#RESTLESS, the latest release from Athens native Damien Ellison, AKA Yung’N Restless, will make you (me) feel foolish for all the times you (I) have lamented the lack of a serious local hip-hop scene. On the rapper’s third tape, he showcases a commanding personality that has heretofore only been hinted at. Tunes like “Money To Play Wit” could hang with the best of the current radio-rap crop.
Like most mixtapes, #RESTLESS runs long—expectedly, not each of its 15 tracks feels essential. But some of them are thrilling: “Brain” is an absolutely vicious banger that samples the “Pinky and the Brain” theme song (with the “How Low” beat thrown in for requisite good measure), while “Deep Shit” takes a page from the Shawty Redd book of production, all gooned-up synth strings, Ellison intoning over the track like a younger, more agile Jeezy.
More than anything, #RESTLESS is a needed reminder that real hip-hop exists in Athens, even if it’s largely missing from the downtown scene. Sure, we may not ever be able to hang with Atlanta, but sometimes the fringes are more fun, anyway.
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