Yeah so…I just got put up on these dudes Earthgang for real for real last month. I saw their name a couple of times before, but it was usually in articles titled “Atlanta natives EarthGang sound nothing like stereotypical Atlanta (c)rap” or emails from people that I know hate every form of music that the rest of the world actually likes. So forgive me for not paying closer attention or assuming that the shit was going to be wack…because most times, if the first thing I hear about some new music is “its better than that OTHER crap” it usually sounds like a cheaper Do-It-Yourself version of more crap. Am I lying?
But yeah, like I was saying…I really just got put up on these cats last month. The homie Mic Barz invited me to this Hip Hop show at Space 2 (next to the Sound Table) and the shit was dope, very dope. I’m hoping they do another one soon. When these two got on stage, I had no idea who they were, if I remember correctly, I don’t think they really introduced themselves either, they just told the DJ to cut the music on and they started rapping.
But yeah, the song that stood out to me during their set was “The F Bomb (IDGAF)”.
This goes hard live. The first dude rapping is Doctor Diego Dot (pictured right) and the second is Johnny Venus (pictured left). Crazy thing is, from what I’ve gathered and listen so far, Dot is usually the one that’s more animated while Johnny V is usually a little more reserved, but I guess Johnny really didn’t GAF the day they recorded it.
As soon as they started rapping, I was kind of reminded of “home.” “Home” being that feeling when you hear somebody rap with a voice that either sounds like yours or a person you know. “Home” being that feeling you got back in the day when someone from around the way managed to get enough money to book a studio session and make some songs, press them up and pass them around school. “Home” being that feeling you got when you was watching Arnell Starr’s American Rap Makers (or American Music Makers) and saw a video by some dudes down the street from you and you’re like “oh shit! I think I know them niggas!”
But yeah, after seeing them live I went home and looked up more of their stuff and as I dig deeper and deeper I keep finding shit like.
One personal favorite “Thump Thump Thump” from their 2011 project Mad Men that I found on YouTube. No drums on the track, just rhymes and sounds. Shit is dope.
Both of these cats just graduated from Hampton University this past May, which could be a reason why this stuff just sounds different. In Hip Hop, rappers who are college aged either have something to say about what they learned about themselves in school or what they learned about themselves in “the real world.” Not much is really expected of rappers in their early-20’s anymore though. There was a time where that age would be considered their creative zenith because at that age, you’re still adjusting to being on your own and starting to question or at least critically decipher everything your parents taught you. But, now, in most music, it seems like its just the age where you decide that you want to be 16 for the rest of your life.
Another “home” feeling I get from Earthgang is that they rap like niggas from Atlanta, and not some other cat who moved here with an idea of what Atlanta “sounds” like based off some music videos and strip club mythology. Its crazy, I enjoy everything appropriately, depending on the time and space, but I swear, the music industry would have you forget that Atlanta was home to Alonzo Herndon…not just Herndon Homes.
Something they kind of touch on in this “Wayward Sons” skit on their Mad Men album.
Another track I dug off Mad Men was “The State of Things” which they filmed a video for.
They was snappin’ on that one. The vibe on here reminds me when you and your homeboys would ride around or go somewhere after school, get you some weed and some Blacks and just sit on the back porch and freestyle over the end any Outkast instrumental you could find or that Triple Six “The End.” Oh yeah, peep the shoe game in the video. Polo boots and Deions? Straight A-town shit right there.
But yeah, Mad Men came out May of last year and they followed it up with Good News in December of 2011 which is just as dope. One jammin song off there is “Home Training.” Here’ some footage of them performing it live at Apache Cafe.
Some other songs I enjoyed off there are:
“Ween Shit”…song about relationships most dudes should be able to relate to.
“Big Wigs”…song dope for the simple fact that niggas talking about riding MARTA.
But yeah, I don’t want to sit here and mess around and just stream all of their damn music here. You can download Good News HERE.
They about to come out with a new project called Shallow Graves for Toys. The first leak from it is “Bill Campbell’s Soup.”
We all know who every duo from Atlanta get’s compared to when they come out, but I’m not going to entertain that. If anything Earthgang reminds me of Pharcyde if we MUST play the comparison game, but we aren’t. I think these two dudes are pretty dope and I’m glad I came across their music. Hoping to hear more for years to come.
Every group out of Atlanta that attempts to rap with some substance and sample or instrument based production should not be compared to ‘Kast, because ‘Kast weren’t the only niggas doing what they were doing when they were doing it. That’s why the city loved them so much, they were a product of the environment and repped it well. Contrary to popular belief, a “real A-Town nigga” is one of the most cultured, well-rounded, well-read individuals you’ll ever come across in your life…a true renaissance man who can reference The Souls of Black Folk and Soul Food in the same breath and make it sound cool like it came off Soul Train. They can speak Dungeonese and Guaponese. Like Witchdoctor once said…”I got a different dress code for different parts of the street.”
I don’t know who this new tatted up, d-boy who only hangs in strip clubs, dressing like they from Compton “A town nigga” is. They ain’t from my “home.”
Sorry for that brief rant…but yeah, Earthgang is dope, look out for them if you haven’t been already.