Regrettably branded as the snap-trap rap capital of the world, Atlanta's real hip-hop scene has suffered from a lack of exposure. But don't blame Dominick Brady. Known as FireBrand, the freelance writer (www.abenghorn.net/heat.html) and sometimes promoter (NorthernArc) has been both a cheerleader and coach via underground ventures such as the upcoming House of Brews mixtape, featuring local acts Voo da Teach, Clan Destined, Jermicide and others. In the meantime, FireBrand gives us his top five acts to watch in '08. Don't sleep.
1) B.O.B.: "Hailing from Decatur, B.O.B. manages to incorporate elements of ATL's street sound without compromising content."
2) Dillon Maurer: "I've been restless in anticipation for his next mixtape project, Southern Scramble. If you love sample-based hip-hop and a smoother-than-your-mama's-sweet-tea flow, you'll love Dillon."
3) Hollyweerd: "This group may have only been on the scene for a few months, but with stalwart MC Dreamer, the Love Crusader, Stago Lee from Jaspects and Tuki from City of Ink fame, they aren't lacking underground art-scene star power."
4) Knives Out: "Spree Wilson's and Novel's MC skills are not to be slept on."
5) Proton: "They aren't really new, but they seem to be reborn along with Atlanta's underground/indie renaissance. If I'm going to be limited to five, Proton can't be left out. Their latest EP Girls and Ghetto Sh!t is very solid."