CMDWN: Atlanada 2 review – rap collective’s mixtape has the drive but lacks direction
Hip-Hop & Rap
Atlanta rapper Ca$tro Guapo, Toronto vocalist Fiji and producer Teo Nio make up CMDWN, a rap collective that primarily lean towards the popular sounds of modern-day Georgia.
The shadow of Migos hangs over some of Guapo’s gatling-gun bars, while hearing bled-dry auto-tuned warbles over sledgehammer beats immediately sparks thoughts of young trap prince Lil Yachty.
So comfortably do the group slide into ATL threads that CMDWN can sometimes feel like a cold encapsulation of the region’s rap, with little room for original thought or distinct personality. But that does’t mean the group’s latest mixtape, Atlanada 2, is devoid of strong songs.
Built around some simple piano keys and a murderous bassline, WTF Is That is at once a catchy and crushing, while Die In Supreme is a grim, codeine-coloured record that sees Guapo grimly probe consumerism (“When I die I’ma die in Supreme”).
There are some surprises: Produced by Dnny Phntm, Pockets Full is underpinned by a rubbery, immovable 1980s-style synth line that CMDWN negotiate with rhythmic aplomb.
More eccentricities like this would have been welcome. But Atlanada 2 works beautifully as a set of blustering trap songs to drive around to – although the collective do need to engage in more lateral thinking if they want to take a step out of the Atlanta pack.