Our Father, Who Art in ATL: The “Wrist god” Father’s Sermon
Every day is Father's day.
Photos by Ian Reid
There’s always an anthem ready to emerge from the musical depths of the Internet and send the unsuspecting public into a frenzy. Atlanta’s new hot boy Father is the man responsible for “Look At Wrist,” a slow-burning banger that’s racked up 82,000 views on YouTube in less than a month. The track even gained the attention of Drake, who referenced the joint in an Instagram post.
The up-and-coming emcee is now putting a carefully thought out plan into motion, with aspirations to mold his fan base through the teachings of the BASEDGOD himself. Accompanied by his AWFUL Records crew, Father sat down with Mass Appeal during his short trip to Brooklyn to talk about his sold out show with ILoveMakonnen, his new album Young Hot Ebony, and rap’s “one-hit wonders.”
Mass Appeal: What did you come out to NYC for?
Father: Initially, I only came out here to do “Wrist.”
Really? Just perform?
Yeah. Perform “Wrist” with Makonnen. The show was thick. It was THICK. It’s the biggest thing I’ve done so far. I don’t think about it as much anymore, about how much bigger everything is. I don’t know … I guess it’s ’cause I’m smug as fuck. Every time something happens I don’t think like, “Oh my God, this is fucking amazing. Oh my God, Drake. Oh my God, Drake! Oh my God, there are 500 people here. People couldn’t get into this venue.” I don’t think about any of that shit. I just be like, “Alright, let me do my thing,” ’cause I’m still broke. I need some money.
How did the AWFUL group start ?
From a couple of us working together. That was maybe 2011, when I first started doing just video. I rapped a little bit, but I wasn’t a recording artist. I wrote. I was just a graphic designer, photographer, art guy, and my friends did music. I was there with them like, “This is awesome. Yeah, yeah this is great.” Then, I learned how to produce through Ethereal and Keith Charles, eventually got my own equipment, started recording, and we’re here today. Over the past two to three years, people have just kinda clung to the group. People that shouldn’t have been there have weeded themselves out. I don’t keep any of that around me. Any of that extra shit.
It’s a tight camp?
It’s still thick though, but it’s necessary thick.
No, because we are all independent artists in our own. Of course I’m like … I created the whole thing and I’m in the forefront right now because I’m making fucking “pop,” pop-like shit. “Wrist, wrist, wrist,” that’s really like pop. There’s nothing introspective about it other than you know, there’s certain things I say in it. Well, obviously it’s not talking about cooking crack like on a stove. You know how to work your way around people despite not being some trap nigga. People don’t listen to shit. They’re just like, “Wrist, wrist, wrist, ahhh drugs, drugs, drugs.” [Laughs] It’s nothing about drugs. The entire damn thing is just me talking shit about everything else. I feel like we’re all independent artists working together under one umbrella. We work very well together so someone can pop over to my crib and be like, “Hey man, I was working on this, you wanna lay something on this?” It flows in and out.
So that interaction in the ATL music scene is a regular thing?
No. It’s not like that. Everyone is for themselves. Besides using niggas. People like to use people to their advantage, which is everywhere I guess. For the most part, other cliques in ATL it’s about the lead nigga. Most cliques period. A$AP Mob— think about it— A$AP is about A$AP Rocky, and it kinda became about Ferg a little bit. But with that whole thing, thats the lead nigga in ya’ll group. Everybody knows it. Nobody really cares as much about who everybody else is, the population really just cares about Rocky. A lot of groups are like that, with people just caring about that main nigga. I wanna put my team on and then step back. I’m not tryna be here 5-10 years still making stupid ass songs about my limbs and my appendages and shit. I enjoy it now because I’m 24.
Where did this name Father come from?
The name really was me sitting around studying how people responded to Lil B. You know “Based God, fuck my bitch Based God!” and all that shit. He put it out in the air that “I am Lil B, The Based God. You will respect me and call me as such because you dont know of course you don’t know my name is Brandon but you’re not gonna call me that. You know me as Lil B, the nigga who makes music and shit.” Like that whole movement with “fuck my bitch Based God,” that was something he projected out and people just…I feel like he created his fan base through how he acts. That was my intent. I am Father. You kinda have no choice but to be like yeah, thats that nigga’s name.
What’s this Twitter handle you have now ? The “Young Hot Ebony”?
Young Hot Ebony? That’s the project I’m working on. Our friend Fanti I was just drunk as fuck one night and our friend Fanti was storming out of a room and I was like “Fanti, you a young hot ebony. You black as fuck and you young and you on fire right now.” I just started thinking about it and said, “thats hilarious, I want that to be my next project.” The entire thing is like done, it’s probably like 90% finished and will drop in a couple of days. I don’t do release dates.
Trinidad James just got dropped from his label. How do you feel about the trend of industry “one hit wonder” rappers, who make a song that blows up and then end up not being able to produce another of that caliber?
They allow the public to control what they do. They fuck up and make a hit, and then people come to them with some money and they’re just like “yeah you’re gonna help push me this way,” and they’re like “no were gonna wait until you make that hit again.” In reality, art isn’t about making the same thing over and over again. It’s about developing and changing. The rest of my album isn’t gonna sound anything like wrist.
So more of how Odd Future did their whole thing ?
Certainly. I love Odd Future. They got the damn plan.
And they’re young. They have a whole vision and a niche of people who are always gonna show out to their shit.
That’s really what I want.
Rich Po Slim and Keith Charles, two members of the AWFUL crew, come from the upstairs loft and interject.
R: You gonna interview all 11 of us when we come in October ?
R: Yeah, that’s the record label.
The boys continue on to talking about music and cracking jokes outside the Brooklyn loft, preparing for what lies ahead on their trip back home the following morning.
Check out Father’s new project Young Hot Ebony below, and follow him on Twitter @Fatheraintshit.