Meet the Trio Behind LA’s Latest Musical Group 3passmidnight

Autumn Simon

Home to hip-hop hitmakers like Snoop Dogg and Nate Dogg, modern-day emcees such as Kendrick Lamar and Roddy Ricch, California is short of many things, but talented artists aren’t one of them.

 

Surrounded by a city filled with hunger and drive, a trio from the City of Angels is constantly setting themselves apart from other local artists by creating cross-genre hip-hop and soulful sounds the whole world can enjoy.

 

Composed of Carson natives Trent3pm, Jon3pm and Gardena’s own G Webb, 3passmidnight is the latest musical supergroup to come out of the Westside. The three creatives connected through mutual friends and their love of music, and have since been creating a new wave incomparable to their coastal counterparts.

Though an up-and-coming group, each artist individually holds their weight and brings something different to the table.

“Everybody in the group can do everything, I feel like we’re different from others because of that,” member Jon3pm said.

The veteran of the group, Trenton David (Trent3pm) knew he wanted to rap at the early age of 11. With the help of his foster uncle and cousin, he created a MySpace page to upload his music.

 

From schoolyard sessions to studio work, he began taking music seriously in 2015. His leadership instincts helped form the group and inspire the other two musicians to grow confidently as artists. 

 

Singer Gregory Webb (Gwebb) always played around with music due to his grandfather’s wide range of tape collections. Playfully mimicking artists like Al Green and John Legend, Gwebb discovered his talents by hitting a note that impressed his mom and she further convinced him to give music a try. Known as the emotion of the trio, Gwebb’s willingness to grow and storytelling skills ties in with the group’s many challenging styles.

 

Joining the scene a little later than the two, Jonathan (Jon3pm) Puckett transitioned his rhymes from pen and notebook to mic and beats, after his girlfriend (at the time) suggested that he bring his poems to the studio. Though he felt like pursuing music was out of his lane, his ear for talent convinced him to put out his first song on Soundcloud in 2019. A well-rounded creative, Jon3pm is the X-Factor of the group providing narratives, generating ideas and events creating their stage name.

Synchronized in both the studio and real life, the three artists sat down with us to tell us more about their musical beginnings individually, upcoming releases and their pre-Covid creative process plus how it shifted during the pandemic.

Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense being from the Los Angeles area?

G Webb: I’m from Gardena, which is kind of like a pass through city between Torrance, Los Angeles, Compton, well everything! People don’t necessarily take Gardena seriously as not too many people have come out of there musically. But, being from here you are surrounded by people from different areas. Somebody’s from Compton, Carson, Hawthorne, and you get those different backgrounds and just try to learn from them. 

 

Jon3pm: Carson is starting to pick up slowly but still underground rappers are slept on and kind of fall through the cracks over the years! 

How did you three meet?

Trent3pm: Through Trent! (The trio laughs and confirms that Trent was the plug and glue to the group’s connection) I’ve known G Webb from football and he’s basically family after both our brothers and parents got super close. I met John when he was a photographer and I booked a photo session for my album cover and then we just clicked and started hanging out more around 2018.

How did y’all musical journey together start?

Jon3pm: I visited one of our friends Sean Matsukawa at his baseball game, and he had an idea of putting us three together for more music. I thought it was a good idea to start a group but I had no idea if everybody would be down for it! 

 

Trent3pm: I didn’t want to do it at first! I thought doing the group thing was going to take my focus off the solo thing. But, then I was like that’s stupid! If anything it would probably help elevate the solo thing and showcase three different styles to three different audiences. 

 

Jon3pm: Yeah, if it wasn’t for Sean, it probably wouldn’t come together! 

 

G Webb: We had a song with all of us on it called “Soulful”, then it turned into a 3PM track! After we did the song, we heard each other together for the first time and agreed to officially go on as a group.

What is the meaning behind the name 3PASSMIDNIGHT?

Jon3pm: Since we’re three dark-skinned dudes, it’s like 3PASSMIDNIGHT, you know? Even though it doesn’t make sense cause 3 pm is like afternoon time but, we morally flipped it to past midnight.

 

G Webb: I guess that’s also the time we are up and just make music at 3 a.m.

 

Jon3pm: I was literally sitting at home on the couch and we had a group chat where we kept tossing ideas. I just had an idea of a clock and thought “hmmm it’s three of us and we’re dark-skinned.” I sent it to the chat and everybody was like that’s hard.  

How would you describe your music or sound?

Jon3pm: Some people put us in the same boat as OverDoz and Pac Div, and they’re hard but, I don’t feel like we sound anything like them.

 

Trent3pm: I get what they’re saying when they do the comparison because everybody in that group when they rap verse after verse the first one is different from the other. You can hear us from our song “Trouble” and it starts off with G singing, me rapping and John with the hook. Everybody’s style is different but it meshes together. 

 

G Webb:  For us, I feel like it’s a new sound we’re creating. We just don’t have a name for it. It’s kind of hard because the way we make music is like the way we feel. We can feel alternative that day, we can feel R&B, we can feel rap or neo soul! We make music based off of the things we go through, life or what’s going on around us. We do what we want, when we want to do it. 

Who are you guy’s biggest musical influences?

G Webb: I couldn’t necessarily choose one person because I listen to too many genres. I listen to everything: rock music, Spanish, Jamaican, Afro-beats or whatever just good music. It’s music in general that inspires me. Lil Wayne and Drake were a big part of the era I grew up in. 

 

Trent3pm: My biggest influence growing up was TDE, well of course the first six: SZA, Isaiah Rashad, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy and all of them. Now, while doing music, I would say Sean. You would see people on the come up too but, you would see yourself on the same level as them. When I look at the stuff Sean does, I go “whew, there’s no way!”

 

Jon3pm: I would have to say it’s the big three for me: Kanye, Kid Cudi and Lupe Fiasco. Those are the main people I listen to! When Cudi came in it was during a depressing time but it was comforting. Kanye kind of always really been there and “Graduation” is like my number one album.

If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?

G Webb: SZA, Ari Lennox or like Isaiah Rashad! I feel like that would be changing! 

 

Trent3pm: Andre 3000, Ron Isely and Jill Scott. 

 

Jon3pm: I would bring back Mac Miller, or work with Kid Cudi and even Sean.

What is your creative process like? How has it changed post-Covid?

G Webb: I feel like it starts with Sean. He knows what songs to play, what conversations to have, he just knows what to do to get the best of us. 

 

Trent3pm: I ain’t going to lie, I usually be sleep on the couch. We kind of all know each other, try it out and then we go with whoever’s better and start from there. 

 

Jon3pm: Since Covid, after our release of “Beautiful Day” everything kind of just slowed down. That was when Covid just started getting talked about and then three weeks after the video everything just shut down. We were on a roll, non-stop creating and then everything just changed.

  

G Webb: Covid taught me how to find away! There are so many different ways and you’re going to have to find it and just have multiple ideas and ways to make music. It helped me slow down, start writing and finding more ways to be creative outside of the studio. 

What’s your favorite project so far, and why?

Jon3pm: It’s something we have coming out this year! It’s 75% done adding additional songs and going over which one will make the cut. We don’t have an exact date yet but, be on the lookout.

How do you feel the Internet (social media) has impacted the music business?

Jon3pm: For me, I think it changed music for the better! People can become their own indie record labels and break the wall of the third party. You can periodically post, make your own money and fund for yourself globally.  

 

G Webb: Business-wise, social media benefits music but, influence based it kind of shows how people don’t really know who they are. Everyone’s kind just like the shadow on the wall and people are following trends without setting them.

What musically haven’t you attempted yet that you hope to?

G Webb: Everything! 

 

Jon3pm: We’ve only done one performance, and one big music video right before Covid, so we’re definitely looking forward to picking up where we left off. 

 

G Webb: This year with everything back we hope to do more performances. We love that interaction with people and we can reciprocate that energy through our music.

What’s next for you? Can you tell us about any future releases?

Jon3pm:  Like I said we have our new album coming out soon, and like that one’s release we’re going to be ready to perform and watch how everything goes gradually.

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