Thursday, December 10, 2009

Travis Porter's 'Go Shorty Go' reps the A's futuristic swag

Posted By on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 at 10:13 PM

The Atlanta rap trio behind that catchy, candy-coated, if mildly annoying, joint "All the Way Turnt Up" just dropped its first video for the song "Go Shorty Go." The unsigned group is part of the "futuristic swag" sound pumping through the underbelly of the A right now, courtesy such acts as Yung L.A., J. Futuristic, and Rich Kid$ (whose song "My Partna Dem" was easily the runaway street hit of ’09 — even Ludacris turned up on the remix trying to get in where he definitely didn't fit).

Stylistically, futuristic swag might best be described as a bastardized offshoot of trap rap and the rock star mentality that's been coursing through Atlanta rap for the last few years (remember the Shop Boyz ’07 club hit "Party Like a Rock Star?" Totally dude.) That would also explain the affinity for ’frohawks and Polo shirts — which seems more like a blast from the past than anything. The odd thing is many of these kids are from the same projects as their predecessors, so in a sense the music they're making is escapism peppered with a glossier, dance-worthy version of their tales from the hood. Whereas the T.I.s and Shawty Los of Atlanta grew up admiring neighborhood dope dealers, this new generation came of age looking up to neighborhood trap-rappers.

Futuristic swag is their attempt to emulate that fantasy while re-imagining it through their own youthful lens.

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Though I'm not sure what Atlanta nightclub director Dennis McKinley shot this particular video in, Club Crucial (T.I.'s club) on Donald Lee Hollowell serves as ground zero for the scene. For my strictly hip-hop heads reading this, we already know it ain't your cup of tea. But neither is it the death of rap as we know it. Whatever the hell you think it is, you haven't felt the energy behind this music until you see it performed by these kids live in their own setting. For those of you who aren't down with taking a field trip to Bankhead, you're in luck. The 18-and-up video release party is scheduled for Opera (404-874-0428, 1150 Crescent Ave.) on Wed., Dec. 23.

As for the "Go Shorty Go" video, Fader's Felipe Delerme compares the visuals to the opening scene in Belly, the feature film debut of iconic video director Hype Williams — which is almost as absurd as comparing Travis Porter's lyrical spit to the stars of Belly, Nas and DMX.

But hey, welcome to the future.

(For more on the redundancy of futuristic swag, pick up the latest issue of Georgia Music Magazine for writer DeMarco Williams' piece on Yung L.A. and J. Futuristic titled "Rap to the Future." Unfortunately, the story isn't up online, so no link love.)

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