Take a trip down to Atlanta for our recap of A3C's festival & conference.
We touched down in Atlanta relatively late in the day on A3C’s second day of festivities, landing at the airport around 4 PM where I connected with my NYC counterparts, aka Simone aka DJ S. WHiT aka our artist relations manager (that’s my last aka), and our bawse Saro. We picked up our vehicle, a shimmering silver S.U.V. (cause Saro doesn’t like white cars), and headed to downtown Atlanta, specifically the Loudermilk Center, where we were due to meet up with the homies Audio Push for a little interview. We had actually planned to catch Joe Budden before Audio Push, but given the fact that Joe was on rapper time, and we were too apparently, as we were running an hour behind, it didn’t happen. When we arrived at the Loudermilk Center, we found Price, rocking some cowboy-esque black boots and skinny jeans, and Oktane, who had a grey tuque atop his trademark dreads and a black leather jacket with a crispy white tee, chilling in a room to themselves, listening to their own shit, and having fun with it too; they were getting up on the chairs and dancing. Both these dudes are good-natured, amicable and easy-going— we sat down with them and had to repeat the interview because I forgot to press record on the audio, but they weren’t tripping they were more than happy to run down everything for round two.
By the time we wrapped up with those boys, we were about ready to check in to the hotel, located on Peachtrees in downtown ATL, and, more importantly, we were ready to eat. We were eating, bruh, as they say. Saro took us to a seafood restaurant, Ray’s in the City, where we feasted, for real, on just about every type of seafood you could desire: sushi, oysters (2 kinds; rockefellers and raw), calmari, shrimp (2 kinds; spicy and broiled), scallops, salmon, crab cakes, lobster and sushi. Not even lying. It was lit. Nay, it was delicious. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel. Simone and our videographer for the trip, Rob, hit up a showcase at Harlem Nights, which proved to be rather uneventful, and the rest of us called it quits; we we’re ready for our second day (and A3C’s third day).
The trip consisted of late nights and late mornings, unsurprisingly. On our next day, we had a little breakfast meeting before heading to Street Execs studio. Street Execs studio, currently owned by 2 Chainz, has quite the rap history to it— it was originally BMF’s studio, and then later T.I. snatched it up for Hustle Gang before Tity Boi took on the location and gave it a bit of a facelift. By ‘bit of a facelift’ I mean their set-up is crazy. Their studio serves as a go-to for artists like Travis Porter (who were actually occupying one of the many studios when we arrived), as well as Tity Boi-approved rappers like Skooly, Cap-1, Short Dawg Fresh, among others. They have at least five different studios in the spot, which includes a basement and a loft-like upper level with a lounge that encloses two flat screen TVs and video games. Artists literally never have to leave the Street Execs spot— in addition to several different studio rooms, they have a fully-stocked kitchen with a chef who cooks three full-course meals a day, a barber, and showers. The main reason we’ve come to Street Execs is to have a little one-on-one with Young Dolph, who we get to sit in the front seat of his three-week old Rolls Royce Wraith, looking clean as fuck with a cream-colored leather interior. Dolph himself is equally clean, rocking chains (2 chainz to be precise), and forest green Louis Vuitton sneakers that matched his camo-print jacket. Although his car and his clothes are a little bit flashy, Dolph himself is not— his energy is low, and his slow, southern drawl makes it seem even lower.
After Dolph, we head over to Mike WiLL Made It’s listening session/lunch for the latest Ear Drummers Records signee, Eearz. However we quickly dip because of a lack of Mike, a lack of Eearz, and a general lack of communication about an interview. Instead, we head over to the famed (and by famed I mean oft-rapped about) Lenox mall in ATL. The mall is basically like Soho, Fifth Ave, and every other NYC shopping spot built into one, with marble floors and a sprawling interior. From Fendi to Neiman Marcus, it’s understandable why rappers with stacks of cash to spare love this place. The main highlight there, though, wasn’t a high-end and overpriced store, it was Chick-Fil-A. We were all Chick-Fil-A first timers, and, this sounds super corny, but it love at first bite.
We quickly headed back to the hotel in order to get ready for the BET Hip-Hop Awards which were going down in a few hours. I’ll skip over that part, there isn’t really much to tell anyways, we went, we sat, we saw Snoop, he told a few jokes, Diddy had to do his perform twice because apparently it wasn’t quite right the first time, and we peaced. You'll see it all go down tonight anyways. We had a Travi$ Scott show to get too after dipping from the Atlantic Civic Center, but first we were starving. We wanted Chick-Fil-A. Again. But it was closed. It was upsetting, but not enough to derail the entire night. We were starving though, and low on energy, so we hit up a McDonalds ): and I had my second dose of fried chicken although it was nowhere on the same level of fire emojis as those Chick-Fil-A chicken tenders.
Although we were now filled up on food, I was still a bit sluggish, my energy draining. Nonetheless we really wanted to catch Travi$’s set at the Beer And Tacos event, and we made it just in time— as we entered the venue Travi$’s music started blaring. And by enter the venue, I mean squeezed our way through hoards of people, all of whom were sweaty as fuck. The venue, an open warehouse-like space, was so humid it felt as though there was almost no oxygen at all. Travi$ occupied a tiny bit of stage at the front, with T.I. and his goons by his side. We squeezed our way towards the front before thinking better, and nabbing some V.I.P. wristbands we headed upstairs to get a better vantage point. Travi$’s energy and live performance was a definite highlight though, he killed it. He had the crowd moshing, swaying back and forth, jumping up and down, all in unison. He had the crowd give the middle finger to us peoples up high, and yell ‘fuck you’ (also in unison). That’s very Travi$ Scott-like, a big ‘F U’ to anyone who seems like a ‘big wig’ (p.s. we’re not big wigs at all), an ‘F U’ to authority/boss mans in general. After running through some new album cuts like “90210,” “3500” and “Oh My” he ended the night with “Antidote.” As we attempted to file out of the venue, it began to pour, the perfect remedy to our being coated in beads of sweat. We arrived back at the hotel around 3 AM, and Simone and Rob went on the valiant mission to get a Backwoods so we could properly blunt ourselves to sleep and prepare for the next day.
I’ll spare you most of the details of the following day, as it consisted of a lot of waiting, and then a lot of question-asking, and then waiting some more, with most of our day spent idling at the A3C’s media centre in the Loudermilk Center. After spending the majority of the day going back-and-forth with various artists, and sustaining ourselves off a singular slice of pizza each, we headed back to the hotel to dump all our footage. Our stomachs were entirely empty after metabolising the one piece pepperoni pizza, and so we headed to dinner shortly after. Chick-Fil-A for the second time in two days. I need a Chick-Fil-A sponsorship, like, ASAP. I switched things up this time around, opting for the #2 chicken burger combo. We spent our evening/night in Decateur, at the Defient/No Genre studios, seemingly out in the middle of nowhere. Whereas Street Execs studio had a big not-to-be-missed sign, a central location, and lots of extra amenities, Defient’s studio is low-key. You wouldn’t know it’s a studio from the outside, apart from maybe the Ferrari and a few other expensive cars in the parking lot (which you cannot observe from a street view anyways, because the concrete building is entirely fenced in). The inside of their studios are equally subdued, consisting of simple studio rooms and some vending machines. It seems these humble studio digs keep the Defient/No Genre artists hungry— from Zuse to London Jae to Runway Richy to FKi’s SauceLordRich (who explained how he found Post Malone, or rather, how Post Malone found him, which deserves a separate article entirely…), each rapper ran through some unreleased music with us, energetically and excitedly rapping/dancing along— you could hear their determination, their passion. We bid them farewell after chilling at the studio for several hours, each artist leaving us with the promise of some new exclusives (and stay tuned for our vlog from the studio).
On our final day down in Atlanta, we took it relatively easy, hitting up the A3C festival grounds for another Beer And Tacos event, where DeJ Loaf, Raury and more were due to perform. Wiz Khalifa, Taylor Gang and Curren$y would later close out the event in its entirety. We also ended up paying a visit to the legendary Patchwerk Studios. We didn’t even realize we were going to Patchwerk until we rang the buzzer and they welcomed us to Patchwerk Studios— what a pleasent surprise. The Patchwerk set-up was definitely the nicest studio, or at least, the newest and most modern studio we visited while we were in Atlanta. It also featured the most plaques we’d seen at any studio yet, lining all the hallways and the staircase which led up to an artist lounge. First we stopped by one of their many studio rooms, which featured a massive control board and an equally broad space for both the recording booth and the control room, where we received a warm welcome and the promise of food on the way (you can see just how important food is to me based on how much of this recap is dedicated to mentions of food). We then headed up stairs to the artist lounge, where a sizeable amount of people (a mix of artists, DJs, managers etc) were chilling and watching the football game. The lounge is big enough to fit at least 30 people, quite comfortably, and probably more, I’m not the best at gauging these things. We came to see Cool Amerika and newly signed-Interscope rapper Boogie, however we didn’t get to stay long as we had to leave to the airport within an hour of arriving. Thus we missed their actual recording session (assuming they did actually record, it'd be hard to tear yourself away from the lounge area seeing as the football game was on). However we did get some chilling done, some smoking, but we missed the eating, food arrived just as we were ducking out. Nonetheless it was a dope way to end a trip to Atlanta-- by visiting once of the most famed studios in the area, and, unwittingly at that.