It happens every year in Atlanta. A local no-name-brand rapper comes out of nowhere with an accidental hit that becomes the ubiquitous anthem of the streets. You hear it everywhere: bumping in the clubs; rattling from substandard car speakers; and, of course, chirping nonstop from cell phone ringtones.
So far this year, that song is "Racks on Racks" by Yung Chris featuring Future. The song is about hood-hop's preferred topic: stacking paper, specifically "racks," which is slang for thousand-dollar stacks. The title also serves as the melodically monotonous but saccharine-sweet and contagious-as-hell Auto-Tuned hook ("racks on racks on racks/racks on racks on racks").
After a solid five-month run, Yung Chris, aka YC, is still largely unknown, but he's no longer unsigned. His label, Big Play Entertainment/3022, recently signed a joint venture deal with Universal Republic on the strength of "Racks on Racks." In preparation to take the regional hit nationwide, YC and Future shot the video a few weeks ago with cameos from the likes of Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, Yung Joc, Rocko and Greg Street.
Surrounded by friends and family, label supporters and video-model hopefuls getting their hair done on the set at southwest Atlanta's Ambient Studios, a skinny, droopy-eyed YC seemed totally unfazed by the song's outsize success. He stood in the parking lot sipping lean from a Styrofoam cup in a manner that echoed a line from "Racks": "Need a kickstand where I lean/Promethazine fiend."
For YC, "Racks on Racks" isn't a get-money anthem as much as it is a motivational song. And the completed video won't be a video at all, says the Atlanta native, but a "movie" intended "to show the before-and-after, the transition."
"'Racks on Racks on Racks' ain't just somebody talking about money," he says. "It's an inspiration for anybody. It's one of those songs that everybody gets amped up to."
— Rodney Carmichael
IN OTHER VIDEO NEWS, Black Lips released a video earlier this month for the song "Modern Art" from their forthcoming album, Arabia Mountain (due June 7 on Vice Records). The video offers the first look at the group's pairing with producer Mark Ronson, and it's a good primer for what the rest of the album has in store. If the skulls, the low rumble and Technicolor murk feel like leftovers from a Kenneth Anger film, they probably are. Anger's understudy, Brian Butler, directed the vid and his style is unmistakable.
Local soul/rock singer Bosco and indie director Phil the God collaborated on the grief-stricken video for "An Emotion Film." Don't watch it if you're going through a breakup right now.
NEW RELEASES: The Voice of Saturn, aka Travis Thatcher of Judi Chicago fame, recently offered up two new tracks, "Eumenides" and "Saturnalia." Both bask in layers of lush, Italo electro/disco/post-techno beats that seem to move along with some very Krautrockish and experimental mannerisms. They're among Thatcher's most interesting dance floor works to date.
Dream pop duo New Animal's SoundCloud page is stacked with B-sides and outtakes from the group's self-titled debut released in January. Psychedelic folk rockers Damon Moon and the Whispering Drifters recently retreated to a cabin near the remote town of Tiger in the North Georgia mountains to record songs for their forthcoming album, Lungs, Dirt & Dreams. Purveyors of sultry, post-industrial pop, Cloudeater, posted a couple of interesting new songs ("Hardly Wait" and "Wander") to their Bandcamp page this week.
New Terminus released a new, four-song E.P., titled Development, via Bandcamp, and Jupiter Watts has posted their new album, Take Time, on Two Sheds Music's website. It's the first album Atlanta's ambient pop stalwarts have released in more than four years. The group celebrates a CD release party at the Earl on April 23.
— Chad Radford