Goodie Mob

Goodie Mob

Goodie Mob, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is widely considered one of the founding hip hop acts of the Dirty South movement. Goodie Mob's earnest and reverent approach made them one of the more admired groups of their era, and undeniably one of the most respected groups in the often irreverent and scoffed at Dirty South scene, if not the most respected. The Atlanta group's first album, Soul Food (1995), stands as one of the earliest Southern rap albums to emerge on a major label and, along with OutKast's debut, essentially proved that rap was no longer a West and East Coast phenomenon. Besides being pioneering, Soul Food also stood out for its quality -- the album dealt with serious themes and featured an undeniably unique aesthetic, attributed as much to producers Organized Noize as group members Cee-Lo (Thomas Callaway), Khujo Goodie (Willie Knighton, Jr.), T-Mo Goodie (Robert Barnett), and Big Gipp (Cameron Gipp) make up the group, which has been functioning since 1995.

"GOODIE MOb", as it's written on their album covers, stands for "GOOD DIE Mostly Over bullshit". Cee-Lo notes in a song off the Soul Food album that, "[If] you take out one 'O' it stands for 'GOD Is Every Man Of blackness.' "

Its members were all born in Atlanta, and the group is based there with the rest of the Dungeon Family, a collective which includes OutKast and P.A. (Parental Advisory). Goodie was first heard featured on several songs from OutKast's first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.

Goodie Mob's sincerity continued with Still Standing, their 1998 sophomore album, as did their still-unique sound. By this time, the Dirty South movement had been put in motion and the group suddenly found themselves with a considerable following, most newcomers astounded by Goodie Mob's thoughtfulness relative to their Southern peers. As the '90s came to a close, Goodie Mob's close allegiance to fellow Atlanta rappers OutKast proved noteworthy in the wake of that group's breakthrough with Stankonia. No longer was Goodie Mob a cult phenomenon but rather a mass phenomenon. This commercial consciousness that had first surface on 1999's World Party had now become a more glaring issue for Goodie Mob, a group that had always prided themselves on sincerity rather than calculation.

The pioneering yet increasingly conflicted group sadly broke up at this point, and the members embarked independently, beginning with Cee-Lo, who debuted in 2002 with Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections. A new album from the remaining three was promised in December of 2003. Pushed-back more than once, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show finally arrived at the end of June 2004. Big Gipp was next to leave the group, leaving Khujo and T-Mo to carry on as a duo. Their early 2005 album Livin' Life as Lumberjacks was a "Goodie Mob Presents" affair and the first step towards a permanent name change to Lumberjacks. The street-level mixtape Nuttin But Dat G appeared around the same time, collecting unreleased tracks by the original, four member Mob.

It has been reported that all four Goodie Mob members are back on good terms and have reentered the studio to release a brand new album. Cee-Lo and Big Gipp have both referenced this in multiple interviews. No details concerning the possible album's release have been given.

Drop City Yacht Club

Drop City Yacht Club doesn't front. In fact, the California trio—Kristo, A Wolf, and THX—will just as quickly rap about the girl who turned them down as the one that they took home. Writing and producing all of their own music, it's that kind of dynamic underdog honesty that makes these three gents so charming. Towing the line between clever hip hop, sly pop, and a splash of sun-soaked '60s rock, the group cruises down its own lane with a wide-eyed smirk.
As a rapper, A Wolf had already been around the block, independently releasing underground favorites Nitrous Ox and Misiries Company. He wanted to flip the script though. In 2009, a mutual friend recommended that he contact Kristo for production. As soon as the two met in a Bay Area recording studio, they instantly bonded both as friends and musicians. Conversations about music quickly turned into creating their very first song, "The Freshmen", which served as an initial group name until January 2013.
As they continued collaborating, Kristo wanted to focus on rapping, and the duo decided to seek out a producer who shared their vision of "finding a middle ground between The Beastie Boys and The Beach Boys", as A Wolf eloquently puts it. By chance, some of THX's beats were piping through the speakers of an adjacent studio one night, and they knew he was the guy. The Los Angeles-based producer, whose credits include songs for Snoop Dogg, David Banner, Erykah Badu, and E-40, flew up to meet the boys, and they started cutting tracks immediately.
"We're all madmen in our own way," smiles Kristo. "We don't approach these tracks like typical rap records. We're trying to write songs and break rules. We want to shake some shit up. There aren't any boundaries."
"We're all from Cali so it was easy to click," adds THX. "It always felt like it was meant to be because we were all on the same page about doing something fresh from day one."
Releasing music online, they began turning heads from the backpackers to the tastemakers. Their 2011 cut "Hello There" ended up serving as the soundtrack a trailer for the Kevin Hart blockbuster Think Like a Man, while the raw, raunchy, and raucous rapping of "Surf's Up" and "The Fonz" showed the group's dynamics. The first single "Crickets" made it into the hands of Danny "C" Coniglio at Exit 8 Media Group. Immediately excited by the track, he brought it to A&M/Octone, and they decided to release Drop City Yacht Club's music via a joint partnership Exit 8/A&M/Octone.
"Crickets" slides from a Motown-style beat and piano buildup into a sharp little story of getting shut down by the fairer sex. Of course, cricket sounds also chirp in the background as the falsetto hook resounds.
"The idea was to tell the truth," affirms A Wolf. "In so much hip hop, everybody's in the club throwing around hundreds of thousands of dollars they don't have and driving cars they don't own. Hitting on a chick at a party who doesn't want to talk to you is a real experience. We've gone through it enough!"
Kristo elaborates, "There's a self-deprecating undertone, and it represents who we are as characters. We take our music seriously, but we have no problem making fun of ourselves either."
Their moniker reflects the diversity you'll hear on tape. "Drop City is an old hippie community," explains A Wolf. "We're super zany, artsy and left of everything going on right now. You don't expect us to do what we do so we felt like that part of the name fit us perfectly. Then, you've got the yacht club or the establishment. It plays on opposing ends of the spectrum. You wouldn't find a yacht club in Drop City. We basically go to yacht clubs and get crazy."
Drop City Yacht Club stands out because it can't simply be boxed into one sound or style, yet the music is still so damn catchy. Boasting airtight mic skills and undeniable production, it's a one-two punch that's going to knock listeners out and get bodies moving in the process.
"So much music is made for today," THX goes on. "We want to be remembered for crafting great songs that were popular rather than just pop songs."
"If you can be the soundtrack to someone's life, that's the highest props you can get," A Wolf concludes. "So many artists shaped my life. If we can give people an experience that they hold on to, we're doing something right."



CeeLo Green, Big Gipp, Khujo, & T-Mo

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