Atlanta’s own Scotty ATL is one rap’s best known secrets.
Having worked with the likes of B.O.B., Devin The Dude, Bun B, Killer Mike, Big K.R.I.T., Ty Dolla $ign and a slew of others, he’s traded verbal jabs with some of the greats and never been “murdered on his own shit.”
The wordplay can flip from witty to aggressive to lazy and smoked out within a matter of moments thanks to a seasoned ability to let his soul do the talking.
Creatively, those that standout will eventually stumble across the one record that connects-the-dots between their hardcore fanbase and the rest of the world.
That record in this case is the recent single “Life of the Party” which like a good onion has a lot of layers.
The song is a part of Scotty’s new project Smokin On My Own Strain which also features another standout in “Daily Routine.”
As the leader of his Cool Club unit, Scotty ATL has positioned himself well.
Scotty recently spent some time with Salute and we discussed his history, his style, his business ventures and his approach to writing.
Salute: Can you explain where you come from and some of the influences outside of hip-hop that have made you what you are?
SATL: My style and where I come from is really the Eastside of Atlanta. I am from a town called Lithonia which is between Decatur and Stone Mountain basically.
If you’re familiar with Outkast you hear them say ‘we caught the 86 Lithonia headed to Decatur [on the song “Elevators”]. You know that’s where I am from.
I grew up listening to Outkast, Goodie Mob and UGK those were more my influences growing up you know? They had that player vibe and they were hustlers.
Having the flashy cars, the money and the nice women. Those were the things that intrigued me and made me want to get involved with rap.
My pops was pretty much like Outkast. My pops, my uncles and my cousins were all pretty much like players…women, selling drugs and the life.
I just fell in love with the lifestyle and I found out that I had a gift to put the words together.
Salute: Remember when Jeezy came out and people got a taste of the dark side of the south and obviously you Outkast painting a more colorful picture. You seem to sit right in the middle of the two extremes. A lot of your songs play out like movies in their own way.
SATL: For me, I see it as me making my own lane. I do feel like I am somewhat of a story teller. Some times its hard for me to realize that because I am so comfortable doing it. It’s not like its on purpose you know what I am saying?
It’s just every day talk for me. When I am writing, I like to paint a picture. I like to give people the particulars.
Its like when you tell somebody something and you can to them and you can make them smell it or they can picture themselves in the scene [that you are describing]. That’s how I like to write my music.
Just like with Outkast or even the Jay Z’s or the Biggie’s they are just big on telling their story. If you want to be legendary and you want to be remembered for awhile, you follow those that came before you did and did the same thing.
Including Tupac, they were all legendary and they all told stories about their lives and the lives of those around them.
It wasn’t just about how much money they had. They weren’t on some one hit wonder shit they were about painting a picture.
Salute: Are there any topics that you haven’t touched on that you plan on touching?
SATL: Yeah. I look at it from different scopes. From one scope you give the fans the up close and personal for the moment.
But there is a bigger picture that I am also painting. Nobody knows about the legacy and how I am actually telling my story.
There are some things…you know with some projects like I may just dive into a facet of my life. If you listen to The Colligan, I talked about relationships and just the struggles of a hustler.
On past CDs I talked about my childhood growing up and to be honest I haven’t even gotten into a lot of that like I plan to do in the future.
Salute: What are some of the different musical sounds ad styles that you plan on working with?
Just from a musical standpoint, I love music by itself. You know I started out producing before I started rapping.
So I am slowly getting more involved of the production side. I may have an idea in the studio of the way a song should be done. I am always about doing things differently and I always have to keep it live and funky.
Salute: You have already been busy this year. What else do you have coming out in 2017? What types of projects are you releasing?
SATL: You know I just released a project last month called Smokin On My Own Strain. So that’s been doing good. Both singles “Life of the Party and “Daily Routine” have been doing their thing off of that CD.
The video just came out for “Daily Routine” with Starlito. “Life Of The Party” is getting a real good buzz in the streets of the ATL and playing in the clubs and making its way to radio.
Next week I am releasing a project that was produced by Drumma Boy and DJ Scream. That’s going to be dope. Me and Drumma been spending the last month in the lab and we have some dope bangers from that joint that we are going to put out.
So this year man, just expect that I am going to be coming with a lot of excitement and then a lot of music. A lot of engagement with the fans also because I should be going on tour soon.
There is going to more videos coming, my merchandise is doing well especially with my new ATL hat. People are really rocking with that and out in Denver, CO they are really pushing me well.
Salute: I am glad you mentioned “Life Of The Party.” That song has the potential to really kill crossover radio. How’s it feel to have one under your belt that can appeal to so many people?
SATL: Man it feels good. It feels real good. It’s crazy because originally when I did that record, I wasn’t necessarily writing it for myself.
I was just doing it because K.E. On The Track sent me the beat and I thought it was a dope beat. I was writing it for somebody else really.
But after I did it, I was like ‘this sounds kind of good.” Everybody around me was like ‘keep going, keep pushing and keep writing to that record.’
Before you knew it, I had finished the whole joint. When people listened to it they were like ‘bruh that’s a hit.’
I didn’t know how it was going to be received because it’s so different from what I normally do but it’s been doing well.
Salute: You have always been really melodic anyway. It feels natural. Its not like you sat down and said ‘I need a hit. It’s time to get my Will. I. Am. on.’
SATL: Nah. That’s how I do music. I don’t sit down and just write me a Will. I. Am record. I just go off the feeling.
I just vibe and I go to the studio to the studio often to make sure I stay up on how I am feeling at the time. I am one of them type of artists. I stay in the lab and no matter how I am feeling that day, that’s what I try to put out in the record.
Salute: You are headed out on tour. For those that haven’t seen you, describe a Scotty Atl show.
SATL: A Scotty ATL show is an experience. If you haven’t been to one then you need to make sure you get to one. Its hi-energy but it’s not trap music. When I am at the show and I am doing my concert I make a connection with the audience. And once that’s done and I have connected with the crowd, I know that I have done my job for the night.
Salute: The fans online talk about how down-to-Earth you are when they get to meet you. How is important is to you to make sure that everyone that comes across you walks away feeling good about you as a person?
SATL: I just be myself. I try not get caught up in all the glitz and the glam. I won’t lose myself to that. I think that it’s tragic man when you see somebody that has lost themselves to the fame or the money.
And then when that’s gone, I am sure that’s a miserable place to be in. I make sure every day that I remain the same and I do the same things that I have been doing.
I holla at my people, I keep it 100 and I keep the same cats around me.
Salute: Final Thoughts?
SATL: Yeah man. Like I mentioned a little before, I have my own weed strains going in Denver, CO. One is called Cloud IX and the other one is called Qurious Geroge. The Dab Company out there did that with me.
I am pushing both of those and they are doing real well. If you in Denver, Co, go out and support and get you some of my strains. They are smoking. They are smoking real good.
Salute: Go ahead and do that Qurious Geroge mixtape man.
SATL: I know it right? That’s real.