This was one of those years when we could've easily added another 20 entries into our Best of Atlanta After Dark (music/nightlife) section. And Trinidad Jame$ is one of those cats who just missed it by the hair on his chinny chin chin.
In his case, it came down to timing. Even though the issue just came out this week, the deadlines for Best of Atlanta — the biggest Creative Loafing issue of the year — were so long ago that Jame$ was just entering the picture by the time we turned the issue in. But watching him emerge over the past couple of months since dropping his debut Don't Be S.A.F.E. (Sensitive As F*ck Everyday) has been interesting to say the least. Imagine the custom category we could've drawn up for this dude: Best Gold-Grilled Rapper to Emerge from the A?
Speaking of that priceless crooked grill of his, James could be the first rapper to blow up and decide not to get his teeth fixed. It's become such a defining part of his image that he's actually made it into the logo design for his #GoldGang mentality. You can see it at the beginning of this video featuring footage of his road trip to Nashville. The Au shown in the top tooth is the symbol for gold on the Periodic Table of Elements, but it could easily stand for Authentic because dude seems to have a wide range of influences — both stylistic and musical — he's mashing up into one package. It's part of the reason why he's quickly becoming the most outsize rap personality out of Atlanta in a long while. And while it's easy to get caught up in the gold, the image, and even some of the ratchet lyrics, there's a positive aura behind Jame$' creative endeavors that probably hasn't fully emerged yet — which is why it might be a good thing that we didn't honor him too soon and risk getting it all wrong.
But yeah, we stay watching. If you still haven't downloaded/streamed the CD, do so.
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