Get to Know: Awful Records

Awful Records has become one fixture of the emerging and highly creative independent rap scene. Over the past year, the label has built a sonic bridge between NYC and Atlanta, effectively combining the best elements of both scenes to create truly dope music.

It was Awful Records founder Father’s tracks with Makkonen had received the blessing of the bloggerati but the collaborative sound has continued to evolve and grow to form a recognizable audio footprint. Father may be the most hyped artist on the roster, but the rest of the crew – Slug Chris, Rich Po Slim and Playboy Carti – have been emerging with some fire tracks and features that can’t be ignored.

Slug Christ comes to the table with distinctly depressed verses and a higher pitch to his voice. These two factors combine to give his songs a mixture of teen-angst and over-the-top rapper confidence.

I got energy bleeding out of me
Oh they want to parasite the godly
I’m the ocean you can pollute me
But ill always be there.

Rich Po Slim is an older, and more overtly sexual voice in the mix, often adding key verses to some of the more swag-filled Father songs. While Rich Po Slim has said his role is, according to his twitter bio the “Dame Dash of Awful Records”. He also has one of my favorite lines on BET Uncut. I am a fan of anyone who uses Coochi Chakras in a sentence, as demonstrated below:

I say she sexually liberated, you call her ass a ho?
Please let a player know, why you’re such a square bro
All about my bizzy, pullin’ cash up out the Ziplock
And quick to have a strumpet have my dick up in a liplock
Dick her down poppa, unlock her coochie chakras”

Archibald Slim, not to be confused with Rich Po Slim, has been putting out music like water out of a tap, dropping his latest tape “Don’t Call the Cops” on June 1st. This is straight up soulful and lyrical hip hop, something to vibe and smoke to. Archibald has lots to say, but still keeps things dark and dirty, using the repetitive stanza that have become Awful’s trademark with a somewhat more clear and focused vocal presence. His standout track, in my opinion, is the motivating “Work” which has too many dope parts of lyrical delivery to write out, so do yourself a favor and listen to the track:

Finally, we get to the youngest of the crew – Playboi Carti. His sound is a laid back flow that stems from either a lot of drugs or a generally chill disposition, but every song maintains an energy. The best part of his verses is that his use of slang is so on-point that deciphering what he is saying is half the fun. This is an artist that is, in my opinion so charismatic on a track he could start his own religion. While not as lyrical or punchline focused as his Awful team mates, he has an undeniable appeal His song, Broke Boi, is 2 months old, but quickly gaining traction as a perfect summer song.
Key line:

Why should I keep juggin’ all these broke boys?

While all these artists are compelling on their own, its when they link up that their separate and distinct sounds come together to form the soundtrack to a scene. Awful Records has not only picked the right rappers for their roster, but a like-minded group of artist forming more of a collective than simple labels. Myself, and pretty much every rap fan I know here in New York, can’t wait to see what Awful puts out next.

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