Atlanta’s hip hop scene has never felt healthier than it does right now. From Gucci Mane to Raury, there is something for everyone coming from the South’s undisputed musical hub. It’s undeniably one of the most active and creative cities in the game right now, and it feels all the more progressive given the fact that the artists are embracing each others’ differences rather than rejecting those who don’t fit into the same lane.
Enter Two-9, a collective of artists that take as much influence from the sound of Chuck Inglish than they do from OJ Da Juiceman. Formed of solo artist Curtis Williams and two duos, Fatkidsbrotha and Retro Su$h!, as well as DJs and creatives DJ Osh Kosh, OriginalFani and Gunner Stahl, you’re just as likely to hear Two-9 rapping over a boom bap beat one minute and a turnt up Mike Will Made-It instrumental the next.
Earlier this week, before the group announced signing with Mike Will’s Eardruma/Interscope imprint, we caught up with Jace of Retro Su$h! to talk about the origins of Two-9, their work with Wiz Khalifa, touring with World’s Fair, their pioneering approach to merchandise and their future as signed artists…
How did Two-9 originally come together?
Curtis Williams and Key! came together I guess around ’07 or ’08, and they just really wanted to start something, so they started making music together and kinda reaching out to people that they liked that make music like myself and Ceej, Retro Su$h!, Fatkidsbrotha, that’s Dave and Johnny and then we all started making music around ’08 and then officially started making music together around 2009, so that’s why we’re called Two-9.
So, did you have a name before 2009?
Yeah, we had a name, we were called like Pilot Music. At the time that that was coming out, we were piloting stuff, but that was really Curren$y’s thing and it was really popular at the time. So we wanted something that was our own identity, that didn’t really have any connection to anything that was going on, and so we chose a number – and that was it.
How would you describe what everyone brings to the group?
Curtis is like the energy, the firecracker, the fuse. He’s the one that gets pretty much all of us hype. And there’s Johnny and Dave (Fatkidsbrotha) they’re brothers so they play off each other a lot. Johnny is a little more serious, Dave’s a little more carefree, but that’s how they kick it, and their sound kind of reflects that. Then Ceej and I are childhood friends, I’ve known Ceej since I was fourteen, which is kind of cool. We’re all laid back and cool in our own way.