While there are a number of cities who have hip hop scenes on the rise—Chicago, San Francisco, and to a lesser degree, Houston—Atlanta's still retains a significant position of influence, one it has held onto steadfastly for over a decade. It's club scene has defined the music we dance to and the way we move to them; it has revolutionized our views on strip clubs (thank you 2 Chainz); and from within it's seedier sections or crime ridden neighborhoods, it has introduced the world to the Trap, an driving force for global musical creation. However, Rome Fortune doesn't prescribe to any of these definitions; he isn't boastfully oozing in swag, selling drugs from abandoned homes in economically depressed areas, nor is throwing singles in the air. He has set himself a part from majority of the mainstream voices rising out of his city, choosing to welcome his wild and often sporadic creative thoughts to guide his writing or persona.
Now, this isn't to say that he is totally against the traditional masculine hip hop tropes, which, for better or for worse, we love. Both the cover for his phenomenal debut mixtape, Beautiful Pimp, and it's sequel (set to drop next week) are adorned with the nude backsides of models, while Fortune casually looks into the camera, holding a baby. Yes, he still cares about looking good, fashionable, women, drugs, and his haters, but he brings a different aspect or perspective to each. His first single from his next project, Beautiful Pimp II, takes a phrase Drake popularized, and made it a little more human and embarrassing: "I was on one, I can't lie".
Unabashedly reveling in his intoxication, Fortune addresses the situation as most have at some point. He is confused how he got inside, when he and his friends were just outside, then remembers, he is really high—embarrassing stoner problems. Drake was extremely cocky in his rendition, but Fortune seems confidently cautious in his; addressing his potential love interests, with "you're beautiful as f**k, but I'm going to try my luck". He does break out of his shell in the second verse and lays down more braggadocios rhymes, but that's probably once the alcohol began working its magic.
CitoOnTheBeat produced a strange, but addictive backdrops for Fortune's slow, deliberate flow to breath life onto. Whichever program he used to construct this beat, the way his percussion hits sounds as if it was malfunctioning that day. The snares are never allowed to play fully, they snap in and out before they are even noticed, and the hi hats come in a little offbeat each time. When layered with the heavy synthezier melody, they create an interesting, albeit jarring audio effect; which provided Goodwin, the video's director, an ample amount of interesting editing possibility that he fully seized upon.
Beautiful Pimp II should be available next week, on February 12th. If you haven't been following his music thus far, definitely make your way to his soundcloud, where you will find an archive of his previous work. Fortune is an unique artist and should be on your radar for the future.