While Atlanta continues to dominate the fast lane on the hip-hop highway, Decatur's Playboy Tré builds his name by coasting in the HOV.
After toiling with neighborhood friends in a rap group through the early and mid-1990s, Tré's demo landed in the hands of former So So Def A&R and current crunk commander Lil Jon, who placed him on the third volume of the label's Bass All-Stars compilation series in 1998.
From there the humble-voiced rapper became a member of the Dungeon Family-affiliated Attic Crew collective. He appeared on its 2002 Finally... album and wrote hooks for YoungBloodz' 2003 album Drankin' Patnaz.
"After Drankin' Patnaz everybody in the Attic started doing different things, working on more solo and personal stuff," Tré says about the clique that also spurned local and national names such as Big Floaty, Pretty Ken, Cutty Cartel and Polow Da Don.
It wasn't long before Tré started doing his own thing. He hooked up with former BME representer Bohagon and co-founded clique/label Georgia Durt. Known for its blend of blue-collar storytelling and barbershop humor, Georgia Durt received local love but went overlooked by the masses during Atlanta's snap-and-trap rap era.
While GA Durt is still intact and plans to release another album soon, Tré currently tours with industry darling and Atlantic recording artist B.O.B.
Though he plays the hype-man role for most of the set, Tré also performs music from his must-hear EP Good Bye America: Da Story of A Drunk Loner, released earlier this year. Backed by solid Dirty South-style production, Tré delivers earnest tales about his rocky childhood, grown-man struggles and everyday philosophy.
"When I first heard Scarface's 'I Seen A Man Die,' I said that was the kind of music I wanted to make," says Tré, who recently co-wrote the hook for T.I.'s "Slide Show," featuring John Legend. "The kind that you remember forever."