If you aren’t aware of the creative renaissance taking place in Atlanta right now, chances are you are living under a rock. Just this week Kenny Mason, who has rapidly become one of the most hyped rappers in recent memory, unveiled his debut visual for his track “Hit” that immediately took off, earning co-signs from nearly every reputable hip-hop publication and pundit and this indirectly shined a light onto the countless other young Atlantans making an impact that may not be as well known yet, but is equally as potent.
Artists like Wiley from Atlanta, Grip, Nicole Sakura, Grandma, and Hanzo also make up this talent-laden scene, but two of my absolute favorites out of “Altlanta,” as it has been dubbed, are Jelani Imani and DavidTheTragic. Recently these two teamed up for a brand new visual for their collaborative track “Ya Hear Me?” Jelani turned heads just months ago with the release of his critically acclaimed and locally beloved project The Shell that helped positioned him at the forefront of the city, and David also cemented himself into the underground consciousness with his memorable Fit In project that released this summer, and both of these tapes are very much worth the listen as well.
“Ya Hear Me?” is one of my favorite releases from Jelani yet and he experiments with a variety of vocal styles on this cut, stretching himself to innovate with his delivery and while this can often backfire and result in subpar music that is far from the case here. Jelani is transparent and relatable with his lyrics, opening the track with the depressingly true notion that life is hell, so we might as well smoke on something to help numb the pain, but sonically this sentiment is not reflected. The instrumental is sanguine and uplifting, possessing a spacey melody that is equally psychedelic and mellow. Jelani also supplied a subdued yet sticky hook that completes the track nicely. DavidTheTragic interjects himself for a solid verse and his baritone juxtaposes Jelani’s more fluttering tones. David’s assertion that he “Single-handedly brings the funky back,” and I am having trouble disagreeing with him. Words cannot possibly encapsulate how excited I am to hear more music from these two and both Jelani Imani and DavidTheTragic are very much worth adding to your radar immediately.