The Plug, Vol. 4: Childish Gambino Studied, T.I. Dissected, and Big Bank Hank Remembered

Plus: Dozens of hip-hop mixtapes reviewed!


    The Plug is Consequence of Sound‘s hip-hop zine.

    Welcome to Atlanta.

    OutKast’s emergence — and eventual Dixie-rap dominance — has been a gift and a curse for the Georgia capital. Not even the formidable Killer Mike has matched the cultural impact of the duo’s relentless creativity and mesmerizing microphone exchanges in the past two decades. That’s not to say the city is short on stars these days. Producers like Mike WiLL Made-It, the space-trap visionary who released his Ransom mixtape on Monday, are crucial whether or not they get their proper due, but ultimately it’s the frontmen who seal the hits, with today’s biggest being (in rough order of most O.G. to least) T.I., Jeezy, Gucci, Waka, 2 Chainz, B.o.B., Future, Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, and Migos. Moreover, certain artists — from all three members of TLC to Ludacris, Gucci, and Waka — have relocated to Atlanta from another region. There’s an argument to be made that something is literally in the water, bringing all these unshakeable hooks and eccentricities to hip-hop.

    For this edition of The Plug — the Atlanta issue, loosely — contributor Killian Young examines Childish Gambino’s ascendant hip-hop career and the emphasis he’s put on his native ATL/Stone Mountain, especially with his recent mixtape, STN MTN. We dissect each solo album in T.I.’s catalog, trying to get to the heart of the consensus (and self-proclaimed) king of the South. In the reviews section, we tackle new hip-hop releases of all regional backgrounds, but with an emphasis on Atlanta projects: T.I.’s Paperwork, Rich Gang’s Tha Tour Part 1, Future’s Monster, Migos’ Rich Nigga Timeline, and Rome Fortune’s Small VVorld. Lastly, in a return to hip-hop’s New York beginnings, staff writer Nina Corcoran explores the life of the late Sugarhill Gang member Big Bank Hank, who died November 11, 35 years after playing a direct role in hip-hop’s original form — not an opinion.

    Until next time:

    Ho ho ho, merry motherfuckin’ Christmas.

    –Michael Madden
    Associate Editor