As Biggie once rapped, "Things ain't always what [they] seem" – especially in hip-hop. So perhaps it's not surprising that when Yamin Semali (formerly known as Amdex) of the rap group Clan Destined spit, "I didn't come to mock five groups," during the last competitive Perfect Attendance showcase, it was taken as a diss to the other five groups on the bill, including runners-up Mach 5.
"He was just being clever," DT says of his partner-in-rhyme. "We knew we were gonna ruffle some feathers, but if you're afraid to do that then you're probably not making very good music."
Indeed, the witty lyricism that eventually crowned the duo winners that night was a declaration of sorts. If Atlanta's "other ground" scene is chock full of left-leaning artists, Clan Destined is more than happy with taking the right turn. "We want to be official intelligence, not artificial intelligence," says DT.
Formed in 2002, the Atlanta-bred duo is an all-in-one unit that DJs, plays drums and produces its own music. They released the well-received Abbracadamn!!! in 2007 and quickly followed it up with And for Our Next Trick... as part of an inventive marketing plan spearheaded by Rawkus 50, which aimed to simultaneously promote 50 indie groups.
But Yamin and DT still consider their live show to be their defining element. So with this month's release of the conceptual mixtape A Story Never Told: F#$% a Mixtape, and the short movie they filmed to complement it, they hope to give longtime fans and newcomers a visual that brings their collective vision to life.
"Our setback has been that we put music first but didn't plan how we were going to get people to look at it," Yamin admits, adding that the film offers a somewhat self-deprecating illustration of the "zombie state" of the music industry.
"For years, because there wasn't anything to compare us to, we got overlooked," DT says. Ideally, the mixtape and movie will prep listeners for the untitled album that they hope to release in late summer/early fall on Domination Records.
"We're not equal to these other artists," Yamin adds with more sincerity than conceit. "We don't look at ourselves as a brand; we want to bring humanity back to the music."
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story gave the wrong release date for A Story Never Told: F#$% a Mixtape. It is out now.
ooooohhhh, I'm so excited!! I can't wait to see them together!
come on man you know you got a bromance. you probably still rock that OutKast…
Yes, 14 is the correct answer. I'll pass your info along to the group's manager,…