Growing up in Atlanta, Germ dreamed of landing frontside nosegrinds and jumping sick stair sets. With his mind dedicated to progressing as a skater, he never even aspired to a career spitting rhymes. “It’s funny because when I was in high school I had this girl I was messing around with. She had a boyfriend who was a ‘rapper,’ and after that I was anti-rapper,” Germ says. “You know, ‘Your man’s a rapper, but he’s lame and I’m way cooler than him as a skater.’ I didn’t grow up trying to be a rapper and thinking this was my dream. It kind of just happened through the homies rapping and then I got into it. It came kind of easy so I just stuck with it."

Germ stumbled into the rap world via Fat Nick, who invited him to kick it at his crib after they connected online. It wasn’t long after seeing Nick and fellow rapper Pouya killing it in the underground scene that Germ decided to give music a go. “I did my first-ever song with Pouya and Fat Nick, around 2014,” Germ says. “We went to the studio, started fucking around and rapping. Pouya was on his up and up, so we got on a song and shot a video together. He went on tour that following summer and brought me along. I’ve been kicking it with them since then and watching everybody getting bigger.”

Photos by Ramirez

Photos by Ramirez

From hanging and making music with Fat Nick and Pouya, Germ eventually became acquainted with Suicideboys, who’d go on to mentor him. After touring together, Suicideboys asked Germ to travel from Atlanta to New Orleans, where the cousins would help him craft his first solo mixtape. “I ended up taking a MegaBus to New Orleans and I was at Ruby’s house for, like, three months, working and hanging out,” Germ says. “When I was about to release my first mixtape, ‘Bad Shit,’ Scrim was telling me that everyone was going to hit me up and not to jump the gun. I’d talked to them before that time and they’d wanted to start a label, so that was always in the back of my head.”

Germ ultimately signed with Suicideboys’ label, G*59 Records, and has since released two albums, 2019’s ‘Germ Has a Deathwish’ and 2020’s ‘The Hijinx Tapes.” But, despite his success in music, Germ hasn’t forgotten his first passion. “‘Germ Has a Deathwish’ was themed off of Baker Skateboards and I took inspiration from their aesthetic to make my album,” Germ says. “So for ‘The Hijinx Tapes,’ [Baker Skateboards] used to have a section in their videos called the hijinx montage, which was a bunch of bullshit and bloopers mashed up together. I mashed up everything over the past year—experiences, coming into more money, and shit that’s happened—and put it into my own style.”

In only six years, Germ has come a long way for an artist who found this industry on a whim. He’s worked with other big artists, signed to a label and released several bodies of work. He’s even brought someone else into the game, Lil Gnar. “I’ve probably known Gnar for, like, seven years now through skating,” Germ says. “When I started rapping, it was the same time he started his clothing brand. I was always on the road and when I would come back to Atlanta, he’d hit me up about wanting to rap. Then we started rapping and it was lit. There’s nothing like making music with the homie.”

Germ makes his career sound like a breeze. Sure, he’s put in a ton of hard work to make things happen, but since day one he’s been working with his friends, so it never feels like an actual “job.” Germ’s got it all figured out. If there was a way we could all collaborate with our friends and make money doing it, this world would be a much better place.

Photos by Ramirez

Photos by Ramirez