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Grantland “Flick of the Wrist: A Snapshot of Father and the Awful Records Crew on the Brink of Rap Stardom”

February 5, 2015 10:30 am

ElD

A few weeks ago we presented Father‘s NYC headline debut at a sold out Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. Our friends from Grantland were in attendance, documenting the Awful Records crew’s rise to rap stardom; “he finds himself nursing both his own fledgling career and the prospects of the scrappy crew he created — currently one of the most promising young collectives working in music.”

From Grantland: It’s a chilly weeknight in the Hasidic part of Williamsburg, and Awful Records is taking over. In a few hours at the local venue Baby’s All Right, the Atlanta record label and crew’s benevolent overlord, Father, will play his first solo New York City show. For now, Awful has congregated at the 10th-floor loft of a buddy, an odd place with a rack of antlers on the wall, an impressively curated VHS collection, paint splatters, ferns, and a startling view of the bright Manhattan skyline. And they’ve gone about setting themselves up with a well-earned little pre-party.

Smoke rises, cans are cracked, bottle caps are removed. The music drops in and out at deafening volumes as the assembled jostle for control of the auxiliary cord. (“Finna jump on that pussy,” says the voice on the stereo.) More friends stream in, smiley and warm, decked out in yellow ski masks or elaborate head wraps adjusted just so. A girl in an M&Ms coat, ’90s Björk buns, and a safety-pinned septum wishes Awful’s Rich Po Slim a happy birthday, to his confusion. Because it’s, uh, not his birthday? “Oh well,” she retorts, sleepily. “We gon’ turn up anyways.”

In the middle of the scrum sits Father, wearing a mustache, glasses, and Thai Buddha head necklace. He’s 24 years old, unassuming, and winningly polite; for now, he’s keeping his real name off the record. And since the breakout success of his ILoveMakonnen-featuring Internet hit “Look at Wrist” and his sneakily great album Young Hot Ebony, he finds himself nursing both his own fledgling career and the prospects of the scrappy crew he created — currently one of the most promising young collectives working in music.

“For the most part everyone calls me Father, or ‘Fat,’” he says, by way of introduction. “Once it really got booming — basically, when the summer hit, and everything was really going up — it was like: ‘OK, guys. We can’t walk around saying each other’s real names anymore.’”

Read the full Grantland feature, written by @amosbarshad, After the Jump.