DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
What’s up world, welcome to the first installment of what’s hopefully soon to become a frequent read for ya. My name is Colt Cupit and this is 20/20, a monthly column where I’ll give a brief play by play of the hottest releases to come out of Tennessee – and Tennessee exclusively. This is all straight from my own opinion, and I anticipate to miss a lot of amazing content that drops so if you think there’s something I should have put on here instead, my line is always open to listening to new and exciting stuff!
A brief bio about myself- I was born in Nashville, spent the first several years of my life about an hour outside of Memphis, moved baaaack to Nashville and lived there until I spent four years in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee (So I’ve seen a lot of the state). I got into music mostly in college and started throwing shows, parties, art galas and networking with artists. It’s the inspirations I’ve felt and friendships I’ve made since then that’s kept me pushing further into this music stuff. Currently I’m a co-founder and of multimedia art entity Rooftop Collective as well as an editor/event coordinator for rap and culture blog Daily Chiefers. I hope that this column provides a platform to showcase my favorite music from my home, and allows me a chance to find amazing new friends and artists to join me on my future endeavors.
With that being said, let’s get into it.
The Eye Test
The NCAA Tournament Committee isn’t the only one who uses the eye test to tell who’s really a contender. Here I’ll be picking 20 tracks and videos that released in the last month that caught my eye, in no particular order. I’ve got 20/20 vision so there should be a few slappers in here somewhere.
Dirty Gene & Gray Jackson– “NUE SZN” [Knoxville]
This track comes from Knoxville native Dirty Gene, and in the form of a bonus track on his recent project Southside Nue that dropped back on March 3rd. The entire project is full of soulful bounce and experimental deliveries, this track being a standout largely in part to the high intensity feature from fellow Knoxvillain Gray Jackson.
Lul Lion, Brian Brown, & OGTHAGAWD – “Thank God” [Nashville]
I’ve found this track on repeat consistently since it dropped. Lul Lion has been on an absolute hot streak of releases and hits another grand slam on this latest jam. Recruiting Nashville mainstay and House rep, Brian Brown was a smart move, and Brian delivers one of his most memorable verses of late. It’s one that hits you right in the feels like only he knows how to do. The surprise star of the show however is definitely OGTHAGAWD who caps off the track with a cool verse that stole my heart with that Heath Ledger bar.
Rooftop Collective, Swayyvo, & LRNZ. – “Go Tell” [Chattanooga]
Okay so I’ll admit this track is definitely a biased choice, but if you listen I bet you’ll find it hard to deny the legitimacy of this decision. As the first Rooftop Collective Exclusive release this track has a special place in my heart, but Swayyvo absolutely bodied this up-tempo production (which he whipped up himself). Throw in the crisp and clever contribution from LRNZ. and it’s hard not to get to hitting repeat on this Flock & Rooftop link up.
Ronin Black – “Buck” [Nashville]
Ronin’s high-energy sound is as horrifying as it is epic. Every time a new track comes out I scurry to give it a spin cause it’s like the latest episode of ‘The Twilight Zone For Your Ears’” just dropped. Seriously though, this track is bumping and Ronin crushes this production from the jump.
Mike Floss, Reggie, AC Noel – “Truth” [Nashville]
Mike Floss has been one of the premiere names out of the capital for more than a minute, and if this latest track says anything it’s that he is still improving and hitting tracks as smooth as ever. Recruiting Reggie & AC Noel for this latest, Floss delivers a textbook hit that is sure to please new and old fans alike.
PayDay, Trent, & Benny2k – “Expensive” [Chattanooga]
Payday only recently popped up on my radar but holy shit I’m glad he did. This new track produced by Payday himself and Benny2k is as sonically pleasing as they come. The Chattanooga rep’s production provides a perfect canvas for the vocalist Trent’s voice to soar over. The beautifully placed keys and exotic hats mesh wonderfully. As the track progresses he never fails to alter his flow to keep you engaged from front to back. This shit riiiiides.
Swoop Neb– “Lvl6 Genkai”[Nashville]
The production on ‘Lvl6 Genkai’ is some of the gnarliest shit you’ll find on this list. Cool vibes of wild west flicks hit you as the strings echo behind the high hats and booming bass. Swoop comes in like the lone ranger of the film to deliver a cool flow that will lead you into an effortless bounce as you crank up the volume on this one.
100k Tucc – “In Route” [Nashville]
When I heard the BandPlay tag drop on this I knew I was in for a treat. 100k Tucc didn’t disappoint either - this is a real deal banger. Maneeyak’s contribution only adds to the energy too. Find this shit cranking at your next house party or cruise with the windows down.
Tre Stoner – “Preferences” [Nashville]
Tre Stoner is no stranger to making hit after hit, and this new drop is just another example of the wizardry this Nashvillain is capable of. Melodic auto tune bars with exotic flavor glide over the uptempo production to provide an epic journey from the front to back of this track.
Eddy Niz – “Hoe Phase” [Nashville]
Eddy Niz is yet another Nashville artist that has been consistently putting out crazy music for a while now. Yet, just like a lot of these other Nashvillains his stock seems to be rising now more than ever. This new Topper Atwood produced track is sonically so tight and full of endless replay capability. I didn’t expect Niz to ever have me sing along to a track of his like this but shit, here we are.
FKY9 – “Talk Down On Me” [Knoxville]
Knoxville native FKY9’s most recent album was his sophomore outing, A King’s Secret, and let me tell you it’s full of undeniable hits – especially the one for this video. FK’s voice is as smooth as they come and his capability to navigate through several impressive flows only amplifies the effect when you listen to his music. Arguably the most radio-friendly artist on this list, he finds himself here thanks to the latest video to come out the vault shot by CGTV.
Kemosabi – “Supposed To” [Nashville]
I think I met Kemosabi back a few years ago in Florida actually; he was opening up for Key! on a tour a few friends of mine and I had put together. Even back then you could tell this dude had serious work ethic, and it continues to prove true today. His growth as an artist over the past year has been incredible to watch, and this newest video is a testament to that.
Boobie Cambridge – “P30” [Knoxville]
Boobie’s latest Ilyaonthefly-shot video for “P30” had to end up on this list. Ilya is arguably one of the hottest young videographers in Tennessee, if not the country, yet to break, and this is his latest flick. Boobie’s energy and charisma throughout the video give him a lot to work with and it ends up being an extremely well delivered product.
Swayyvo & YGTUT – “Bout Dat” [Chattanooga]
Holy shit this is some Chatt-town legend shit right here. If you haven’t already seen this video I can’t wait for you to get through reading my bullshit so you can just get to clicking the link! Swayyvo is on fire right now and YGTUT can never do wrong. Combine the two, and well… it’s “Bout Dat” time, if you ask me.
Krs – “Bananas” [Athens/Nashville]
Teeeeeechincally, this video came out on the 18th but since this is the first edition of the series and I like it so much I had to include it. Coming from Nashville by way of Athens, Krs’ newest Evan Mattingly-shot video for “Bananas” is exactly as the title would have you think. It’s more than full of energy and Krs’ wordplay and flow never disappoint. Mattingly’s effects find a good companion in the shenanigan-filled lyrics and the whole video is just a lot of fun.
Yung Honcho – “Fit In” [Knoxville]
Yung Honcho actually dropped two videos pretty much back to back and it created a difficult choice for which one to pick. “Fit In” is a great example of the versatility that Honcho brings to the table. His voice is so unique and he navigates effortlessly over the Cuzyn-produced heater. The visual is a great accompaniment and really helps to push the vibe of the track even further.
NLE Choppa & White $osa – “Hit The Scene” [Memphis]
When it comes to the scape of the scene in Tennessee, Memphis has always been the one to set the tone and put us on the map. The latest star on the horizon in a long lineage of Memphis hitmakers has got to be NLE Choppa. Everything he is putting out right now is pure gold, and this White $osa-assisted venture is just another hit on the way to the top.
FXNESSE2X – “Options” [Nashville]
FXNESSE2X is an artist that I’ve only recently learned about, but I wish I could make up for the time lost. This track “Options” is a Kdoza-produced heater that finds the Antioch native cruising over the beat with infectious melodies. Now that I’ve had my proper introduction to FXNESSE I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Erybody Jones – “Off My Ass” [Knoxville]
This track comes off the unmastered release of Motor City Jones (formerly known as Erybody Jones) project Knoxtroit 2, and even though it’s ‘unmastered’ it is already a ready to go hit. Jones’ immersive cadence will keep even the stalest of crowds bouncing, and this track puts it on full display.
The Verns – “Lover Boy” [Knoxville]
The Verns are one insane-ass group, to say the least. Capable of blending sounds you didn’t ever expect to go together, these guys have an immense ability to shatter genres and expectations. “Lover Boy” is a perfect example and I can promise you you’re gonna be singing this in your head long after the track ends.
Five People to Follow
This section will feature five different individuals from Tennessee each month that you should follow on social media! Movers & shakers, people who can provide a service, or maybe someone just saying some truths you need to hear!
Sammy LowderMilk (@tha_milk)
Sammy is the owner/founder of Tha Milk Drop, and is also the one who gave me the opportunity to whip up this column on his platform so do me a favor and tell him thank you by giving him and Tha Milk Drop a follow!
Like I said in the post about his video this past month, Ilya is one of the premier up and coming talents to be behind the lens of a video camera in this state. Based out of Kingsport, TN, I can’t wait to see him work with more and more of the raw talent this place has to offer.
Levi Patton (@levipatton)
Levi is a longtime friend and one of the people who first inspired me to get into throwing events and managing artists in the state. Currently him and the homie Shady Chris have the city on an absolute lock with their various events around Nashville through their platform Clean Boy Promotions.
Shady Chris (@_shadychris)
I couldn’t have included one half of the Clean Boy Promo crew without the other. Shady is killing the game with event coordination and hosting right now, and seems to have a knack for knowing how to help people have a good time. On top of all that he also manages Atlanta based artists RXLVND and Terrance Escobar.
5. Colt Cupit (@captaincupit14)
Hopefully if you’ve read this far you’ll follow me lmao! (Bio at the top)
SPOTLIGHT: (COMING NEXT 20/20)
See ya next month! ;)
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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