Southern hiphop will never be looked at the same by me again. After a week in Atlanta it’s clear to me exactly how much a part of the industry the city is and I feel like I have a slight understanding of the culture and community there that embraces this music I’m dedicated my life to learning about and documenting.
Upon my arrival there were two albums from southern-bred artists I downloaded and kept in rotation when at the condo. The first was from Big K.R.I.T.’s partner Big Sant. While K.R.I.T. hasn’t done the most to win me over, his production has always been inspiring and I can’t hate on his memorializing of classic music from the region he calls home.
Sant got the download from me strictly off the fact I was in the south, I didn’t really know what to expect aside from his booming voice I’ve gotten familiar with on previous releases from his partner. Thankfully he doesn’t attempt to rest on the reputation K.R.I.T. may have aided him in developing.
MFxOG is a beautiful mix of southern soul and grit with just the right amount of classic era boom bap to keep those of us who crave a little bit of what NYC delivered with this art form in their music. While K.R.I.T. does pop up here on three beats and one guest verse this is clearly a different individual and props to Big Sant for making sure to present his project as his voice.
Content wise he doesn’t stray too far away from what you might expect. He speaks to the haters often, he brags about how he carries himself and how serious he is in life. His money and grind are treated almost as after thoughts, as if he is so southern it’s just a given that he stays hustling and stacking that paper.
Of course there is the song about his Cadillac. Featuring a very laid back Kickdrums production “Cadillac Music” is the epitome of riding music seeing him flex about just how clean his ride is and his motivations for keeping it that way. This is an album for the whip.
Guests are minimal on this album, allowing Sant to show off his personality and the things that matter to him. He does call in a few favors – it is a rap album after all – and while only a few of the names might be familiar (K.RI.T., Phonte, Jackie Chain) they all handle their business properly.
“TCB” or “Taking Care of Business” sees Sant joined by Chain and Mookie Jones to express how they get their money and what’s going to happen to you if you fuck with said paper. The hook reminds me of a sentiment Shabazz expressed, although in a much more blunt fashion here as they just scream, “Words don’t mean a thing.”
“Rap Nigga” is the posse cut for the project and it’s a powerful jam featuring a dusty beat that feels restrained yet intense. Before the bars start, a voice is heard berating the south and Atlanta specifically. While Sant reps the crooked letter state, it’s a unification thing I suppose and he emerges onto the track proudly proclaiming he “raps nigga.” King Mez, Tito Lopez and Phonte fall through on the track as well, all keeping the lyrical level high and honest, repping for their roots and expressing their love for the “kings” of this hiphop shit. Just cause things move slower down south doesn’t mean they aren’t on the level.
Big Sant may have emerged as a hanger on, riding the coat tails of a larger, affiliated star, but he proves with MFxOG that he isn’t just family put on, he is his own man and crafted an album demonstrative of his skills and dedication to the craft. With the rain and winter fast approaching it’s the perfect record to keep in the ride and cruise too.