A Rapper From Atlanta Is Winning Hip-Hop This Summer
There’s been a lot of talk in the Twittersphere about which artists are “running this summer” and who has the ultimate “summer anthem of 2014″, and other things that really only matter if you care about other people’s opinions.
I do. Most people’s opinions on this topic have it wrong.
A lot of people want to bestow that crown on Lil Wayne, with C5 just around the corner and a few singles buzzing here and there. With all due respect to one of the greatest rappers of all-time, these Carter Cinco previews don’t sound like they’re worth my money, and with an artist like Wayne, we expect a caliber of album that makes you want to fork over your earnings.
You can definitely make an argument for ATLiens like Young Thug or Migos. Personally, I don’t think these cats are all the way there yet in terms of being that dominant force for a long period of time. Next summer, I’ll probably write this article about one of them. Thugger has Stoner, Danny Glover, 2 Kups Stuffed, and a few features (more on those down lower) under his belt, in addition to every loose 16 he recorded for a struggle rapper before he blew up. Migos had Versace last year, Fight Night this year, and with label backing probably have something up their sleeves that’ll make me eat my words in a few months.
Let’s talk about a veteran though. Let’s talk about someone that captivates people in all walks of life, from suburban mothers to meth smokers; from weed dealers to car dealers.
Let’s talk about T.I.
Right now, the Atlanta legend currently has the hottest song in Atlanta, the Young-Thug-featuring “About The Money” (see, we did talk about that Thug feature). With London On Da Track production, Tip and Thugger have skated into the heart of every club goer this side of 285 (and probably even more than that). How many times have you seen someone tweet or heard someone interject “I got, 6 shots”, “Bussin out the bando”, “I pack an eleven”, “IF IT AIN’T ABOUT THE MONEY”, or one of the many other quotables? This is really the most excited I’ve been about a Tip record since “Got Yo Back” with Keri Hilson was “our song” with a chick I messed with, and that obviously doesn’t even count, because yams. (Someone in my office unaware of me typing this article just interjected “IF IT AIN’T ABOUT THE MONEY”, btw).
He’s not done, though.
In honor of the World Cup, Clifford brought out chart-topping, booty-having, catchy-rapping Iggy Azalea for his latest single, “No Mediocre”. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this record, but that’s because my associates are Macklemore-level salty at Iggy’s successes right now (another topic entirely). Put the ingredients together though: Steel drums, repetitive chorus, hot feature…not only do all of those together usually make a hit, this record can AND WILL be a smash hit if Columbia, new label home of Mr. Hustle Gang, doesn’t bungle the promotion of the record (after perusing Mediabase, both songs are growing at radio, with About The Money being HUGE in Atlanta, and No Mediocre doing nicely after two weeks everywhere else). If I were still in college, I’d have this on repeat for 3 hours while I swagged in some linens, bought some sand, and threw an island party. Summer jams are about creating that relaxing, vacation-ready environment, and No Mediocre does that.
There are definitely arguments against OG Tip as the King of the Summer. Those two songs are really all he has at this point, while there are other artists such as K Camp, 2 Chainz, or Migos that have full projects out. Some might say that he coasts on these singles while Thug and Iggy do the real work in their featured roles. Those would all be valid arguments.
I just don’t agree with them. Tip made the smart move of making records for both the urban market and the pop market. About The Money has the slowed-down swagger that’s hot in clubs right now, and No Mediocre will fit right in on a Top 40 playlist this summer with “Am I Wrong” or “Rude“, positioning himself to please everyone with his next album, Paperwork, allegedly to be available for our consumption at the end of Summer, in September.
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– Matt Tompkins, aka @MattHasTheMusic
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