Last Night: The Cool Club Tour at Jet Lounge
Early Monday morning, Scotty, a rather lanky ATLien, rocked within the crowd to finish off his set and the Houston leg of his "The Cool Club" tour, presented by Houston-based Internet portal Optimo Radio. It felt apropos, given the intimacy that Jet Lounge offers as a performance venue. The club's stage doesn't offer much space, daring an artist to connect with the fans via sheer personality.
Much like the rest of #NewAtlanta, Scotty has that -- and then some. After his set, he openly remarked about loving reality television as one of his guilty pleasures and chatted up some fans before finally leaving, not before whipping up his Jiffy Cornbread Experience to a new audience.
If you're curious, yes, his last project was titled The Jiffy Cornbread Experience. It remains one of the best soul-food-inspired mixtapes I've had the pleasure of sampling based on the name alone.
Scotty flirted with his lineage on "My Granddaddy Car" and bounced around maniacally on "Too Cool," urging fans to help him assault the idea of being too above something; the crowd mostly obliged. He didn't wax heavily on lyrics or prove-I-can-rap a cappellas, but kept up the solid groove that had been built up by the numerous openers before him.
If you've never pieced together how an eight-man rap outfit could barrel their way through a performance like a bull in a china shop, then you haven't seen Austin's the League of Extraordinary Gz. They've been pulling off the touring aspect of these kinds of shows for a while now, and regardless if it's in a small club or an outdoor venue somewhere in Georgia, you can expect the League to dispense weed raps layered on top social commentary and the ever-so rowdy Nirvana flip of "Wake Yo Bitch Ass Up." Sunday, they even allowed a few gasps to be taken to inhale the fun moments of their latest EP The Plug, including the afrobeat-laden "Hankuri!" and "Billie Jean."
League of Extraordinary Gz
Even though they come from completely separate backgrounds and operate in nearly different lanes, OneHunnidt and Kyle Hubbard both make Houston rap great. Performance-wise, Hunnidt has easily improved from being a poet who rapped as a form of venting into simply a pretty good rapper.
Hubbard, meanwhile, has casually made his approach of being an everyday guy who handles a microphone in his spare time a neat little thing, despite his constantly being backed into the "underrated rapper by default." corner. It's almost like watching a stripped down version of Bruce Wayne before he turns into Batman (I'm referring to Grant Morrison's twist on Batman, in the way Hubbard is one of those non-linear rappers, as opposed to your traditional Caped Crusader.)
Operating in a condensed sort of manner is how Optimo Radio works. It may not have the cache of some bigger Internet stations, but its quality constantly gets its name drummed up for local awards when the time is right.
Piecing together an underground rap show that encompassed both the backpack spectrum (Hubbard), the street spectrum (Rob Gullatte and Show, who each got some time to run through some of their best 2012 material), and underappreciated legends such as K-Rino, Big Gerb and Renzo sort of practices exactly what Optimo preaches on air. A little honesty in that regard never hurt anybody.
The Crowd: Appreciative of the booze and raps.
Crowd Quotables: "This was my first rap show ... rock shows are a little better, but I won't mind another one."
Random Notebook Dump: #NewAtlanta almost runs in the same model as #NewHouston did a year or so ago. It's not a style jack, but merely charts the new influx of young Atlanta talent onto the city's radio airwaves and national mags. There are plenty of them. Here? A long battle we're still trying to understand.
See more photos from Sunday night on Page 2.