Atlanta’s music scene is going through a unique changing of the guard if you will, as artists who ushered in the last decade of influence and intrigue in the city are either transitioning into mainstream legend status, cultivating a loyal cult following, or in too many cases falling off completely, and all the while, new artists continue to bubble up and push the sound and scene forward building upon what was established before them. All the while we are seeing an elevation of artists who were once relegated to underground or regional status rising to the occasion and positioning themselves to take the next leap into the mainstream and behind them are a fresh crop of artists building upon the sonic success and learning from the missteps and good decisions made by the innumerable artists who have come before them, which for years now has been Atlanta’s advantage over the rest of the south as the artists who first ushered in the era of “trap music” penned the blueprint on how to move in the industry.
Today the heaviest concentration of new talent is by far on the city’s east-side, although mostly happening in Dekalb county as gentrification has pushed people further east as Atlanta continues to be one of the very fastest growing cities in all of America, seeing names like Hunxho, BabyDrill, YungSinn, and 1504MuteBaby quickly rise as the heir-apparent artists to take the reins and lead their generation into the new decade and a relatively new name coming up alongside them is Dr. Grim who debuts in our pages today with his new mixtape REAPERR TIME which at fourteen songs is an extensive look at the numerous flows in Grim’s bag and a journey throughout his whole life to the point he is at today, taking on a vast variety of instrumentals showing just how versatile he can be. He opens the project with the melodic “Appetite” where the upbeat instrumental contrasts with Grim’s downtrodden delivery, revealing his scars, ambition, and anger, setting the stage for the remainder of the tape. Grim switches the mood with the following track “Will Smith” where Grim skates over a trunk-rattling instrumental with an energized cadence accented by animated ad-libs making the song all the more dynamic. The first feature comes from 1504MuteBaby who shoots onto the track with his trademark staccato, machine-gun flow and Grim matches his intensity easily showing the obvious chemistry between the pair. This song is followed by one of my very favorites on REAPERR TIME “Poppin” where Grim brags and boasts over a triumphant instrumental powered by a victorious horn-melody.
The next feature comes from another one of the East Atlanta’s brightest upcoming stars, YS, on the whirlwind of a track “Lil Kim” where Grim opens the track with his wicked southern-drawl and catchy hook and YS does not miss a beat when he hops on his guest verse showing that the future of Atlanta’s next generation is very strong and just as interconnected as the ones prior. Dr. Grim and Rellyski pivot for the more emotional and laid-back cut “Whole Lotta” where the pair float over the guitar-tinged beat with gentle melodies, serving as a nice change-up if you will in what is a very intense project up til that point. This is followed by the track “Out the Park” which is another one of my favorites where Grim cranks the energy back up before being joined by RudeChild who glides onto the beat with his melodic autotuned flow. The project comes to a close with “Peter Pan” which is a fitting close as this is the track which first thrust him onto the radar of his city nearly three years ago amassing hundreds of thousands of plays, first establishing Grim’s playful catchy flows and undeniable swagger which pushes him forward today.