A restless crowd gathers inside The Department Store on Edgewood Avenue waiting in anticipation for the arrival of Scotty ATL. Typical to Atlanta culture, there’s a burgeoning fashion scene as fans decked out in an eclectic mix of indie clothing designs and thrift shop finds make their way through the door and beeline to the pans of spaghetti that are lined against the far brick wall. Host Maurice Garland encourages taste testers to go for the middle pan. It has a special ingredient cooked in the sauce, and comes with a forewarning to not indulge if you have a “strict” work environment.
Around 9:40 p.m. the crowd starts to hoot and holler as the guest of honor arrives. Scotty ATL is all mega-watt smiles as he navigates through a crowd of loyal followers—dapping up old classmates and stopping for the occasional hug with a wide-eyed cutie. There’s an undeniable love in the room for the Atlanta native, and it’s clear that he is well respected amongst his peers, who embrace the 28-year-old like their hood savior.
A few minutes later the crowd is instructed to go upstairs to the performance space where Scotty is already seated at his thrown. Literally. It’s the same high-backed chair that graces the cover of his latest mixtape release Spaghetti Junction, appropriately titled as a metaphor to the infamous roadway where three major interstates intertwine to form a massive interchange in downtown Atlanta.
“Around 4 o’ clock it’s busy, it’s crazy, it’s confusion going on, but once you get out of Spaghetti Junction you’re on the road to where you want to go, “ explains Scotty about the album title. “For me it was like once I drop this project I’m going to be on the road to where I want to go.”
It’s been a long road for the artist, but throughout the journey he’s never lost site of his destination. He’s not cocky, but envisions himself as being named amongst the greatest in hip-hop. It’s that same confidence that joins him on stage as he effortlessly performs tracks off of his project. The intro “Respect”—a jammin’ track about a hunger and passion that stems from his desire to be respected for his craft—warms the crowd up, while a seemingly fan favorite “Nun But A Party” featuring fellow Atlanta artist B.O.B has them shouting at the top of their lungs. Even DJ Scream makes a surprise visit to support the emcee.
Before leaving the stage he brings out Big Gipp to perform “Anotha Day Anotha Dolla.” It’s a perfect bridge between classic Atlanta hip-hop and the New Atlanta sound.
Download Scotty ATL’s Spaghetti Junction here.