the freshest mcs

Undergravity - Believe Me (Paystyle)

undergravity group

Originally written for Passionweiss

Along with Passionweiss’ favourite Dixie trippers The Outfit, Tx, Undergravity are moulding a sound outside of trap’s limitations. Earlier this year, Atom Bomb and Mastermind After Cash released Southern rap throwback “The Freshest MCs” with fellow Houston MC Dante Higgins. The album featured summer-time production as well as fun rhymes for those of us who prefer car stereos and barbeque sessions to MacBook speakers and screen glare. This time around however, the duo issues a more serious statement of intent.

Despite being purveyors of the vintage Southern sound, the underdawgs show their versatility by ditching the organs and giving funk a quick breather. Instead they rhyme over the sparse drums of Lil Wayne’s attempted comeback track “Believe Me” featuring your favourite Canadian child actor. They’ve dubbed it a “paystyle” rather than a ”freestyle,” to let you know their focus is on the cash. As long as it’s better than the original, they can call it anything they like.

“You already know who you ain’t fucking with, manoeuvring in the coupe, sitting crooked like the government.” Undergravity rhyme with furrowed brows and vehement brags. M.A.C plays quarter back like Any Given Sunday’s Willie Beamen and Atom Bomb is getting picked like a plum tree. Undergravity knows they’re overlooked, but they’ll keep working without your consent.

Dante Higgins and Undergravity - The Freshest MCs

dante higgins

Written for Passionweiss

Introducing Undergravity, the self-proclaimed “funkiest duo in Houston” consisting of Atom Bomb and Mastermind After Cash. The Space Jammers recently joined forces with local freestyler Dante Higgins, who you’ll recognize by his higher vocal pitch. In the process, they released a video for “My Town” the other week, which drew my attention for several reasons: the jammin’ beat, catchy sung hook and thanks to M.A.C. the most fun line I’ve heard all month (“You might find a n*gga on a horse, you might find a n*gga in a Porsche.”)

Excellent equine references aside, their throwback Southern sound is a welcome oasis from trap’s current bass-knocking dominance. On first listen the trio may draw lazy comparisons to 3rd Ward alumni UGK and while neither residing at that level or sounding identical, it’s a safe bet they’re fans. “My Town” comes from last year’s mixtape The Freshest MCs which features Atom, M.A.C and Dante trading bars over soulful or funky beats with horns and keys to drive slow to. 

“Goin Live” boasts more fun lewd raps, with Higgins again proving that the collaboration was a good idea. His imaginative nurse fantasies detail why having a medical expert involved with your escapades is a safety conscious decision. (“She hooked me up to a jumper cable, pulled out a defibrillator, Looked at me and said don’t be scared, I’ll shock your ass if your heart ain’t stable.”) A luxurious saxophone similar to a La Musica De Harry Fraud beat plays throughout and between songs like this or the 2Pac-sampling “Yellowstone B,” you can tell these guys are sure-handed at selecting their production. 

The Freshest MCs serves more as a taste of the group’s versatility than a complete album. That said, it’s strange to hear lines about having no money during the humble “Fly On The Wall” and then braggado directly afterwards on the unimaginative “Did You Miss Me.” The bottom line is that these guys rap well, their music is solid, and they’ve got chemistry. If they don’t ditch Dante and keep rapping over funky beats, they’ll keep rising.