When it comes to Atlanta hip-hop much of the discussion outside the city, at least of late, swirls around the forces of Young Thug, Future, and Migos. Of course, there are so many more mentions to go around for artists within the city limits, and often more than enough for veteran rappers to still flex some muscle on a national level. Take 36-year-old Young Dro, who headlines the Shrine tonight in support of his third album, Da Reality Show, which powerhouse independent label Entertainment One dropped in September. Dro’s first two albums came out on Grand Hustle, the major-label imprint helmed by Atlanta rap king T.I., who serves as executive producer for Da Reality Show.
Dro had been active for years before Grand Hustle dropped his studio debut, 2006’s Best Thang Smokin’, and the exuberance the rapper imparts on Da Reality Show single “Ugh” suggests he can keep cruising for years to come. Dro punctuates every line with “ugh”—with the exception of the chorus, that is—casually delivered but landing with tectonic force. The repeating “ugh” would’ve been enough to make this track a hit, but Dro doesn’t let the energy falter in the bars between—he rattles off rhymes at a fast clip, but leaves enough room for each word to breathe and swing.
Atlanta producer Zaytoven provides a lively instrumental for “Ugh,” but Young Dro’s voice is the main attraction. Prepare for his Shrine set and listen to “Ugh” below—it’s today’s 12 O’Clock Track.