Whether you fancy yourself a Hip-Hop connoisseur or you dabble in a little rap here and there, you have to nonetheless acknowledge the massive influence of Atlanta sounds on the genre at the moment. Right now, it even feels like “pop” music is just an outdated euphemism for “attractive men and women singing over trap-esque production.” Literally, going anywhere right now, puts you in danger of hearing pulsating bass drums, flying kicks, and somebody yelling at you too either “turn up” or “leggo.” Georgia’s freshest peach has already taken over the clubs, the streets, the radio, and last night my mom made a cobbler with a side of sweat tea, so even my own home.
However, while most of these Atliens’ music incorporates the sounds of the strip club, club, and drug dealing, there is a new vanguard slowly distinguishing themselves. Adopting styles that may fall out of the range of what is normally thought of as modern Atlanta rap, these emcees offer something new and refreshing to those willing to listen. No, their mission is not to create a massive wave of change or to enlighten listeners with conscious lyricism. Instead, its about doing and being themselves as authentically as possible.
Two-9, a collective consisting of one solo rapper and two groups, are leading the charge. Curtis Williams, FatkidsBrotha (Davey and Light Skin Mac 11), Frankenstein Snubnose, and Retro Sushi (Jace and Ceej) have already released a slew of mixtapes, toured the country, and collaborated with big name musicians, helping to cement their place in their hip hop scene. They offer a fun time and an authentic view into their lives, trials, successes, and defeats. Thanks to their unorthodox approach to making music, their plethora of music videos, and their high octane live shows, the group has garnered an serious following.
We got to sit down with the crew and discuss some of their recent moves and their past. In our extended conversation we found out a lot about the collective, so much so that we will present the full interview in three installments. Today’s finds the group talking about the difference between their music and other groups, as well as a detailed run through of Curtis Williams’ Half Forgotten Daydreams. Check it out and come back for more soon.
What seperates you guys from other collectives in general and the Atlanta sound?
Curtis: Just cause, as a collective, we all bring our own thing to the table. A lot of collectives, they kind of focus more around one person and that one person kind of goes and leads the way. There are a few other collectives that do what we do. We all have different sounds and stuff. They have their own sound and could go pretty much be on their own. I have my own sound and could go be on my own if I wanted to. Sushi the same, Frank the same. So I think that sets us aside from a lot of the other collectives. And then just like the sound, our sound is a lot different from Atlanta music. Just Atlanta. I’m not saying that we’re like creating some crazy new sound, but in the city of Atlanta we are probably the most different.
Light Skin: As far as Two-9 and our sound, he’s right. We sound a lot freer than a lot of other rappers. We sound like we don’t really follow no rules or we’re just a bunch of friends having fun every time we make music. I feel like once it stop getting fun, it’ll stop.
I know a lot of you guys, well at least you two, weren’t originally from Atlanta. Do you think that has an influence on your creativity and your sound?
Davey: Definitely, being in Detroit we were like into Midwest music and hip-hop. We bring other aspects from where we’re from and mixing them with Atlanta. It sounds different already from that alone.
Light Skin: We also mix in sounds that we love. Like the West Coast, we really love the West Coast sound, but we’re from the Midwest. Now we’re on the East Coast, it’s really East Coast. We do East Coast sh*t now. That’s what I make, East Coast sh*t.