In our first episode of Conscious Talk, we speak with Milwaukee born hip hop artist Gerald Walker. Walker, currently based in New York speaks with us on a variance of topics ranging from politics, making an impact, moving to New York and his new podcast, Vantage Point.
Gerald Walker was born in Chicago, and raised by his mother in Milwaukee. But a once stable, two-family household transitioned to a life with his mother. What he once knew at a young age quickly shifted. “I grew up in a suburb in Chicago. Black affluent. Mid-middle class, highly educated family…When we moved to Milwaukee it was like hitting the reset button…It was like being that and then teetering the lower middle class/poverty line. At the same time, it was never, poverty, poverty.” This experience taught Walker the value of becoming a hard-worker. In the interview, Walker discusses a new health focused entrepreneurial pursuit. He has a strong sense of who he is, and where he’s hoping to go. “My operation is basically 100% fan supported. I think it’s because I’m real in my music. I’m vulnerable in my music.” But Walker has a lot of extra work cut out for him that many established artists don’t have to think about. “I do a lot of my stuff on my own. But at the same time I very well supported.”
In 2009, Gerald Walker released his debut tape, Evening Out With Your Girlfriend. While it hasn’t quite been an overnight success, Walker has been blessed with a lot of opportunities. In 2011, he released one of his most successful mix tapes, The Other Half Of Letting Go, cosigned by XXL as “an artist that hip hop shouldn’t let go unnoticed.” And we agree wholeheartedly. Walker isn’t like most artists we’ve come across. The interview flows like a candid conversation between two Black men at a barbershop. He’s established his place in society, and realizes he has a shared responsibility and commitment to making the world a better place. In 2015, he released his first double album, Target. An idea he shared with jazz artist Christian Scott a couple years back during a random rendezvous at an event in New York City. In less than a month, he’ll embark on his Target World Tour, stopping in Australia, Denmark, Canada and a few select appearances in the states. And while he keeps busy, he certainly maintains an allegiance to his people. And he’s certainly not afraid to use his voice. “If you were a white guy, and you were calling me and we were having this conversation. I would totally be able to judge you as an individual…What we’re fighting is not real. It’s not real. It’s propaganda. It’s rhetoric.” These are just a few of the things you can expect to hear him discuss on his new podcast, Vantage Point.
Gerald Walker certainly has a lot of work cut out for him in order to get to where he wants to be. But if there’s one thing that’s for certain, he’s already accomplished one of the hardest parts of maintaining a career as an artist, keeping a strong head on his shoulders.