Flagpole Music Awards: Hip-Hop/Rap

(Art/Ziona Kocher, lizzybknits.deviantart.com)
It’s a world that is not completely foreign but strange enough that I’m going to consult some friends before I vote. Hip-Hop/Rap in Athens varies from the extremely commercial to the hilariously unique. We’ve got gangsta, experimental, spoken word, and everything in between. So when you vote on the ballot for Flagpole’s Athens Music Awards best Hip-Hop/Rap act, be warned that you’re comparing apples to hot dogs. Voting ends May 29th.

ATHENS BOYS CHOIR
The current record holder for most obscenity forms needed at WUOG, ABC is a one person powerhouse of poetry and beats. You have GOT to check out these videos! My personal vote for both video and album cover of the year, ABC is consistently pushing the envelope on ideas of sexuality and equal treatment. It’s like a guide to your awkward teenage years in the 80s. Only awesomer.

DEAF JUDGES
The Judges are probably the most well known hip-hop act around Athens. You can’t go two weeks without hearing about a new show. They lean more towards mainstream topics but with that underground battle sound that is completely lacking from popular radio. Fear, Fire, Mortis, and Death will smash your face against a mirror and make you look at the ugly truth.

ELITE THA SHOWSTOPPA
Probably the most commercial sounding of the nominees, these are the songs you’ll hear in the ATL clubs very soon. He talks about his hood, his influences, and his life. You’ll be hard pressed not to make “Elementary” your windows down, stereo up jam. Elite’ll be rocking the mic with our buddy Tommy Valentine at Cine on Saturday.

FUTURE APE TAPES
Slightly more experimental than the other noms, Tapes focuses more on the words than the beats. But Tapes will rap over any beat imaginable. You’ll find a lot of tape loops and samples on the site and quite a bit of mind-blowing random thoughts. Well worth a listen at 1 in the morning.

THE SWANK
Formerly known as Son 1 and the Insurgents, the Swank drop the beats that you can dance to. A lot of non-radio friendly verbage but hey, each to his own. The tracks have a pretty good balance between backing guitar and rhyming from Son 1. I’m really digging “Cool.” Take a listen and judge for yourselves.

Check back tomorrow for a look at the nominees for Roots/Americana. Fair warning, this is one of my areas of emphasis. Beware fawning over each entry…

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