Fourth of July is over, and now we're officially transitioning into the long, slow part of summer, the part where the afternoons seem endless and you might almost start to get bored if you weren't feeling so damn chill. It's a time of year when, if you're not lying by the pool, hopefully you're sitting on a couch just aggressively hanging out. Maybe you're smoking some weed, if that's what you're into. And if that's where you're at—but even if you're on a stoop or a back deck or just driving with the windows rolled down or literally anywhere—I have some great news. Spillage Village, the Atlanta/Baltimore collective of EarthGang, J.I.D., Jordxn Bryant, and Hollywood JB, has a new EP, a follow-up to last year's Bears Like This, which is appropriately titled Bears Like This Too.
Spillage Village, which came together while the members were in college together (presumably having a few of the aforementioned hangs), also loosely incorporates a who's who of Atlanta's alternative rap scene, and the tracklist for Bears Like This Too includes affiliates Marian Mereba and 6lack, as well as artists like Childish Major, Archibald Slim, and OG Maco. The result is a tape that seems to rise up out of the weed clouds to offer a contemporary take on classic sounds, finding a sweet spot that will appeal to fans of classic Atlanta acts like Goodie Mob, East Coast hip-hop heads, and lovers of the trippier new lyrical underground that includes such Soundcloud favorites as Mick Jenkins and Chance the Rapper. Basically, if you like any kind of rap, you will probably find a chill vibe to suit you on this EP, which is lyrically complex (Hollywood JB: "hidin' down duckin the blaze / from trigger happy murderers the government pays") and high concept as well as frequently funny and always supremely laid back.
On the opening track, Doctur Dot spits such attention-grabbing lines as "from the land of red clay and lottery worship / where all of these murders is definitely probably on purpose" and "what makes a prodigy worthless? / how 'bout taking a shitty job because the economy hurtin'?" Meanwhile, there's also "Deuce Coupe," which, yes, interpolates the Beach Boys classic, and "Pussy on Repeat," which has 6lack asking for a Capri Sun after sex. The closing posse cut "Love Child" cruises along so gently you might look up and realize your living room is draped in fine linens and ready to host an orgy. If one thing is certain with all of it, it's that there is not enough weed in the world to smoke along to this project. It's intensely satisfying, and the participants balance each other out nicely—we even get a sense of OG Maco's range thanks to his supremely relaxed verse here.
Bears Like Us Too is a definitive statement from one of Atlanta's most musically vibrant posses (and its Maryland pals), and it's an exciting preview of what else this group might be capable of. EarthGang describes it as "an appetizer" before their own album, Strays with Rabies, and J.I.D.'s next project, Para Tu Reloaded, later this year. But enough theorizing about the future (except while you'e super stoned and listening to this). Bears Like Us Too is out now. Check out the full tracklist (and excellent back cover art), and stream it below.
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