"Atlanta went from a town to a city." - Rico Wade
Evolution is a motherfucker.
Atlanta has risen to become so many things in the past 20 years. From a blip on the map to an international city to the hip-hop capital and all that. But in all its growing up, much of the city's identity has been bulldozed and buried. Blame it on the influx of transplants (in high school, we called 'em "them New York ni@@as"), the gentrification (our only lasting legacy from the '96 Olympics), the underlying politics (economic, racial, etc.). Whatever. Fact is, the very essence that put us on the map is damn near dead nowadays.
But that old-school native Atlanta tongue comes pouring out of Tre Luce like red clay as soon as he opens his mouth - you can hear it all over his debut album, The Return of the A, easily one of 2011's most slept-on A-Town releases. Which is why it makes sense that his first visual, the Artemus Jenkins-directed "Return of the A" feat. Scar, opens with a documentary-styled intro that takes a viewers on a journey back to the mid-'90s, a time when Atlanta was still on the cusp of coming up.
It almost feels like a eulogy as Rico Wade (Dungeon Family), Bem Joiner (cultural curator and Atlanta lifestyle marketer), and Tre Luce's family members - including his grandmother who owns a laundromat in Adamsville - reminisce on the real Atlanta. Maybe it's too easy to get sentimental about this city now. Thankfully, Tre Luce doesn't. His debut was recorded partly at Stankonia Studios and features plenty of the same talented artists, producers and musicians (David Whild, DJ Cutmaster Swiff, Scar, Debra Killings, Omar Phillips, Chris Carmouche) who've come to be considered extended Dungeon Family over the years. Despite the connection and his own throwback flow, Tre Luce is not some 15th generation ATLien trying to rhyme like 'Kast did back in '94. He's more authentic than that. Kinda like this city used to be before it became a cliché.
Stream/download the album: The Return of the A
Stay tuned for visuals for Tre Luce's "You Can Bust."
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