I remember even when I first got started, back when I had my song “Haters Everywhere,” I was going to clubs in Georgia and Tennessee and certain places where they had like armed guards in front of the club with AKS and shit. We just had to go in the clubs, do our show and dip.
When was the last time you saw him?
We were recording at Patchwerk Studios in Atlanta. When we ended the session he went and shot a video outside for another artist who he be featured on. On my way out, I just kind of crashed the video. Just jumped in and got a little cameo in the video to show some love and I was on my way. I never knew that would be the last time I seen him.
How’s the camp holding up? Was he the youngest in Grand Hustle?
I don’t think so, but [he] definitely [was] one of the younger members. We strong, we a strong team, we been through a lot of highs and lows and this is just an unfortunate event. We got to keep going and stay strong for Doe.
What does Grand Hustle have planned?
Nothing I can really speak on just yet.
When did you first meet Doe B?
Actually it was in the studio. We was collaborating on a record. Everybody was talking about this new artist and how talented he was. You hear that all the time and I wanted to listen to it for myself. When he played me a record I was just like “this dude got a style like nobody else style, this don’t sound like nobody.” This the first time that I ever heard somebody with this sound. So it was just crazy. His work ethic. When you played the beat he would go straight into the studio and straight into the booth and just start recording. I saw a similar creative soul when I first met Doe B.
Can you share a story with your time with him?
The thing that I remember the most is that everything he built was deliberate and his work ethic in the studio. He wasn’t “feeling himself.” He was a real humble dude, he worked real hard.
What future did Doe B have?
A superstar, like it was no doubt in my mind. That’s kind of the reason it was so shocking. It was definite that he was going to be a superstar. Every time I saw him, him and his manager, I always say that.