Sounds Like: No Limit aggression and Cash Money melody reborn in the age of Atlanta
For Fans of: Fetty Wap, Future, Migos
Why You Should Pay Attention: Young Greatness' ecstatic escape-from-the-streets anthem "Moolah" is a turning into smash — it currently has more than 3 million YouTube streams and 2 million SoundCloud plays. Hurricane Katrina displaced him from his New Orleans home, pushing the MC to Houston and some of his family to Atlanta. His breakthrough mixtape, last year's I Tried to Tell 'Em, triangulates the regions: knotty sing-song NOLA melodies ("Ain't no Osh Kosh B'gosh, my Reebox box was full with knots"), rattling ATL trap beats and a work ethic he attributes to witnessing Houston rappers. "There was a studio called 7303, that's where I first met Bun B, Beyoncé, Bryan-Michael Cox," says Greatness. "When I seen the other artists working every single day, I kind of adapted to my surroundings. It was like calisthenics to me."
When he quit life in streets to pursue a career in music, the studio became his second home. "I wanted to make it so bad I was willing to accept the change and have faith in God, you heard me? During that period, I just stayed in the studio," he says. "That was easing my pain. I never left. But now I'm glad I made that choice. Look at me, man! I'm here!"
He Says: "From the start of my career, I always was melodic because that's how I came up — second line music, we sing. That was already instilled into me. … We used to go so much to where I was the child in my household that started rebelling on going to the second line. Every Sunday, I gotta get a hair cut, get new clothes. You're walking for like 15 miles through the whole New Orleans. So if it's cold, you're gonna freeze. If it's hot you're gonna sweat. It's just a party on feet. The Saints win the Super Bowl, they're gonna have a second line. The Pelicans win a game, they're gonna have a second line. "Moolah" go platinum, they damn sure gonna have a second line!"
Hear for Yourself: Over a sweeping Jazzy Pha arrangement, "Moolah" paints all the joy and pain of the hustle from someone who escaped it. Christopher R. Weingarten