Not Your Average ATLien: Getting To Know Father
Atlanta rapper, Father, talks 'Who's Gonna Get Fucked First?', his ideal liquor cabinet and why his indie label, Awful Records, is like Google HQ.
Atlanta's melting pot has birthed its own cast of characters in hip-hop. From the likes of Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, iLoveMakonnen, and more, Hotlanta has infiltrated the airwaves and SoundClouds with its distinct trap music. Enter ATLien, Father, the viral rap sensation who has racked up two million-plus views on YouTube with his 2014 banger "Look At Wrist" featuring Makonnen and Key!.
Since then, he’s been a part of headlining performances at SXSW, released his new project, Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?, and continues to expand his fanbase with his unique yet infectious delivery (his 2014 'tape Young Hot Ebony has all the proof.)
VIBE recently phoned the rapper, a.k.a. Father's Liquor Cabinet, about his erotic sound, the core of his indie label, Awful Records, and what his perfect liquor cabinet would be.
VIBE: You’re just coming back from SXSW, fresh off a new project called Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?. How would you describe your life at this moment?
Father: At the current moment, I’m just chilling right now. I feel like I’m waiting on money that I know is coming. During the creation of the album, it was the opposite so it’s a great feeling to chill now. Also, I’m just coming back from my first South by Southwest. It was a learning experience mostly. From having four shows in one day, running around with the crew, and getting drunk with your friends, it was something I’ve learned and appreciated while being there.
The progress of your sound and delivery shows in comparison to your last project, Young Hot Ebony. What areas of growth did you experience most while making Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? What criticism did you receive and give yourself?
I wanted to pull back on making songs during the "spur of the moment” and really work hard on this project. The sound on Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? was more advanced and aligned than Young Hot Ebony. A lot of artists put a year in between projects, but right after the release of Young Hot Ebony, I was working on my latest project. Also, I wanted to show people a bigger look into my world, and not so much the hype that most people see, which is the “Young Hot, Happy Happy” sound. It’s so much bad shit that came along that I want to portray on this mixtape as well.
Your style of rap is moreso erotic compared to other artists coming from Atlanta. How do you think that particular sound works to your advantage?
It has given me a [strong] female following. (Laughs) I guess it’s a lot of Atlanta rappers that fall in the “trap of making trap music.” That works well in the club, but it’s not like people can listen to the shit all day. I catch people and girls saying, “I’ve been listening to your shit all day.” It’s a lot of sexual liberation in my music, so I think it makes people feel free. I’m not trying to make another “Wrist" or a club banger. I just want to make fun shit and something I would enjoy performing.
I’m not trying to make another “Wrist" or a club banger. I just want to make fun shit and something I would enjoy performing.
When it comes to your videos and artwork, a sense of edginess comes to mind. Do you always look for a shock factor in your visual presentation?
It reflects the way we live. I feel like everyday is a shock factor. If people came to hang out with us, they’ll probably say, “We’re doing the most right now" or "I need y’all to chill." I remember one 4th of July, a friend of a friend came over and was like, “What the fuck are you doing?!” Our friends were outside, saying, “I’m going to shoot my gun in the woods." (Laughs) It’s not even attempting to have shock factors, it’s just how we live day-to-day. We play a lot while working. I feel like it’s similar to Google offices to a certain extent. It’s a fun environment, they have slides, and it’s enjoyable. We’re usually working under the influence and having fun. It’s natural and it’s just what we do.
While being an artist and producer, you also own Awful Records. What does the diversity in your roster mean to you and do you seek it out on purpose?
That just came naturally since we were friends to begin with. It’s just a circle of friends who get introduced to more friends. Through them, you meet more people you can work with. I didn’t seek out anyone really. It was anybody who stuck around, who fits and meshes with the different pieces of the puzzle. While we are a unit, everyone is still to themselves so they can work on their individual craft as well.
Is there an artist you co-sign (who's not on your label) that fans would be surprised by?
I really don’t even have a chance to listen to a lot of other stuff outside of the group. I’m constantly working on my stuff, and then I have to listen to what some of the group makes, so it’s a lot of competition between the ranks moreso than paying attention to what’s going on outside the group. The only time I listen to other stuff is when we party to some new Future or Rich Homie Quan. Other than that, it’s normally going to be Awful Records who I’m making music with.
For those who don’t know your full stage name, it's “Father’s Liquor Cabinet.” What would be stocked in your ideal liquor cabinet?
I would say a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon, a bottle of preferably mid-to-top shelf tequila. They all taste damn near the same. (Laughs) I also like different red wines to balance it all out. That’ll be my perfect liquor cabinet.
I also read you were an avid comic book reader when you were younger. What were some of your favorite comics to read? Any superpowers you wish you had?
When I was younger, I was an avid Batman fan. I also liked a lot of Japanese Manga. The last thing I was interested in pertaining to cartoons, anime and comic books, was Attack on Titan. If I had any superpowers, I would love to bend matter, and basically control air and move everything.
At one point, you were going to school for pharmacy. Has your coursework in medicine helped with your rap career in any way?
It definitely pushed me towards it. Once I got into Chemistry and realized school wasn’t meant for me, I went to Georgia State University in Atlanta. I enjoyed the campus life there moreso than the school itself. I met so many [people] there and that was really a starting point for Awful Records. The party/club scene in Atlanta opened the doors with meeting new people. Some people choose to really get involved in it and then the others choose to be a part of it but focus on school. I was just one of the people who loved the Atlanta party vibe, and that’s what took a hold of me.
Some people are about making that one hit, cashing out, and dip. I could’ve done that with “Wrist” but I’m more about making good shit for a while.
What's your response to critics who say ATL's talent comes and goes?
It varies. Some people are about making that one hit, cashing out, and dip. I could’ve done that with “Wrist” but I’m more about making good shit for a while. I want people to go back [to my catalog] and say, "That project was fye, that project was fye, etc.” I’m not chasing hits, but there's artists that are about that and make people say, “They can make that one good party jam and then fall off.” Also, you have the "New Atlanta" lists that artists can’t stray away from since it’s more artists emerging every year. I think Awful Records has a lot to offer for years to come, and it’s already shaping. There are people that are realizing that it’s different type of people from Atlanta. It just shows that if you was in the house, playing video games on the computer and watching Anime, you can glo up.
Photo Credit: Jessie Lehrman