The current debate and dialogue I recently have seen all over Twitter is tired judgements on an underground scene that is incredibly misunderstood and perhaps more talent laden than ever which exists on SoundCloud, while the ignorant many continue their 2016-2017 nostalgia craze and ignore the actual leaps and bounds being made by artists who were first inspired by the now defunct scene that is so romanticized and building off of their innovations and learning from their many mistakes. but painfully the massive amounts of attention that were placed on the platform during the earlier years is now gone and these incredible creatives are starved of the popularity that initially birthed the entire “clout” craze but at the same time has led to their fanbases becoming all the more ravenous and close-knit and developing into intricate communities with distinct and often hilarious social orders and whatnot. One trend I have been seeing recently that I love is the increase in third-party project releases where a DJ or promoter or in this case producers recruit their favorite artists to their beats and release a compilation project that never becomes predictable and gives the producers a more extended moment to shine that is all too often robbed from them. This week I have been enamored by Dolphin Talk and Stephen Niday’s “ACTION PARK” projects that features some of the hottest artists in the underground from one side of the country to another, and even across the Atlantic Ocean in the case of Paris rapper Serane.
“ACTION PARK” is a ten-track adventure that takes many sonic twists and turns along the way and is impressive on the production and curation front as this tape features so many revered figures that are all carefully cultivating their own artistic identities but are still beloved by a largely share mutual fanbase, and I hope more and more corners of the SoundCloud community are covered via similar projects like this and hone in more and more on documenting particular sounds and trends through the project as to document them in a more well-packaged way than many of the gems of the past are as they are now scattered across all platforms at random, and will also in turn help finally allow people to agree on and have specific sub-genres to refer to and instantly tap into. Tony Shhnow opens up the project taking on an instrumental with a definitely old-school vibe thanks to the charming soul sample and the sturdy but not overwhelming production and Tony skates all over the beat in usual fashion. It has been a very long time now since I heard a Tony Shhnow verse I didn’t love. The aforementioned Serane sleepwalked onto the plugg-influenced beat and although I have no idea what he said other than like five words I am sure it was very hard. MuddyMya takes her sound in a more melodic and distorted direction with her song “Check” and I was very happy to see her included on the project as she is on a serious hot-streak right now and without question is one of the very most exciting new artists in Atlanta. The “CAPS LOCK” beat is probably my favorite beat on the entire project and Youngsixflags and Namebabyboo take turns over it with their distinct and autotune warped flows. 3AG Pilot and RobOlu came together for “85 north freestyle” where each of these Atlanta underground staples go verse-for-verse over the simple but overwhelming instrumental that is powered by distorted 808’s that might fuck your car speakers up if you turn it up too loud. Stephen Niday and Dolphin Talk took things in a completely different direction for their futuristic pop-punk collaboration with Atlanta innovator Pollari who tip-toes over the forceful electric guitar melody with his unique and instantly recognizable autotuned tone. This is a very impressive project and I will definitely be keeping several of these songs in my personal rotation for a while.