afropunk atl: earthgang stages a homecoming
By Yoh Phillips
October 17, 2019
EarthGang is a rap duo; this is important to note when examining the kind of performances they put on. Atlanta-born Olu and WowGr8 have the lively energy and performance stamina of a small army. And for the duration of their 30-minute, nighttime set, EarthGang brought the nonstop fun of a carnival ride to a cheering hometown AFROPUNK audience.
Back in September, EarthGang released their long-awaited debut album on Dreamville Records, the label founded by North Carolina superstar J. Cole. That album, Mirrorland, is festival-ready. Each song is vibrant with color, overflowing with animated textures, and bursts of explosive liveliness. It’s those qualities that come to life when Olu and WowGr8 are performing. Their meditative raps and soul-touching hooks were greeted with roars of approval by the crowd. EarthGang appeared as athletes in a gym, having a full workout, as onlookers watched in awe.
Along with their debut album, EarthGang is on several songs found on Revenge of The Dreamers III, a compilation album released by Dreamville this year. During their set, Smino and Buddy, two rising rap stars also featured on Revenge III, joined Olu and Wowgr8 on stage. Performing fan-favorites “Sacrifices” and “Wells Fargo” brought even more magic to their fun-filled set.
“It feels good to be home,” Olu said early in EarthGang’s set. Even though AFROPUNK brings in patrons from all over the world, there was a warmth to how the audience received the duo. It felt like hometown love. The two thrived on that love as if it kept their batteries charged. They just kept going, and going, and going as if the night would never end.
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