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Pockets Dumb Fat

In case nobody told you, Atlanta is the new Atlanta.
Κείμενο Jon Caramanica

In case nobody told you, Atlanta is the new Atlanta. Check it out: A knock on the door. Who is it? I would happen to know. The one with the flow. Who did it? It was me, I suppose. JD's in the Rolls, Luda's in the Cut Supreme, and those fools are riding right the fuck out of town. It's getting too icy down there for them—just ask the cats from B.M.F. Or better, yell at Gucci Man real quick. Little kids wanna be like Gucci when they grow up. Like, for example, Crime Mob. Sure, on the surface they white-tee it out, but there's no doubt they harbor big-chips dreams. Bastard stepchilluns of Lil Jon's BME empire, they look like a ragtag bunch of high school dropouts. No word on whether they finished their four years or not, but the high-school part's true. Psycho Black, Princess, M.I.G., Killa C, Lil' Jay, Diamond are all barely old enough to drive, and I'm betting the only thing they can drink in the club is Crunk! Juice. Their big hit is "Knuck If You Buck," which in a less cluttered year would have been major. Taking production cues from Jon and from the Satanic minor-key riddims of Three 6's DJ Paul and Juicy J, Lil Jay lays a sinister bed for the rest of the crew to spit 16s over. In the video, they're riding around the ATL, hopping out at seemingly arbitrary spots and performing to cobbled-together teenage crowds. Truth be told, their self-titled debut is monochromatically throwed. No real way to distinguish "I'll Beat Yo Azz" from "If You Gonna Try Me"—same slapdash flows, same pealing bells, same hollers, same drum-machine assault. Fuck Fight Klub, especially when all those five-borough cats make music to slang to, not rumble to. They don't want drama—word to Ball & G—when that's all these younguns know. Crime Mob also benefit from having a pair of girl rappers, Princess and Diamond, in halter tops and denim minis, who are rowdier than the guys are. Peep their duet "Stilettos (Pumps)," which might be the first song in hip-hop history to allude to the weaponry potential of footwear ("We rocking stilettos, ho!"). (For other underappreciated raucous high-school hoedowns, but from Los Angeles, check out Wylde Bunch's Wylde Tymes At Washington High [Sony Urban/Columbia]). Lil Jon cosigns them in name if not beats; he produces only one track on the album, "Black Market Bonus." Which is fine, actually, because that song's too epic for these kids. They sound better DIY-style, just like Lil Scrappy does (just ask those poor middle-class kids in Trillville, who got all the good beats and, except "Neva Eva," none of the hits). Of course, Scrappy's "No Problem" is the must instrumental to bark over on mixtapes these days (Jiggaman extends his "99 Problems" remix by a verse to accommodate it). One of the best iterations of it comes from the newest signees to Bad Boy South, of all places: Boyz-N-Da-Hood (Young Jeezy, Jody Breeze, Big Duke and Big Gee). Diddy calls them "the N.W.A. of the South." Not quite—Cash Money and No Limit beat them to the punch by seven years, and UGK and the Geto Boys did so by 12. But still, Boyz are the best Bad Boy signing since Biggie, and they're about to take the black-tee style to the masses (word to Bun B). Come shop with them. Finally, by the time you read this, T.I. should be famous for real. Not famous for getting arrested weeks after dropping a hit single. Not famous for shooting part of a video inside the jail. And almost certainly not famous for his new album Urban Legend (Grand Hustle/Atlantic), as good as it is. What he should be famous for, oddly enough, is his insistent, persistent serving of Houston's Lil Flip. His mixtape with DJ Drama, Down With The King, is a challenge to Jadakiss' Green Lantern tape The Champ Is Here as the album of the year that's not really an album. Not only does he rock "99 Problems (But Lil Flip Ain't One)," but he even gets Scarface, the only guy Flip defers to, on the phone to talk shit. You can read T.I.P.'s domination of Flip as an assertion of Atlanta's primacy in the war of the South, or you can just read it as the output of a megalomaniac run wild (On stage with Jay-Z at Madison Square Garden recently, he shouted, "King of the South with the King of New York!"). Whatever the case, Flip—and the rest of the country—don't want no problem, problem. Send materials to 217 East 86th Street #226; New York, NY 10028