With origins spanning the world but representing Atlanta, Georgia, the rising Indy group Two-9’s music proves to be as diverse as their backgrounds. With two different duos and two solo artists in the collective, not to mention a creative director, a DJ and an affiliated clothing brand, the crew is a perfect representation of what the new age group looks like: self-made entrepreneurs.
Coming into the bustling studio steps away from Times Square where they were recording during this year’s CMJ showcase festival, VIBE was greeted by Two-9 before they left for two performances later that night. Bottles of Crown Royal, orange juice and water littered the studio as solo artists Curtis Williams and SnubNose, Fat Kids Brotha (made up of real life brothers Johnny and Dave), and Retro $ushi (consisting of Ceej and Jace) sat in and got ready for the night’s work.
The group, which organically came together through hanging through the same social circles in Atlanta, talked about how the city forged them. “It was kind of like ‘Final Destination’, it was like fate,” says Dave of Fat Kids Brotha. “We all hung around each other, and with Curt doing most of the production, and us meeting at Jace’s house, it provided us a creative place to work together.”
Curtis, who does the majority of the beats for the team as well as is looked at as the one of the organizers of the group, looks at the “Two-9 sound” as a profitable opportunity. “That’s why we prefer to be in-house right now. We want to brand this and then sell it. I want different artists to come from what we make and say ‘Oh, that’s that Two-9 sound, I want that Two-9 sound.’” And while they accept the term, they’re quickly to identify what the idea of “New Atlanta” really is.
“As Johnny also of Fat Kids Brotha states, “All it really is that the new people out here making music now and working to a goal in the city, us, Rome (Fortune), Milo, that’s why they call us new. We never mentioned the name ‘New Atlanta’, we just want to keep doing good music and putting on for the city.”
And while the group does their best to live in the moment, relishing in the music they’re making, and the shows, tours and musical festivals that they get to perform in, its members are quick to look toward the future, as well. “Man, we want to make our own tour, like how the ‘Scream Tour’ was, how the ‘Up In Smoke Tour’ is, something that lives past us and goes toward that genre of music, so if you’re hot, you gotta be in that shit, this the tour you gotta be on,” says Williams.
And as Ceej chips in, “We even want to bring out a Two-9 record label, we think we could be one of the rising Indy labels out here. There’s a lot of acts we’ve seen rise and coast, and then we’ve seen dudes rise and fall, and we aren’t working this hard to be those guys. We want to keep going.“ It definitely shows in their work ethic and their interaction with the fans that support them, that Two-9 is one group that is only looking to go up from here. And in that same work ethic, how far they go is up to them.
Cory Townes is a Digital Content Producer born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa and now resides in New York City. His work has been featured in Vibe.com, The Grio, and other media publications. For more of his work, visit www.CoryTownes.com and follow him on Twitter at @CoryTownes.