There’s something in the water in Atlanta. The city has been an unsung mecca for music in the last two decades, of course, but recent years have found the sounds getting broader and brighter, and a ceaseless flow of new artists embodying the art of the hustle. For the ATL installment of vitaminwater® ’s #uncapped concert series, the city’s cool kids and fringe fans alike packed out the floor to hear the prog-funk stylings of The Internet and trap’s golden child, Future Hendrix. DJ Diamond Kuts opened the night up with a bustling set of club bangers and underground hits, while fans screen-printed custom t-shirts, sipped ice cold vitaminwater®, and snapped selfies in our .gif booth. “There’s a lot of kids you know in there!” One girl giddily warned a friend while standing in line—if you were anywhere in Atlanta last night, you were there.
Odd Future’s Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians started The Internet largely by accident: here-and-there jam sessions and rusty, experimental demos gave way to a band that’s recasting soul in the pastel shades of Tumblr dashboards. We’re glad they did, because their performance was riveting. Backed by keys, drums, and guitar, Syd opened with a sweet-sung rendition of “They Say,” a dreamy ballad about facing the everyday struggle: I know how easy, it is to give up, but don’t let people hold you down, and I know sometimes the hate will amaze you, but don’t let it phase you, hold your ground. It was particularly moving to see throngs of day-one family, friends, and fans cheer Matt Martians on as he floated through keyboard chords in his home city.
Before long, Future turned the evening to a downright homecoming party. His excitement was palpable: “You’ve got to expect the unexpected in Atlanta,” he winked, before running through a string of trap classics: “Chosen One,” “Racks,” and “Same Damn Time” all had the crowd going legitimately nuts. Stray conversations across the venue revealed the weight of the moment: for Atlanta’s young creatives and aspirational artists that raced to the venue that night, Future stood as an embodiment of possibility, rising from the same blocks and buildings they claimed to the stages they hoped to conquer. He paid it forward, too, bringing out young Mississippi pitbulls Rae Sremmurd to thrash through their runaway hit, “No Flex Zone,” and stalwart B.o.B for their white-hot collaboration, “Ready.” “Y’all see how I hustle,” he shouted from the stage—a blueprint for new Atlanta to follow.