A 2022 Summer Analysis Of Atlanta's Underground Scene

MM Staff Writer Rei Low Took To The Pen To Give Us An Analysis Of Atlanta, Georgia's Underground Scene. Take A Dive Into Atlanta Culture And Find Out What Rei Low Thinks Of Summer '22 Atlanta.


Atlanta’s underground music scene is expansive, and this really cannot be a full taxonomy of our music. That being said, I want to highlight a few releases that have pushed the Atlanta sound into some cool directions. First there’s the Popstar FM crew, spearheaded by the man himself, Popstar Benny. Self proclaimed sonic collage artist, Benny, has been putting out incredibly high quality and quantity of music this year. The first album I heard produced completely by Popstar Benny was the Definitely on Drugs album on which 3AGPilot and Benny play off each other, with the juxtaposition of Benny’s saw-heavy and sample riddled instrumentals and 3AGPilots clever and sometimes sinister bars. www.instagram.com/3agpilot/ This project really projects an unique mood and aesthetic, and both of the artists have a solidified style of music, and they blend those styles effortlessly while keeping it fun. The two other projects on my radar including Benny are the Bear1Boss project and the Popstar FM project, Paradise. I initially didn’t ‘get’ Bear1Boss’s music, but the closest parallel I can draw to him is Playboi Carti. www.instagram.com/bear1boss/  To me, both of the artists use repetition and beat selection to paint their world. And it’s a funny coincidence because Popstar Benny is kind of developing F1lthy’s aesthetic flipside. Where F1lthy’s synths and drums are menacing and icy, Benny has a whimsical freeform style, and their productions are both strong enough for rappers to focus more on style and delivery. 

Brodinski has been splitting time between Atlanta and France and released one of my favorite projects of the year, Red 2. Nutso Thugin sounds like he’s completely in control of the mood of these tracks, and raps over these scary-ass techno beats like he’s been doing it his whole life. Brodinski produced another EP in Atlanta last year, Au Revoir. I think this was the first underground Atlanta project that I spun over and over again. Brodinski writes more traditional trap drums for this project, but his synth sound design is just as intimidating. www.instagram.com/louisbrodinski/ 

Tony Shhnow dropped his sample heavy project Reflexions recently as well. He is probably my favorite of the new wave, and what is really significant about Tony and the rest of Atlanta is our independence. He flexes that he owns his own music, which is a beautiful flex for multiple reasons. Atlanta has managed to drive the future of music for the last ten or so years, and still doesn’t have a major label in the city. The Orchard just opened a location, which is a partnered distributor under Sony, but other than that all of Atlanta’s scene is self-organized. This is the real future of music, and Atlanta’s artists remaining in control of music is the norm here. One example of the power of independent music, is the current movement to Defend the Atlanta Forest from the city trying to the development of Cop City. 

In their words: “Cop City is a proposed $90 million+ police training compound backed by the Atlanta Police Foundation and its corporate patrons like Cox, Delta, the Koch brothers, and Home Depot, to name just a few. At over 300 acres, Cop City will be the largest police training facility in the United States and is slated to include a mock city where police will train with firearms, tear gas, helicopters, and explosive devices to repress protest and mass unrest, much as they did during the 2020 George Floyd protests. Cop City will hyper-militarize law enforcement, equipping police with a site to train for the suppression of Atlanta's diverse Black and working-class communities.” Recently artists have repurposed the forest to throw raves and concerts, and this is an example of what we call direct action. Taking action for what is healthy for underground music is important to us, so Rei Low wants to take the moment to highlight Popstar FM and Techno Fairy, for their work in helping Defend the Atlanta Forest and continuing to promote equity and independence in Atlanta. 

Featured Artists: www.instagram.com/t3chnofairy/ 





Defend Atlanta Forest: www.instagram.com/defendatlantaforest/ 

Written By Rei Low: twitter.com/_rocktimist