(Photo: Cool Club)
Ever since he emerged onto the Atlanta hip hop scene in 2011 with his Summer Dreams mixtape, Scotty has become a hometown favorite. Four years later, it’s looking more and more like they’re going to have to share him with the world.
On his latest mixtape Spaghetti Junction, the 29-year-old demonstrates a notable (yet inconsistent) growth from previous efforts over some grade-A production and alongside some big name features.
Foregoing the standard intro, Scotty comes out hard with the piano-laden intro “Respect,” making it clear that he’s unimpressed by many of the artists that hip hop currently has to offer. He continues to spit venom on the Sledgren-produced “Cash Trip,” on which he took aim more specifically at the notion that the South is anything but alive and well.
“I took a plane to New York, I heard him talking backstage/He said the South is so weak, that s**t f****d with me for days...” Scotty raps.
The first half of Spaghetti Junction is a lot like that, full of the angst of an underdog and the ferocity of a famished newcomer at feeding time. Scotty shows influences from all over the South with songs like “Nun But a Party” and “Cloud IX (Go Up),” both of which sound like a mix of Houston and Atlanta, elements of funk but also that trap snare.
Scotty gets a little more introspective later, on “Stackupamilyon,” which details a journey from childhood to a hustle-heavy adolescence and eventually success in the music game.
“Watched mama get in a fight with my step dad I was 13/Now I got my feet up these groupie b*****s so thirsty/Young n***a we were gettin’ money in high school that ain’t nothin’ new/White tee, with some jogging pants pocket full of money with some house shoes/I was ridin’ my Regal then, ’84 with the pearl white/N****s jealous, I see it in them I pull up on ‘em with the Snow White,” Scotty spits.
The final tracks of Spaghetti Junction, however, lack the focus and intensity that were notable on the first half. Songs like “U Already Know” and “Stress Free” come off generic and offbeat, while the lyrically underwhelming “Long Day 2ma” is replete with vapid lines like, “I feel so important when I pull up, no ID, everything exclusive before they get it/And pretty is an understatement to the ladies that be askin’ me for dates lately/Been reading this new book, I barely scratched the surface/I’m starting to get comfortable with being imperfect.”
Still, there are some gems towards the end such, as the UGK-influenced “Late Night, Early Mornings” and the pimp anthem “Pinky Ringz,” which features Bun B serendipitously spitting over a late '90s-influenced track.
“Anotha Day Anotha Dolla” is another classic track and once again fittingly features one of the OGs of the era, Gipp. Scotty also finishes strong with “Stealing S**t,” a mellow cool down with a melodic mix of flute and saxophone that rides out like the ending credits of a film.
Lyrically, Scotty is not breaking any ground. But his flows are on point. Couple that with his authenticity and ability to make a catchy hook and Spaghetti Junction has the makings of a benchmark that people will look back on as he graduates to the big leagues.
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