Rapper, producer, father, Father talks picking up the pieces of a Record Label post-Covid, returning to form on Young Hot Ebony 2, and the best rig on Elden Ring.
On the eve of his new album, from a private, lazily established Discord server chat, the Awful Records honcho welcomed me to a window to his workspace to share living space stories, hot anime opinions, and a good laugh over a whisky.
Father is a Georgia-based musician, bouncing back these last few years from Atlanta to Los Angeles back to Georgia in a quiet, peaceful spot out in the forest. For years, the rapper has built a name for himself by creating sonically sinister, chaotic music to soundtrack an equally chaotic, drug-drenched lifestyle.
Albums like So Who’s Gonna Get F*cked First and I’m a Piece of Sh*t perfectly reflect the rapper's mayhem-filled activities and vice-fueled tomfoolery. Father is also the head of Awful Records, a smaller collective built of his colleagues and turned into a subsidiary of Father's previous record label, RCA.
Now that Father has parted ways with a label and is fully independent, his latest project Young Hot Ebony 2 is a “return to form” for the musician who has regained a sense of identity and creative joy with music.
After speaking a mere hours before the new album drops, Father spoke on the new album drop rituals. "The days of every time I drop an album, go out to the city, have a little album release party, some sex sh*t. I use to do that when I was younger now, but i’m not really tryna be around nobody like that," he said, "I’m gonna stream later and just chat with whoever is on."
Videogames are no stranger to the rapper, who streams often on Twitch. His choice of vice for the night: Elden Ring. "What buld are you going for," I asked him," I’m doing a bleed dex. An arcane dex," he responded.
"I play sh*t so much, I just thought I might as well stream it. I barely make music honestly. I make enough to be like okay cool lemme drop that and then the rest of my time, I spend it just bullsh*tting and playing videogames."
After two years since dropping his last project, the rapper spoke to me about the freedom of becoming fully independent and the current status of Awful Records.
"It’s just me," he said. "If there was an office building that said Awful Records, I would be behind every door. Every chair and every board room it would just be me in that b*tch."
Father was signed onto RCA Records in 2017, but would soon leave the label come 2020 at the height of the global pandemic. He took Awful Records with him, returning back into a collective of collaborators and friends.
"I have my frequent collaborators and we’ve done stuff in the past, and on paperwork have been signed to the label, but the label got to the point where people that I worked with who were my managers at the time, they’re not my managers now they don't work at the label anymore, but they kind of went left."
"We kinda just let things run its course," he said. "It was the pandemic, everything slowed down, everyone slowed down found some work to do."He spoke on the weightless feeling of being independent again. "The thing that I started, you know what I started. I never truly intended to become a major label, I just wanted to go with the flow. It started off initially as a collective of artists working together which is what I always wanted it to be, which is what it’s returned to now."
"I don’t want to own people's careers," he said.
Being the second project Father’s produced since breaking away from RCA Records, Young Hot Ebony 2 brings the same whimsical joy and chaotic raps that fans can expect from the Atlanta rapper. The project plays on the same strengths that carry Father's brand, those being his out-of-pocket verses, high-end energy, and sinister beats with more hints of gospel samples.
From the getgo, Young Hot Ebony 2 doesn’t come off as a sequel to its nearly decade-old predecessor. Aside from the name, there aren't many similarities that connect the two on the surface level, but there’s a much more interpersonal motive behind the project.
"During that time period [before dropping Young Hot Ebony 1] for me, I was very much downtempo, slow, dreary, a lot of the sh*t me and homies made was real slow r&b type shit, but I had a real slow drawl. Real sluggish hip hop back then. The biggest thing that changed back then was the drugs I was taking," he said.
"I moved to L.A. I started doing a lot of adderall and cocaine. The L.A thing to do. The music I started making started linking out, speeding up a lot more. And also I rap faster than I use to."
"I get down here. I get back home. I grew my shit out and let it look back like I had it. I’ve gone back to producing for myself again. That’s kinda the main thing," he said. "There were previous albums I wanted to make this project, but I thought to myself ‘this isn’t it, this isn’t my sound. This is 100% me," he proclaimed.
"In that time period where I made the first one. I was very much living in my apartment in the east side of Atlanta. Me and my shawty and my friends had different things going on all over the city. I didn’t see my folks as much. I didn’t see my friends as much. I was very much just locked i working on my thing. This just felt like that again," he said.
Coming back from a label deal is no easy task, the rapper reassured to me. But the rediscovered sense of individuality pushed him in the right direction with the project.
"I’m creating things that are once again nothing else but me”
"It felt kinda isolated. I have no external distractions. I aint got no helpers. I don’t got no (b*tch ass) managers telling me what to do. None of my friends around me. I’m just focused on what I can do myself, just me going fully independent again."
"It felt like I was returning back to the era of the first one. The way I’m living life feels like the sequel. It’s very much the grittier things I’ve done before”, he said. “Getting back out of the mud again, but now, i’m creating things that are once again nothing else but me," he proclaimed.
Production is another avenue where Father returns to form on the project. As previously stated in a tweet responding to a fan over two years ago, the musician mentioned falling out of love with producing. Young Hot Ebony 2 brings back his love for the craft and it shows.
"I produced the entire thing, except for one song. 11 out of 12 I produced," he mentioned to me when I brought up coming back to producing.
"I made a lot of that stuff in L. A where I stopped producing for myself and then I moved back to Atlanta and I don’t know, it was kinda like; I need…I needa get back to get closer back to what the f*ck I did before. Like only I can make the shit that really, truly is my sound. And also, I wasn’t working with the same team anymore. A lot of that collaboration was encouraged by the fact that I was signed to a major [label] and a lot of my managers."
"You know ‘work with this person, ‘work with that person’. Try out new sounds. Try to make a bigger sound. You know I was falling out of it myself. I want to experiment a little bit and not do what the fuck I’m makin. When I got back, I was fucking around a little bit, producing, but I didn’t really lock in anything just yet," he shared.
"Bichon Frise was my first song getting back into sampling”. “[It] was the first song I made when I was out here and I was like ‘that’s it. I got my sh*t back thank God."
"I was falling out of it before because I’m not classically trained or anything like that. So I turned to sampling and also I have homies that do loops and stuff like that so just sampling your friends. Being able to skip around that process and go with my ear in terms of sounds like what I want…that’s what got me back into it, just learning how to speed up my process," he shared.
"Sampling instead of fumbling around the keyboard trying to learn everything. You see I was watching Obi-wan right? They’re like Jedi can’t resist doing things a certain way."
"I got to a point where my rapper musician brain kept thinking it’s an album, but I was like no let’s keep releasing loosies, just keep having fun..cause putting an album together is always f*cking stressful," he stated.
"But I dunno I had enough. So I stopped, finish a few more songs and then make it into an album..It was like an intuition."
Juggling fatherhood and everyday hobbies have been little to no challenge for the musician, who shared with me the life of recording with a child present.
"Not much has changed, this is all for a purpose there’s something to care about. I was on a bullsh*t lifestyle, but now I’m on bullsh*t cause I'm trying to get it I need to survive in this shit."
"It’s Capitalist empire man, you gotta survive in this sh*t, you ain't trying to be out here f*cked up forever."
"I thought that I need to apply myself. Which is funny cause I don’t think that’s the message people get from my songs like yeah I need to apply myself," he joked.
From the first email sent to Father about organizing an interview, I spoke on the basis of the anime “Hunter x Hunter” returning around the same time he would return as well and if he had any strong opinions, as someone who uses anime as a strong theme for a multitude of songs, on the series return.
"You’re gonna hate me man, but I’ve only ever seen one episode of Hunter x Hunter," he admitted.
"I was running Bepop [Cowboy Bebop] back recently," where I immediately replied with the fact I never finished the show. "It’s difficult, I’ll agree with you there..there’s some point in the story where it becomes a drag…the music in it is so fire and I’m saying it cause it inspires parts of this album."
"Maybe by our next conversation, I’ll have it locked in," he assures me.
Father is a character full of personality and vices, capable of bringing vivid musical demonstrations of adultery while remaining incredibly grounded. Young Hot Ebony 2 is a testament to the musician's joy in writing, producing, and album composition and exemplifies that despite growing older and entering a new chapter of life, you don’t have to grow old.