Atlanta rap artist BlackOwned CBone is a member of the Dungeon Family, and of a hip-hop trio called Konkrete. Although he is not particularly well-known outside of Atlanta yet, he is much loved within the city, and the crowd at The Real A-Town showcase on the Friday night of A3C went wild when he came on stage.
Keep up with BlackOwned CBone:
Atlanta rapper Renegade El Rey is originally from Memphis, Tennessee, and was the first artist to perform at The Real A-Town concert at the Loft in Midtown Atlanta on Friday, October 10th. Although relatively young in the music industry, Rey has collaborated with a number of better-known rappers and producers, such as Fiend, and is starting to make a name for himself.
Although there were a lot of A3C showcases on Friday night, my homeboy Fort Knox was hosting an event at The Loft at Center Stage Atlanta that wasn’t an official showcase of the festival, but probably should have been. Entitled “The Real A-Town”, the concert featured appearances from a number of Atlanta rap artists, famous and unknown, including Renegade El Rey, Lil Will, BlackOwned CBone and Witchdoctor from the Dungeon Family. The event was fairly well-attended, and the performances were first-rate throughout. Unfortunately, I had heard that Juvenile was performing at the A3C main stage in the Old Fourth Ward, so I left the A-Town concert early to head over to Edgewood Avenue.
One of the more important Thursday night showcases at A3C was called Double Cupped Fears, an event held at Space 2 on Edgewood Avenue and sponsored by TRDON, the record label/production company that works with Memphis rapper Preauxx, Select-O-Hits, and Travis McFetridge’s Great South Bay Music. The rather diverse line-up included hip-hop lyricists like J. Sands and Planet Asia, relatively new lyrical Memphians like Tori WhoDat and Preauxx, and classic Memphis headliners like Lil Wyte, Frayser Boy and Miscellaneous. Unfortunately, the showcase got under way about thirty minutes late, and as a result, was cut short at 2:30 AM, when the venue said they were required to close due to a city ordinance. But Lil Wyte and company left the crowd hyped and eager for more.
Snootie Wild first came to my attention a couple of years ago at a record pool meeting in Memphis, as an amazing rapper from North Memphis with the unusual ability to command a Jamaican accent at will. This might not be unusual in a lot of cities, but there is almost no Caribbean presence in Memphis whatsoever, and Snootie has no island background When he released the single “Yayo” a few months later, he became the biggest artist in Memphis. Not long thereafter, he signed with Yo Gotti’s Cocaine Music Group, which has since been renamed Collective Music Group, and began to tour the country with Gotti. More recently, he has followed up the success of the earlier single with a new single called “No Kissing”, which blew up the streets of Memphis and other Southern cities all summer. So his appearances at A3C garnered a lot of attention, and his appearance at the BMI Showcase in East Atlanta Village was especially good. Despite his youth, Snootie Wild seems calm and in complete control, enjoying himself and bantering with crowd as if they were old and trusted friends. The young Memphian has great things ahead of him.
Keep up with Snootie Wild: Tweets by SnootieWild
Although I hadn’t been able to put together the A3C showcase of Memphis hip-hop artists that I had intended to due to lack of funds, I did manage to get someone to book the Memphis artist Virghost, and I wanted to make sure that I saw his performance. So I headed out to a club called The Union in East Atlanta Village where the showcase, called ManifestationATL was being held. Virghost was scheduled to go on at 6:10 PM, but the event started somewhat later. He performed several songs, mostly from his new album Ghosts which was released in September, and told me that this had been his first performance in several months. He was followed by a Virginia artist named Willie Waze that I was also impressed with.
Keep up with Virghost:
https://www.facebook.com/VirghostPoet Tweets by VirghostPoet
I had first heard of the up-and-coming rap artist Money Makin Nique a couple of years ago, but nothing prepared me for his outstanding performance at The Music Room in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward on the first night of A3C. Especially impressive was the new single “Rent Money”, the best song I’ve ever heard from Nique, and one of the best new songs I’ve heard in 2014. Its summertime with the windows down vibe is at once beautiful and rugged.
When I got to Atlanta, I went immediately to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, which last year had been the Melia Hotel, and registered for the A3C conference. Although it was only the first day of the event, the hotel was already crowded with rap artists, industry people and fans. After getting checked in at my hotel, and eating dinner, I headed down to the Edgewood Avenue area to attend showcases, ending up first at the upstairs stage of a building called Erosol or the Department Store, where an artist named Nate was on stage. He was soon followed by a Maybach Music Group artist named Torch, but the venue was extremely crowded, so I walked down Edgewood to the Music Room, where the Atlanta rapper Money Makin Nique was on stage. I had heard him first several years ago, but I was extremely impressed with the new material he performed this year, and spent some time talking with his manager on the sidewalk outside. But my homeboy Fort Knox was emceeing an event at Enclave, a club on Spring Street not far from the conference hotel, so I got the car and drove back over to the hotel, but ended up going into the Quad instead of the Enclave, and saw the rapper Cash Out on stage with his entourage. I realized that Fort Knox wasn’t hosting that event, and decided to go around the corner and into Enclave, but by then, the latter venue was closing and wouldn’t let me in. I got a brief chance to speak with Knox before he headed out, and I rode back to my hotel as well.
Mason, Tennessee, Front Street, The Lower End, Summer 1991.
This was the summer that I was spending a lot of time in and around Mason and Gainesville, Tennessee. I had gotten some black and white film, and was having fun with my camera, and I was always fascinated by the “cafes” in Mason, as juke joints were called in those days. Of course, I had no idea back then that most of these buildings would be torn down and destroyed, so the pictures are maybe a little more important now than I had imagined.