For almost every year in the last decade, it seems like Georgia has birthed at least one big artist or group. From the now vets in the game (T.I., Ludacris, Jeezy) to the ones who appeared as more of a industry fad (D4L, Dem Franchize Boyz, Boyz N Da Hood), we’ve received a great amount of talent.
In late 2012, the New Atlanta movement became a force to be reckon with. Lifted by Trinidad James, who blew up majorly with “All Gold Everything” and signed a hefty deal with Def Jam, soon artists like the Two9 collective, ForteBowie, Miloh Smith, Money Makin’ Nique and more were getting more attention. This is leading to endless possibilities for the ones who are making some noise. And one of the coolest things is that nobody sounds like the next artist.
Enter the dynamic duo of A. Ware and Corey Davis, known to most as Mach Five. They met at North Springs high school about 10 years ago and began working almost immediately once mutual friends said they had similar flow patterns. In 2012, they made noise with their EP series, Ratchet Shit, releasing volume three over the summer. Now, they’re starting off with a complete and diverse album, Art Rap, on January 15.
Mach Five hopped on the phone with Sermon’s Domain to discuss their upcoming Art Rap album, favorites off of it, their relationship with Gangsta Boo, what they bring to the “New Atlanta” scene and more.
In the last few months, we’ve seen a great amount of Atlanta artists, deemed New Atlanta, popping up from Trinidad James to Two9. What does Mach Five bring to New Atlanta that other artists don’t?
A. Ware: I think we’re a little bit more seasoned in a sense of being at it a little longer. We honestly do every aspect of music, and that’s not to say anybody else is stuck in one zone, but we don’t just do rap music. As far as the visual side of things, that’s Corey. It’s like a full package that’s all in-house.
Corey Davis: With New Atlanta, everybody has something dope to bring to the table. We can all vibe out to each other’s shit, but we all stand alone. With us, we always try to push the boundary and people’s comfort zones and really just make amazing music.
You guys and Gangsta Boo seem to have a good working relationship as there’s been “Turn Up Juice” and “Don’t Play.” How did you two end up meeting and collaborating with her on multiple occasions?
Corey: First we did “Turn Up Juice.” We just got a lot of mutual friends, and we’d always see her around the city. We’ve always wanted to do a record, so we finally made that happen. When we did the Ratchet Shit tour, she came to New York with us, like rode in the van with us and everything, which was a real humbling experience. During all that time, we just got real close. In NY, we were partying together for a few days and just really vibing.
A. Ware: She’s like our big sister. Her DJ is Speakerfoxx, so we grew up on Gangsta Boo and ended up meeting her and finding out she was cool as hell.
Corey: Even “Don’t Play” happened on some humble shit. She came over to smoke one with me, then we started playing some beats. Next thing you know we had another record. Our relationship [with her] is real natural. You can probably get an EP from us in the future.
What separates Art Rap from previous efforts?
A. Ware: Me personally, I’d say Ratchet Shit was more of a concept project that was sticking with one sound. Art Rap, it goes back to that first question you asked about what separates us from what everybody else got going on, you’ll really hear the versatility on it. I’m definitely proud of this project and I’m anxious to drop it. It shows our growth mainly.
Corey: Yeah, it’s very narrative and real conceptual.
Being a duo, do you guys push each other to do better, like, for instance, if one of you spits a verse that could be sharper?
Corey: We always try to bring our A-game to every song. I’m a perfectionist so I’m constantly touching things up and re-recording stuff. I think we really balance each other out with a nice contrast. We both spitting but A might come with the chill flow and then I come in tongue twisting, flipping the whole script. It’s a nice little dichotomy.
A. Ware: We record on our own private set-up, so when we sitting down making music, we’re constructive. We might work on a song for an hour, listen to it and come back to it tomorrow. You know, adding a couple more things and then send it off to the engineer.
Corey: We’re very competitive, we both want to be the best rapper alive. It’s like some creative competition going on.
What are some of your favorites off the album and why?
A. Ware: The whole thing is special to me, but one of my favorites has to be “Gone Are The Days.” The record is real jazzy and has feels like a Sunday song, ‘cause we’re both spitting about some inspirational stuff, not necessarily some conscious stuff, just taking our lives higher and being the best.
Corey: Then, we got this song with Scar, who used to be one of Big Boi’s artists, called “Lower My Mind.” That’s probably my favorite. There’s a lot, though. We got a record from [DJ] Burn One called “Just Kick It” and will probably be the next single. We got one with Trinidad James, so it’s a lot of dope shit on there. The whole album flows, it’s some classic shit.