By Guarionex Molina Martinez
Instead of a single artist spotlight, I want to introduce Awful Records as a whole. It’s a label that definitely follows its own rules and is better for it as it gives it its own sense of identity. The Atlanta-based record label is the brainchild of Father, one of the better known artists in the Atlanta scene. With cosigns from iLoveMakonnen and Maxo Kream, Father has found his career on a steady incline, while also being chosen to be on the successful remix of “IT G Ma” by Keith Ape with artists such as A$AP Ferg, Waka Flocka Flame and Dumbfounded. He decided he wanted to create a place for artists such as himself who embraced themselves for who they are and incorporate that into their own art and music. While predominantly a rap label it is also home to some of the most unique talent and approaches to music such as Faye Webster, Danger Incorporated and Abra. Though generally considered by most to be simply a record label, in actuality it is a collective of many different talented people whose talent all come to light to help one another grow.
Awful Records’ roster of artists consists of Father, Abra, KeithCharles Spacebar, Slug Christ, Archibald Slim, Faye Webster, Ethereal, Richpo$lim, Lord Narf and the recently added Danger Incorporated– and that’s only a few of their members. Prolific Twitter personalities Zack Fox and Dash Romero are some of the great content creators that Awful is also home to. One interesting tidbit about this group is that they have varying music and though the music may be wildly different (compare Danger Incorporated to Father or Abra to Faye Webster), the musicians always make appearances on the albums of their fellow artists. For example, Faye Webster appears on the song “Rollin’” by Ethereal. This is an amazing thing to see because it always makes for some very unique songs and guest verses. Awful Records has a stacked lineup of great artists and creatives, and here are some personal favorites of mine that I’ll be focused on this year.
Danger Incorporated completely came from left field early in 2017 for me. After hearing news of Father signing them onto the label I found myself interested to see who exactly these new members of Awful Records were and I was definitely not disappointed. Aside from having amazing personalities which can be clearly felt through their music and social media they’re also not afraid to show their influences, such as in the song “Atlanta Neighborhood” where they give a big shoutout to Yung Lean one of their biggest influences. They have often said that without him there wouldn’t be a Danger Incorporated. They have a very distinct style with hard hitting bass among many of their tracks and melodic synths strewn across their growing discography. To me they provide some of the most raw talent I have seen in an artist in a very long time.
Ethereal is an artist I’ve recently been becoming a fan of within Awful Records as I’ve been listening to his latest release “Mankind.” Despite having a great number of solo pieces of music under his belt, Ethereal is seen mostly as a producer, but for good reason. He has a very distinct and individual style when it comes to the way he takes on producing beats and it gives them a sense of identity in the same way one can quickly identify a beat from Erick the Architect from Flatbush Zombies or Lil Ugly Mane. This is an incredible talent to have in this age of SoundCloud rap where there are countless producers with no sense of identity or individuality. “In State Outta State” showcases not only Ethereal’s rapping abilities but his producing ability as well with many of the Awful crew jumping on the track.
Abra the “Darkwave Duchess” of Awful Records is arguably one of the biggest names within the label with many big-name cosigns in the industry, such as being put into one of the Gorillaz’ favorite artists playlist on SoundCloud and being featured on the song “Drugs” by Charli XCX. She has been providing an incredible amount of work and talent to the collective as a whole appearing on tracks like “Why Don’t U” by Father in which she provides a beautiful and sticky hook that will do nothing but get stuck in your head. Holding an incredible voice and sound that only keeps on improving, one can definitely see her raw talent in her “Princess” EP and her progression as an artist on her latest release “Roses.” Abra is definitely one to have rotating on your playlist whether it be at a party or just a joyride through town.
Aside from the many great artists that Awful Records is home to, it is also a place with a great many talented creatives. One that I decided to shine a light on is Zack Fox, originally known as Bootymath. Zack Fox is one of my personal favorite social media accounts to follow as he is an incredible creative and internet personality as a whole. He’s worked on a many great things, often providing his art expertise to artists, while also showcasing his unique take on his art and incorporating a lot of pop culture and his own personality. Aside from being a creative for Awful Records he has also worked with other artists such as designing the vinyl release for his good friend and artist Thundercat. He also appeared in Flying Lotus’ own movie “Kuso.” Though working as a creative for Awful Records he is also host to his own podcast called “Bruh” on Redbull Radio while also dabbling in some stand up comedy as well.
Featured image from Awful Records.