"G. Dep, it stands for Ghetto Dependent," the rapper said of his moniker. "So you know I'm a child of the ghetto. G. Dep, I had to shorten it up. I didn't wanna be 'Ghetto Dependent' everywhere. It takes a little too long to sign, so I kept it real short."
Dep's connection to the ghetto runs deeper than his stage name or even the title of his debut LP, Child of the Ghetto, which drops November 20. When P. Diddy wanted to meet him to discuss signing to Bad Boy a couple of years ago, Dep insisted P.D. meet him in the hood at his Harlem, New York, project building.
"He was like, 'Yo, dog, I got the silver car coming to get you,' " Dep remembered. "So, I'm standing out there waiting for the silver, maybe Expedition or something. He came through in the silver Bentley with [22-inch rims]. It was crazy. It was nighttime, and the car just lit up the block. It looked like daytime when the dude came through."
After catching the ear of neighborhood acquaintance Black Rob with a demo in 1998, the two forged a friendship, and Dep appeared on two songs on Rob's debut the following year. In between that time, Diddy made him an official part of the Bad Boy family (see "Shyne, Rakim Help G-Dep Step Out Front").
With musical siblings Loon, Kain, Mark Curry and the Hoodfellaz, Dep's been traveling the country the past few months, learning about recording and performing (see "DMX, Diddy, Busta Rock Philly; Beanie/Jada Beef Takes Center Stage").
"It's probably harder working with [Diddy] preparing for a show," said Dep, who's been nicknamed the Deputy by his rhyming clan. "'Cause he makes sure everything is [running] like clockwork. You gotta know what you gotta do. Play up your position, know your part and everything goes smooth."
Dep's part in P.D.'s sets includes a solo spot with his current single, "Special Delivery," and a posse performance with Diddy and Rob on "Let's Get It" (see "G. Dep Delivers Harlem Shake In New Video").
"I learned people, how they work," he said of his time on the road. "We got a little closer running with Puff. That gave us a little glue. We know what we gotta do. Everybody's together now."