It’s become clear that there’s something new and exciting brewing down in the capital of the Peach State. Carried by a roster of ripening artists like Trinidad James, Rome Fortune and the Two-9 collective, this new breed have by and large sought to carve out a lane that differentiates from Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy’s trap sound or Future and now Young Thug’s more melodic, party-anthem music. “New Atlanta,” in both style and sound, is looking like a distinct homage and re-appropriation to artists like Outkast and Goodie Mob. There’s also an emphasis on everyday, more relatable, lifestyle subject matter.
Enter Scotty, perhaps the artist best suited to represent the above-mentioned qualities. In an approach that draws parallels to that of Big K.R.I.T.’s, Scotty’s latest mixtape, F.A.I.T.H, is a case study in crafting thoughtful, Southern rap for the 21st century, while still maintaining conscious nods to the region’s predecessors. On this 17-track mixtape, Scotty accomplishes this through the help of talented Executive Producer and all around tastemaker, DJ Burn One. Laced with twangy funk and soul samples, infectious 808 kicks and a slick, somewhat lackadaisical drawl that reminds of an early T.I., Scotty breathes fresh air onto a buffet of classic, Southern beats. These range from the swampy, Louisiana/Texas sound on “SSDD” or “Ol’ Skool 84” to more traditionally ATL-centered songs like the organ and guitar-laced “Conversations On That Brown,” featuring Trinidad James. The funky bounciness of the “All The HO3$” even reminds of a more down-tempo version of Dungeon Family rapper Slimm Calhoun’s classic, “It’s OK.”
Throughout F.A.I.T.H, Scotty showcases strong versatility in regards to subject matter. When he’s not spitting wise beyond his years wisdom about the virtues of integrity and hard work as it pertains to his craft, Scotty is reciting attention-grabbing verses about topics ranging anywhere from his kicks (“My Shoes,” which features Starlito and Killa Kyleon) to a cant-miss smoked-out narrative about a weekend creep on “3 Dayz.” The mixtape has it’s blander moments here and there, like on “Handle Biz by Scotty,” “SheOntGiveAF,” and “Erday Feel Like Payday,” but even these records are still able to maintain a semblance of appeal, thanks to the rapper’s keen ear for beats and ability to navigate between an impressive array of flows.
It’ll be interesting to see if Scotty is able to capitalize on the appeal of this style of Southern Rap (K.R.I.T.) or come up short like many have before him (Donnis?). F.A.I.T.H bodes well for the former, and helps further the case for Scotty as a leader amongst a pack of young MC’s bringing classic elements of great Atlanta Hip-Hop to a new generation of listeners. —@wavydavewilliam