Like virtually all legendary rap crews, Awful Records started as a gaggle of associates. Forming in 2010 when Father met Archibald Slim and Stalin Majesty at Georgia State University, the trio quickly linked up with fellow Atlanta natives Ethereal, Rich Po Slim, Micah Freeman, and Playboi Carti, who all went to highschool collectively. KeithCharles Spacebar and Dexter Dukarus began going over to Ethereal’s home to make beats, and highschool associates Lord Narf, Pyramid Quince and Lui Diamonds joined the equation quickly after. Slug Christ was launched to Awful after his band’s bassist offered KeithCharles some weed at a live performance. This complete crew moved right into a home collectively (after which one other after the primary one bought trashed), and Awful Records was shaped.
Awful set itself aside from different labels with its unbiased DIY aesthetic, with in-house manufacturing, engineering, movies, graphic design and merch. Father produced and engineered recording classes. Rich Po Slim shot movies and did PR. Zach Fox grew to become the group’s graphic designer below the pseudonym “Bootymath.” Having full management over all elements of their output was a vital element of Awful’s play-by-its-own-rules philosophy.
Much of the world was launched to Awful Records by way of Father’s 2014 breakout single “Look At Wrist,” that includes iLoveMakonnen and KEY! With hilariously self-aware strains like “Never needed to whip a brick, however I get the gist,” the one was a refreshingly enjoyable tackle the hyper-serious lure music that dominated Atlanta on the time. The simplistic, self-produced aesthetic introduced comparisons to lo-fi rap pioneers Soulja Boy and Lil B, who Makonnen shouts out with the road “Super chef Makonnen may sprinkle serotonin.” What actually makes “Look at Wrist” stand the check of time is its authenticity. No report government was telling Father, Makonnen and KEY! to do any of this music – it was merely three associates having enjoyable. This natural creativity got here to outline the spirit of Awful Records, and set the label aside from its friends.
One of the members who exemplifies the label’s unhinged creativity probably the most is rapper/producer Ethereal. With beats starting from lure, increase bap and R&B to storage, jungle, and drum and bass, Ethereal has set himself aside as a one-of-a-kind producer. “Ethereal is a legend,” Playboi Carti advised DAZED in a recent interview, “Without him, I don’t know the place the f*ck I’d be.” Producing a few of Carti’s earliest songs, together with “Beef” and “Freestyle four The People,” Ethereal helped popularize a synth-heavy, video game-inspired sound. Ethereal has additionally notably labored as the only real producer for the singer Alexandria on her albums Rebirth (2014) and Cut of Cloth (2017).
In 2017, Ethereal satisfied Awful to signal Faye Webster, an alt-folk singer and photographer from Atlanta whose colourful portraits embrace these of Offset, DRAM, and her center college buddy Lil Yachty. While a folks singer might appear to be an odd contribution to a rap crew, Awful’s energy lies within the sheer number of its artists. Since members recurrently characteristic on one another’s work, Awful Records’ greatest songs are sometimes a cross-pollination of assorted genres and influences. The 2018 single “No Way,” for instance, combines Ethereal’s laidback supply and synthy lure beats with Lord Narf’s frenetic, double-time movement and Faye Webster’s soothing singing voice.
Another considered one of Awful’s standout artists is the self-described “Darkwave Duchess” Abra. Father reached out to Abra in 2014, after discovering her acoustic guitar cowl of his track "Spoil You Rotten" on YouTube. She joined Awful in 2015, and shortly launched her debut album Rose. Writing and producing all the album herself on a laptop computer and USB mic, Abra crafted a hauntingly lovely mixture of R&B and 80’s-inspired darkwave. At over 14 million views, her music video for “Fruit” stays Awful Records’ most-watched music video immediately.
Abra - "Fruit"
The solely visitor to characteristic on Abra’s Princess was Tommy Genesis, an experimental rapper from Vancouver who signed to Awful in 2015. Sometimes rapping, singing, talking and even screaming on quite a lot of menacing beats, Tommy’s unpredictable nature matches completely into Awful’s anything-goes model. In 2015, Awful Records launched World Vision, Tommy’s debut album, that includes manufacturing from Father, KeithCharles Spacebar, and Tommy herself, in addition to a duet with Abra on the nearer "Hair Like Water Wavy Like the Sea." Tommy Genesis launched her second album in 2018, for which she extensively collaborated with super-producer Charlie Heat.
As one of many founding members of Awful Records, Lord Narf has steadily labored in the direction of turning into top-of-the-line rappers on the label. His Witchcraft album spans an assortment of darkish, witch-inspired sounds, together with the apocalyptic spotlight “On My Tab.” Produced by Awful O.G. Dexter Dukarus, the beat for “On My Tab” conjures up apocalyptic Lex Luger-style strings, and Lord Narf rides the beat like she’s the one accountable. Up subsequent for Lord Narf: a collaborative tape with up-and-coming producer Meltycanon, who combines cute and innocent-sounding samples with menacing lure beats.