As an original member of Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music roster, which also included Consequence and Really Doe at it’s inception in 2004, GLC has seen fame but still has a lot to prove. Specifically, getting out of the shadow of his features on Kanye’s Grammy award-winning albums, 2004’s College Dropout (“Spaceship”) and 2005’s Late Registration (“Drive Slow”) has been a daunting task. This is presumably why G—who’s been down with ’Ye since 1993 when he, Kanye and fellow rappers Timmy G and Arrowstar traded bars as The Go Getters—has yet to release his own solo project. However, that will all change in a matter of days.

This past August, the Chi-Town native struck a deal with EMI and is set to release his debut album Love, Life and Loyalty next Tuesday, October 12. The first single off the album “Clocking Lotsa Dollars,” featuring Sir Mix-A-Lot and Bun B, already circulating the Internet. Now, that the project is officially on its way, caught up with GLC to find out what’s been the hold up and how he feels about how the G.O.O.D. Music alliance has changed over the years. You’ve been around for a while. What took so long for this project to come out?

GLC: Being a part of a system that wasn’t really organized. I had management that wasn’t really on top of things, and then I was a part of a system that really didn’t have a structure. So it was ups and downs but I didn’t focus on the ups and downs I just focused on what lay ahead and I kept moving forward.

What can people expect from the album?

They can expect stories of trials and tribulations. They can expect stories of growth and development. In life you have to grow and develop. You have to grow from one point to another point and it takes time. It takes time, energy, and effort. I tell stories of triumph, and they get a lot of “isms.” That’s my energy, my vibe. That’s my aura and I pretty much just give you life growing up in Chicago in the 90’s. Like back in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, things that I’ve witnessed and what influenced me.

Bun B is featured on your first single. What’s your relationship like with him?

Bun is sorta like a big brother, a mentor. I met bun back in ‘04 through a mutual friend by the name of Lori G from Chicago. He relocated to Houston and him and Bun they clicked pretty tight. I came down there to visit my friend, he came to pick me up, and the next thing you know he was like, man, we finna go get my man. Next thing you know his man was Bun B so Bun B got in the truck and my man was like, “Yo, this dude off the song that you like off Kanye album.” He was like, “Spaceship?” Next thing you know me and Bun just got cool and we had like a brotherhood. So for years I’ve known him and he always like, “Yo, we can do a record together,” but you don’t waste a favor like that with Bun B. You do it when the time is right so I waited on the opportunity; and when it knocked I didn’t sit on the couch I got up and opened up the door.

Being under someone as big as Kanye, do you feel like a lot of people mostly remember you for your “Spaceship” and “Drive Slow” features and only that?

Well, I would say that that’s a start and those were the records that I want. They were the most publicized and they were on albums that sold over three million copies so that’s not a bad thing. And I got Grammys for both of those records! Being on Grammy award-winning albums, that’s not a bad thing at all. I think it’s a great start to be in those types of ranks before you drop an album—it’s a blessing. But through the grace of God and through my hard work and perseverance, everywhere I go now people be like, “Yo, that’s GLC,” and it feels really good. But it’s something I had to work towards and through the grace of God people been embracing the concept…it feels good!

Kid Cudi is someone that’s part of the next generation of G.O.O.D. Music and he mentioned in a recent interview that you were working together for his album. Can you talk about the song y’all knocked out?

We did a record called “The End;” it’s featuring Chip The Ripper from Cleveland and Nicole Wray. And, man, Cudi I really honor that man because he’s a man of respect! He commands respect and he gives respect and it was kind of crazy how the record came along. He just sent me the beat and I sent back my verse in like an hour. And next thing you know it made the album and now Cudi is all over everywhere talking about I’m on his album. It’s a beautiful thing he’s a joy to work with.

Kanye is on the cover of XXL now and there’s a G.O.O.D. Music feature, but you weren’t in the shoot. Are you still with G.O.O.D. Music?

I’m still down but I’m not signed. I actually haven’t been on paper since ’06, because we had a deal over at Sony and it all went great. But, when Sony Urban crashed everybody that was signed to Sony Urban, we were no longer on paper. But due to the fact Kanye being my friend and me loving his music and what he has going on; we’re family. I have my own company called Get It Man Entertainment. And I got a situation with EMI. I’m the first artist they ever signed for distribution with no sales history. I’m in history books now, and I really gotta say, like, from being with Kanye and rapping on his projects, and learning all that I did…I was able to apply the business, and the knowledge, and the information I learned from him and apply it to my life and everything moving forward. It feels great! ‘Cause it’s good to be signed to some one and just sit back and just be signed that’s one thing. But to be in a situation when you can actually learn you can better yourself and become a boss that’s something you don’t get all the time.

You were one of the first artists on G.O.O.D. Music. You’ve watched firsthand how the music coming out of that camp has changed with artists as different as Big Sean, Cudi, Common, and now Pusha T and CyHi Da Prynce. What do you think about how the dynamic has changed over the years?

Well, I feel like this, due to the fact that ‘Ye being my friend, and just to sit back and watch his business grow the way that it is, and to see it expand the way that it have I’m very proud of him. I feel great and I think that with his guidance and the talent that he’s garnered with all the artist that he has I feel that they gonna win! I think it’s gonna be a beautiful thing. It’s not only good music but it’s good for music. And it’s kind of good working with him, because I learned a lot; and now I’ve managed to be in the position where I have a situation where I have the ability to do the same thing he did. I have young up-and-coming artists that I wanna be able to snatch up and help put them down. I just like to see people win. —Brooklyne Gipson