When I met Childish Major earlier this spring, he was optimistic about the state of Atlanta rap and the weird permutations unfolding as the city's street rap tradition meshes with its underground, and as its old guard gives way to a new set of artists. "I think it's eventually going to get to a point where everybody's collaborating a lot more," he explained.
Childish is perfectly positioned to handle whatever unlikely turns Southern rap takes. Best known as the producer of Rocko's "U.O.E.N.O.," he's worked with Usher and sat in on sessions with Pharrell, but his steadiest output is with Atlanta's underground up-and-comers like Two-9, Rome Fortune, and EarthGang. He's got the ear of older folks like Jeezy (who, he told me, will occasionally invite him through the studio promising Blue Moons in abundance, which is awesome), but he's also working with people like his childhood friend Matik Estrada.
Matik and Childish grew up in the same town in South Carolina, Edgefield, and they're putting out a joint EP, Community Service, on August 15th. "Family Matters" is the lead single, and it has a classic feel thanks to Matik's tight, confessional bars, while still coming across as spry enough to grab attention in 2014. Yes, that's Childish singing on the hook. Yes, that's a good cross-section of Atlanta's underground making an appearance at the end of the video. Yes, this is the multifaceted place we find ourselves right now when we talk about Atlanta. Trust in Childish Major as your guide, and get familiar with Matik Estrada's bars. And eat some waffles. They look delicious.
Check out the arresting, soulful video, directed by burgeoning indie rap visual luminary Goodwin, above, and stay tuned for more from this duo later this summer.