Trinidad Jame$ exploded to the forefront of music with his infectious hip hop anthem “All Gold Everything” in December. To date the video has around 10 million views and reportedly landed the rapper a $2 million deal with Def Jam. But that was just the tip of the iceberg for a new wave of music being conceived in Atlanta.
Last summer rapper Scotty and newbies like Jame$, RaRa and rap collective Two-9 released mixtapes that took the underground Southern rap scene by surprise. In a mutual support for one another, the musicians coined the term “New Atlanta.” It was then that a master plan was conceived to tweak the sound and culture of Atlanta rap.
“All Gold Everything” has been credited with drawing national attention to the New Atlanta movement, but the artists inside the collective insist the foundation was a collaborative effort and Jame$’ single was just a snippet of what is to come from the rap rookies.
“From the beginning, it wasn’t really about everyone doing music,” said Scotty. “It was really about everyone supporting each other. The whole theme and concept behind it is like when Dungeon Family and Outkast were coming up. That was like a movement and all of them were supporting each other. That’s kind of how I see New Atlanta. “
Scotty’s new mixtape Foreva Atlanta in the Heart (FAITH) will be released for download on April 30. It features production from Soundz, DJ Burn One and B-Nice. Special appearances include Big K.R.I.T., Trinidad Jame$ and Starlito, among others.
Ranked as one of the 10 Atlanta rappers to look out for by Complex Magazine, Scotty is looking to dominate the rap game. He hopes the release of his latest project will silence those who once doubted the capability of Southern rappers.
Born and raised in the city, Scotty first dove into the rap game in middle school. A side hobby he picked up with a childhood friend soon caught the ear of others throughout the neighborhood and motivated the young lyricist to pursue a rap career.
It was on the video set of Jame$’ “All Gold Everything” that Scotty became an advocate for the new wave of music being produced in Atlanta. The two rappers began supporting one another’s projects and the movement took off from there.
“We all just started to support each other,” said Scotty. “We started promoting for each other online and going to each other’s shows and I just remember us all getting together and saying we are the new Atlanta.”
For years, Atlanta has been at the forefront of urban culture, especially hip hop.
The A saturated the market in 2006 when rappers like Soulja Boy and Dem Franchize Boyz hit the scene. Repetitive lyrics and simple dance moves made snap music, as it was known, irresistible to the masses. Then rappers like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy cultivated a grittier genre of Atlanta sound known as trap music.
The music was popular, but Atlanta received heavy scrutiny for the raunchy club anthems and bass driven street rap that became synonymous with the city.
“For a minute, Atlanta was getting a bad rap for the music that was coming out,” said Scotty. “I used to get real frustrated listening to the radio. Artists weren’t really giving what the Atlanta foundation of music was and it would be embarrassing to go to other places and have people talking about the South, saying that we couldn’t rap and not really being good at the craft.”
Apart from Outkast, the city seemed unable to gain and keep national attention on artists who didn’t fit the mold. New Atlanta is the city’s attempt to be more inclusive and step away from what is expected.
“Everything started to sound the same,” said Lord Kipp, an Atlanta producer who has worked with newcomers like Rich Homie Quan and Migos. “Everyone was talking about the same things and there was a lot of unfriendly competition going on.”
Scotty admits that the negative response to Atlanta music encouraged him to tap into more lyrical Southern rap, back to the roots of “Southern funk, slang rap” that was created by Outkast and Goodie Mob. He chose to create more thought provoking music rather than strip club anthems.
Mellow and smooth, the rapper makes what he calls “timeless music” that combines feel-good vibes with a Southern draw and the realism of his life struggles. He’s been compared to the likes of Outkast, Goodie Mob and T.I. His music has a classic Southern feel that makes listeners want to drop the top on their old school Chevy on a hot August night.
This new scene of Atlanta music consists of rappers, DJs, singers and producers who are dedicated to spreading a positive energy of unity and creativity through music.
“I think it’s cool to see all of these new, young rappers coming together to support one another and put out good music,” said King Jamez, an upcoming rapper from North Carolina who moved to Atlanta to attend Clark Atlanta University and pursue a rap career. “Atlanta already has such a big influence on the music scene so to have these artists working together and doing something positive is a great thing.”
Social media is currently playing a major role in the rapid growth of the New Atlanta movement. Twitter, Instagram and other social media site have been lit up with the hastag #NewAtlanta within the last few months.
Eyes are now on Scotty and the young MC will be expected to deliver. A listening party for his FAITH mixtape will be held on April 23 at Stankonia Studios. The event will begin at 8pm.
Scotty is also performing on April 25 at the Masquerade with Starlito and Don Trip. The performance begins at 9pm and general admission is $15.