In order to reach the studio where G Perico made his scorching full-length debut album All Blue, it’s necessary to navigate the Los Angeles hills with the kind of driving skill set that only a stunt driver might possess. Studio City is fairly homey on the ground level, but the deeper you head into the hills, weaving through stucco mansions behind large, almost Draconian gates, the more you notice what an escape the high elevation offers. When I finally stopped, it wasn’t at the house itself, but to my Lyft driver telling me to hike the rest of the way up. This, was a far cry from South Central, Los Angeles, where the temperature is always set to survival. Studio City is a whole different world — even the people feel different. There’s a mild enjoyment to just being here, relaxation and ease.
Perico hand-picked this place and this studio just for that reason. It serves as a means to get away from his South Broadway studio, the one he refers to as a place where too many of the homies would be around to clutter things up. It’s the studio where a gold plaque for E-40’s “Choices,” — the record Perico co-produced with Poly Boy — hangs right outside, next to a slew of other plaques for a German producer who helped out Milli Vanilli deceive Grammy voters in 1990. “I asked him, ‘Did ya’ll know they weren’t really singing?” Perico says, imitating the producer and his loose German accent. “‘Everybody knew,’ he said.”
Inside the studio, there’s a blue rag draped over the microphone, a manicured stretch of speakers, a large keyboard, controller and iMac sitting on a desk. On a nearby shelf, books such as The Secret by Rhonda Byrne and Success Through Stillness by Chris Morrow and Russell Simmons stick out, brought in by friends. Stepping outside to the foyer, there’s a mattress on the ground, a slew of alcohol bottles from whiskey to vodka behind it, and tables set up for lounging. It’s clear there was recently a party here.
Perico’s manager Pun, a large man with a rounded face dressed in all black — right down to the black and white Dodgers hat — has a hand in plenty of Los Angeles’ rap scene, from the production group League of Starz to Sage the Gemini. Their relationship is that of big brother and little brother; Pun roping Perico in after one of his infamous house parties when Perico crashed his car after having too much fun. I remark that G’s the hottest young rapper in LA at the moment and both of them flash wide grins. “Say that then! Say that then!” they both say. Consider it said.
“Kendrick kicked the LA wave off,” Perico reminds us. “ScHoolboy about to drop. Kamaiyah about to drop. Mozzy about to drop … sh*t it’s about to be lit.”