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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Maurice Garland rides shotgun with 8Ball

This has got to be the coolest concept for a hip-hop interview show ever.

Writer Maurice Garland resembles a young MJG as he rides shotgun with Memphis rapper 8Ball piloting them through Atlanta's westside behind the wheel of a Bentley GT. The premise here ain't space age pimpin', it's bumping Ball's new solo album, Life's Quest, which drops today.

MG — that's Garland, not 8Ball's partner in rhyme — calls his new show "Sonic Route." (Peep the logo above.) And while this is the first episode under that name, the incarnation might have been his ride-along with Big K.R.I.T. back when the Mississippi rapper released his last mixtape 4 Eva N a Day in March.

The thing that makes this concept cool is that it's so true to the culture. Because what is Southern rap, really, if not riding music? Sure, we flirt with our crunk, clubby, drug-induced spells. But after the club, it's always back to the car. While they were riding subways up North and banging out West, were we in the South riding out — especially in a city like Atlanta where it's always taken 30 minutes to get anywhere outside your immediate surroundings. More than the drugs (syrup, weed, etc.), it's the distance that gives the music its drag. Which makes the car the perfect setting to listen to 8Ball talk about the thematic territory he covers on his new album.

If you're looking for another YouTube-based, local hip-hop interview show with an out-the-box format, check out the first season of "ATL Bite Life," which pairs Atlanta music industry celebs (2 Chainz, Big Block, Verse Simmonds) with host/foodie/industry head Nick Love at local eateries. Omnivore chopped it up with Love a few months back.

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