It's no secret we love Atlanta rap at Noisey. We literally made a documentary about it. It's the undeniable center of hip-hop right now, with enduring legacy artists like T.I. and Gucci Mane, huge new hitmakers like Rae Sremmurd and OG Maco, and a vibrant underground scene filled with artists like Money Makin' Nique and Father.
For years one of the city's chief innovators has been Daniel from the DJ and production team: HXV. He's had a hand in the city's scene on pretty much every level, from production to engineering to developing new artists to organizing parties to helping introduce the world to trap, a hybrid of dance music and street rap that's taken a life of its own. He knows everything and everyone in Atlanta, so we decided to give him a recurring column on Noisey, where he curates mixtapes of the hottest tracks in his city. Below is Volume Two, along with a tracklist and context for each song:
Mike WiLL Made It feat. Swae Lee, Future, and The Weeknd – “Drinks on Us”
When Mike Will played me "Drinks On Us" at Miami's Art Basel last December I lost my shit. Surely these kids couldn’t have made ANOTHER smash—and one that’s even better than 'No Type'? Well, they did, and it features Future. And as if that wasn't enough, The Weeknd jumped on it for the remix. Unbelievable. The current trends in ATL were definitely paved by Future. He’s the father of this shit: the Young Thugs, Makonnens, Migos—all of it. So it's a big deal for Future to be on the record with Rae Sremmurd, an act who have been directly influenced by him. Adding The Weeknd and having him use the same melody and flow shows how influential ATL's sound really is.
Future – “Fuck Up Some Commas”
When Future dropped Dirty Sprite, it was a monumental era in Atlanta's music history. That mixtape was the soundtrack for the entire summer of 2011. When "Fuck Up Some Commas" drops its like I'm teleported right back to that summer because this is the Future we all know and love, with Metro and Spinz on the beat the way it should always be. When this comes on everything is right with the world.
Peewee Longway – “Cut Like Me”
Peewee fucking Longway. My favorite “new” artist in Atlanta. If you listen to this and don't think Peewee is the truth just stop reading. There’s nothing here for you.
Sonny Digital – “Good”
I put his solo cut “I'm the Man” in my last playlist, and Sonny is back with “Good,” which has him both producing and singing/rapping. I said it in the last article, and I'm going to keep saying it until it happens: My life needs an entire Sonny Digital project.
YFN Lucci feat. Skooly – “I Wonder Why”
I've been trying to choose which record to introduce Lucci with. It's been pretty difficult because his whole mixtape is great. I love YFN Lucci because he's taking a more traditional approach to his music, and as a result he's standing out due to his melodies, cadence, and his choice of production.
Future feat. Young Scooter – “OOOOOHHHH”
Future's back on that street shit. I love this record: Zaytoven's beat shuffling under Future and Scooter’s delivery is perfect. This shit reminds me of the mixtapes before Future blew up, when you would go out in ATL and you would hear entire 30-minute Future sets of nothing but his mixtape records—and the crowd would know every word. I just played this at Webster Hall in New York, and the place exploded.
Ca$h Out – “Tomorrow”
Ca$h Out continues his winning spree with "Tomorrow.” This is sure to be in rotation on every club DJ in the city’s set.
Migos – “Hit Em”
Migos are at it again. Amazing production from Deco shows off the Migos’ ability to do gymnastics around a beat.
Metro Thuggin – “Warrior / Speedracer”
Metro and Young Thug may be the next best trap supergroup. Their run as Metro Thuggin started with “The Blanguage” last year, and now they’ve released two more cuts off the project. I feel like Metro's production allows Thugger to be as weird and experimental as he wants while at the same time Thug's vocals enable Metro to go outside of the box with his production and do more interesting arrangements.
Rae Sremmurd – “Lit Like Bic”
They didn't wanna see Rae Sremmurd win like this. I think a lot of people wrote them off as a one hit wonder. Then they followed up “No Flex Zone” with the seemingly unstoppable “No Type,” and any doubters had to sit up and pay attention. Then they dropped an album full of bangers. “Lit Like Bic,” produced by Mike WiLL Made It, showcases everything we love about Rae Sremmurd: melodic hooks and verses on top of slow melancholy trap melodies and 808s. But it's Swae Lee’s vocal melodies here that are the real stand out.
TkNCash – “Same Thing”
TkNCash's "Mind Right" has been bubbling for what seems like over a year now, but it’s finally catching and getting the rotation it deserves. So instead of following the formula, they dropped this dark, brooding, somber mixtape cut and just fucked the streets all up.
K. Camp – “Stripes”
Another heater from “Cut Her Off / Money Baby” K. Camp. This beat is just undeniable.
Money Makin Nique feat. Jonny Cinco – “Extra”
If you slept on that Extra EP by Johnny Cinco and Money Makin Nique you need to wake up immediately. The whole project is crazy, but let’s talk about the title track: Johnny Cinco has a natural talent for these slurred melodic hooks that French Montana wishes he could pull off. It’s hard not to imagine Cinco drunkenly changing lanes effortlessly when he hits “I’m Maserati swerving lane to lane.” Money Makin’ Nique drops a verse with a delivery that’s more rooted in traditional hip-hop sounds than the experimental new Atlanta rap music landscape. The pairing works well on the whole EP, but they really fall into their own pace on this track.
Mike WiLL Made It feat. Jace – “Fuck You Expect”
Mike Will's Ransom mixtape as a whole is great, but I chose this track specifically because of Jace from Two-9. Jace is an amazing rapper and writer, and he bodies this beat. When Two-9 signed with Mike Will this is the exact kind of record I was wishing would come out of the union, and it didn’t take long for my wishes to be fulfilled.
MPA Wicced – “I Remember”
MPA’s got next. Go grab his new tape with Hoodrich Keem, and while you're at it do yourself a favor and go grab that Blue Diamond mixtape, too.