When you think of the Atlanta’s current hip-hop scene, artists like Future, Migos, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan immediately come to mind, but if you’re looking for the next wave of Atlanta hitmakers, it’s Cool Amerika that you should be paying attention to.
Bally and Stunt, both 21, became fast friends when they met in junior high school. Looking for an escape from America’s monolithic school system, the rambunctious pre-teens, along with dozens of other hopeless kids, formed a collective and began making music together.
As time progressed and goals began to evolve, Bally and Stunt’s once unstoppable music collective began to disband and the longtime friends found themselves as the last men standing.
Fast forward a few years, Bally and Stunt now have one of the most popular club songs on urban radio. “Make Sum Shake” (which is mistakenly perceived as a dance record) debuted at the 25th spot on Billboard’s Rap Airplay chart.
Since then, Cool Amerika’s been meticulously building a fan base with records like “Ratchet,” “Miami,” and “Whole Lot.”
Cool Amerika stopped by GlobalGrind’s office to discuss thriving in Atlanta, the importance of club culture in the south, and to set the record straight about the history of “dabbing.”
Read our exclusive interview with Cool Amerika below.
GlobalGrind: How did you two get discovered?
Stunt: I was riding down the street one day. I ran across somebody trying to do some promo and was telling me about what he had going on. I let him hear some music. Long story short, we got together and met this guy [points to manager]. He liked what he heard and we already had a catalogue, plus we were putting on for our side of town, the east side, and we took it from there.
There are so many areas of Atlanta where you can blow. Tell me your process when you were promoting on the streets.
Stunt: We ran to every club. Every night for like three four months straight. We didn’t miss a night. We were in the booth with the DJs hanging out, shaking hands. If he wanted food, we got him food. If he wants a drink, we’ll get him a drink. Whatever the DJs wanted.
What’s the hottest club in Atlanta right now?
Stunt: The AG Club.
Bally: Yeah, Aroma and AG Club.
How did you guys meet?
Bally: School. Maybe, like seventh grade.
Stunt: At first there were like 60 of us, but me and him outlasted everybody and decided to still do music together.
Why Cool Amerika? What’s the meaning behind that name?
Stunt: The actual name come from a program we were trying to do. We both played sports, but we were trying to start an after school program for kids who wanted to be a radio personality, DJs, or create websites. You know, shit they don’t teach you in regular school. We just liked the brand so we stuck with it.
Did you all graduate high school?
What grade did you dropout?
Bally, you were almost finished.
Stunt: School was a challenge. Not learning, but being there and them being able to hold my attention. Everyone we were friends with was like 22. We were trying to get to the house and kick it with them.
What do you think schools can do to keep kids engaged?
Stunt: Give them to classes to live and survive in America. Real life jobs like building websites and becoming a radio disc jockeys. The cool stuff.
How much music do you guys have?
Stunt: Probably about 500 unreleased songs. That’s all we do is record.
What do you think it is about Atlanta that’s breeding such immense talent?
Stunt: It’s a lot of kids that’s exposed to stuff to stuff the average person wouldn’t be exposed to until they’re 22 or 23. Everything Future says, we’ve done it. Plus, a lot of old heads help the young kids. For example, Outkast’s producer might be still around helping someone else out…we just pass it along.
Explain the Dab. Is it a dance or is it more than that?
Bally: The dab is not a dance. The dab is within you.
Stunt: It’s not a dance.
Bally: Dab is really your swag.
Stunt: Dab is the same as the juice, sauce, it’s all the same.
I’m always so intrigued by Atlanta because the diversity of the artists that have come from the city.
Cool Amerika’s Manager Slim: Everyone grinds together. Atlanta offers a whole bunch of open mics and showcases and everyone comes out to be apart of the movement.
What was the first album you bought?
Bally: Don’t laugh, but you remember that Bow Wow cd? The one with the green cover? Yeah, that was my first album.
Stunt: My sh*t was the Meek Mill album [laughs]. The last one that just came out – Dreams Worth More Than Money.
Meek Mill? [Laughs]
Stunt: That’s the first album I actually bought with money out of my pocket.
Stunt: I’m only 21 though. You know we don’t buy albums like that.
How do you guys plan on changing the game?
Stunt: I just want people to know it’s cool to be yourself again. I want to make people feel good.
For more information about Cool Amerika, click here.
PHOTO CREDIT: Alliance Music Group