Gilbere Forté: “87 Dreams, my first mixtape, was a result of having the resources to help my music get in front of some people, to open up an introduction. I’ve payed attention, I’ve watched all of [VH1's "Behind The Music"], I’ve seen backstage, I’ve watched the shows. I wanted to figure out a way to do it where no one can look at it as being mediocre, but as being next-level. There was a lot of great music out, and I was like, ‘Now it’s my time to put this shit out.’ I said to Raak, ‘Watch how we’re gonna release this one project and it’s going to bring a lot of attention that we’ve never imagined.'
What I noticed after listening back was how meticulous I was making sure that each track had a different emotion. I wanted every song to have a different emotion, therefore every listener has a reason to like it.
“Within a week, my mentors were like, ‘This is what you do next: You drop a freestyle, but it’s gotta be crazy because obviously, your name is not common. Who the fuck is Gilbere Forte? He sounds like an actor or he writes novels. I did my first freestyle on a record that was supposed to be for Diddy on his Last Train to Paris album and it was a leak on a DJ Big Mike mixtape. It had a hidden verse on the song from Kanye and because it was a leak, it was only a minute long, so Raak cuts a couple clips from it and restructures it to where it sounds like the original instrumental.
"That freestyle ended up being the first piece that opened it up for me. I remember it landing on AllHipHop.com and that was a record that got a lot of people like, ‘Who the fuck is this kid? it’s all over the blogs!’ I just started to consecutively release freestyles just to open up opportunities in Fall 2009. 87 Dreams was set to release in July 2010 and I went to New York, met a bunch of people.
“With my first project, I thought about if I were to have the time and opportunity to direct a movie, it’s going to be called 87 Dreams. I’m gonna make one fucking movie and it’s going to be 17 tracks and it’s going to be everything. What I noticed after listening back was how meticulous I was making sure that each track had a different emotion, therefore every listener has a reason to like it.
"At the time, I told Raak to just trust my vision and watch how everything plays out. I told him, ‘This project is going to get us a deal, just wait and see.” I started to make a lot of connections with people and we got to the point where I got a production deal, I got a management crew, then I released 87 Dreams.”