Flatbush Zombies Go On a ‘Vacation in Hell’
April 9, 2018
April 9, 2018
In a genre that’s currently over-saturated with mumbled, hollow lyrics, Atlanta-based duo EarthGang are the heroes we need. Since their conception in 2008, the group—comprised of Olu O. Fann AKA “Johnny Venus” and Eian Undrai Parker AKA “Doctur Dot”—has sought a fusion of the rolling, soulful elements of early Southern hip-hop and the biting wit and honesty of a generation that grew up in the age of the Internet. Since then, the duo has caught the attention of J. Cole and has since released three EPs on Cole’s label Dreamville Records.
The first two releases, Rags (2017) and Robots (2017), showed us a more laid-back, poetic side to EarthGang’s lyrical prose. The third EP in the trilogy, Royalty (2018), still offers that soulful EarthGang sound and quintessential Southern hip-hop snap and snare, but the lyrics feel almost personal as if Fann and Parker are painting us an intimate portrait of their own personal experiences with growing up and living in Atlanta. Despite that, their lyrics don’t isolate them: the things they rap about tend to resonate with an entire generation—or two. One particularly powerful lyric comes from the track “Build” where Parker raps, “I’m a nineties bae, so I’ll probably look you in the face, and tell you I don’t give a fuck ’bout whatever you tryna say.” It’s certainly reflective of a generation that’s grown up in an age of constant flux and opinion sharing.
EarthGang’s upcoming LP Mirrorland is due to be released sometime in 2018—and if their latest release is any indication, it’s bound to be one of the year’s standout hip-hop albums.