Chicago Rapper Gerald Walker Introduces "Life Music"

Monday, 09 January 2012 00:12 Written by  Mariah Craddick

"My mom had this video tape of Kirk Franklin for his album called What You Looking For, and I remember as a shorty, I used to jump around and try to act like I was him," 24-year-old Chicago rapper Gerald Walker recalls as he talks about his musical beginnings.

"It's funny how polarizing it is--from starting off wanting to be like him to where I am now," he continues with a laugh.

While Gerald Walker may not exactly be the next Kirk Franklin, he has managed to create his own genre of rap music--something he likes to call "life music." With its relatable topics and spiritual undertones, Gerald aims to reach a broad audience of music lovers from Hip Hop to Punk-Rock.

Growing up in Bellwood, IL, and then attending college at several different schools in the Midwest, Gerald uses real-life experiences to create clever, and often humorous song lyrics.

"While you were in the sandbox with play-doh, I was reading Phaedo by Plato. Okay, bro?" he spits shrewdly in his "Say What's Necessary" freestyle over Kanye West's "Say You Will" instrumental.

Gerald's use of lengthy song titles like "Half of Your Life is F--ing Up, The Other Half is Dealing With It" and "The Things We Think and Do Not Say…" to show his distinction from other rappers has become a signature of his. While he has only been performing as an artist full-time for less than a year now, his talents have already landed him on tours with artists like Yelawolf.

Most recently, he released a Christmas mixtape entitled It's Christmastime…Again because he felt "the real, true meaning behind Christmas has kind of drifted away." He hopes that with this mixtape he is able to bring that spiritual meaning back to the forefront of people's minds.

In the future, Gerald hopes to find himself signed to a record label though he does not count that as the most important thing to him. More than anything, he says he wants to experience life.

"I believe that making money is definitely important and key, but I believe that at the end of the day, what you're going to have that you can really kick back and reflect on is those experiences."

In the more near future, Gerald will be taking creative writing classes at Harvard University--surely improving his already sick flow--and will continue to tour and spread his name.

"In the end, I really just want to make music that affects people's lives," he adds.

Mariah Craddick

Mariah Craddick

Mariah Craddick hails from the city of Atlanta and is currently a junior studying in the magazine journalism program at Columbia College Chicago. In addition to contributing to GMO, she is also the President/Editor-in-Chief of HerCampus for Columbia College Chicago and is a "Style Guru" intern for

She can be contacted at