Atlanta isn’t only commercial hip-hop’s hotbed, it’s one of America’s strangest and most vibrant communities for aspiring rappers creating music outside the bounds of expectation (as we’ve covered in some detail). While the city may still be best known for its club hits, it’s a swirling cauldron of styles and ideas where artists from vastly different sides of the spectrum collaborate often or, at very least, spend time around one another.
Atlanta rapper iloveMakonnen may be the next in Atlanta’s increasingly populated melting pot of weird rappers with their eyes on wider platforms.
It’s a tall shadow to fill, but producer Caleb Stone (whose band Dream Panther remixed iloveMakonnen’s woozy “I Don’t Sell Molly No More”) gives a pretty apt point of comparison: “He’s like the ATL Basedgod. If you peep his YouTube, he’s got loads of videos where it’s just piano and vocal with him singing trap lyrics.”
Like Young Thug and Lil B at their unhinged best, iloveMakonnen seems to have a knack for bizarre catchiness–off-kilter phrases and odd melodies combining for memorable moments (whether they’re the sort that make you grit your teeth because you can’t stand them or that you walk around singing for weeks is really a matter of preference).
With a quick listen to his music and messages like the one on iloveMakonnen’s Soundcloud (below), it’s pretty easy to see the link to Lil B:
im just ilovemakonnen, some say its a street gang, a religion, a galatic command center, even a organzaition for homeless people, whatever they know me as, tonight they will know me for the music i created, i made all of this by myself, this is what i could bring out from my mind, like it love whatever u wanna do with it, im only here for a limited time,i ben-new it was genius,gene us, so thank yourself! drink more water, love each moment, and day, its not gonna last forever, fear nothing love yourself, be kind to others, share somethin you create,leave comments,message me,etc. im not here to impress anyone, i already impressed myself in 1989 by coming back to earth again, so until next time. enjoy–ilovemakonnen
“We’re probably going to do more shit with Makonnen,” says Stone, whose fellow bandmate Greg Sheran happens to be iloveMakonnen’s cousin. “He’s on fire right now–he’s in the lab with Metro Boomin, Dun Deal, Sonny Digital–he just dropped a song with all those bros.”
So get to know the next weirdo Atlanta rapper you’ll either become hopelessly obsessed with or love to complain about on Twitter. Listen to Dream Panther’s infectiously breezy remix of “I Don’t Sell Molly No More” below and the original version below that.