Atlanta 2 Memphis is a collaboration of two worlds coming together to produce an explosive fusion of mind boggling hood stories…
Reviewed By: Jabari Oliver
Pastor Troy and Criminal Manne’s Atlanta 2 Memphis is a collaboration of two worlds coming together to produce an explosive fusion of mind boggling hood stories that keep you nodding your head uncontrollably. They effortlessly display their genuine “dope boy” musicianship through their vivid story telling abilities that keep you on the edge of your seat. Atlanta 2 Memphis serves as a portal for the common thug or the average Joe to explore the dark and shiny flamboyant worlds of “P.T.” and “Big Crim”.
In this episode of Pastor Troy adventures you can find him traveling on a business trip down highways and expressways like 85 south and 240 in a candy painted box Chevy with dual chrome growling pipes. Along with him inside the car, you may find some “California” on hand ready to be lit laid next to his pistol conveniently tucked away in his leather upholstered door. As he rides while gripping his wood grain steering wheel, which controls the 26 inch chrome rims, the trimmed goateed Pastor Troy boasts how he is “riding something clean/ riding something high/ riding something on lean/ Pistol on his thigh” as said on “We Ain’t Playin”. Criminal Manne cosigns on the hook of the same song, “I’ma show you how we do it in the south/ where dem boys got golds in they mouth/ 26 inch rims on cars/ got deals on soft, white, and hard”. Crim gives the listeners vivid descriptions of how a Memphis “dope boy” lives. It may be the beginning hours of sunlight in the projects located in Orange Mound where the ice-out grilled Crim dressed with diamonds on his neck and red monkey jeans sagging over black and yellow tennis shoes, is closing out his work to return to the suburbs in his “Waffle House” colored Dodge Charger with mustard yellow leather seats. “Mustard yellow seats in my whip/ I’m strapped wit dat’ thang so don’t trip”, Crim raps on “Yellow Whips”. Both rappers display their authority over their respective hoods in songs like “Ya’ll know me”, “On the Block”, and “Strapped”.
It has superior production from DJ Squeeky, one of Memphis’ finest and best kept secrets, play-it-again radio friendly anthem songs…
Over the last few years Pastor Troy has taken us through many journeys including unorthodox political stands against social problems such as police brutality, beefs with Lil Jon, Master P, C-Murder, and Lil Scrappy. While accomplishing such feats and staying true to his word he has dropped various albums on a consistent basis. With Atlanta 2 Memphis being his forth album in a five month span, his business savvy has proved to have grown stronger. Releases include Down South Hood Hustlin’ (Cleopatra, 2006), By Choice or by Force (Koch, 2006), and Stay Tru (SMC Records, 2006), catapulting him with many “hood” classic singles. With Criminal Manne finally coming back into the “over ground” arena, he shows us that his flow and creativity has not fallen short with silence. He displays his range and switches up the flow in “Ice Game” where he and P.T. rap about the material gifts that come with the dope game. In “Wiggle it” its nothing like witnessing a pastor testifying the mesmorizing skills of a stripper.
P.T. and Crim’s view of the street life show to be blatantly similar but P.T. seems to take it on a more spiritual level in paying homage to his friends and family that have gotten killed in the struggle for a better life. In his solo song “Crossroads”, he protests “They killed my dog/ they killed my ace/ forever I’ll miss ya/ you can’t be replaced.” In “Up early” both rappers paint emotional portraits through their lyrical rambles sending tributes to the gone by describing how they have to attend a funeral dressed in black for their fallen homeboy.
Working with Pastor Troy and Criminal Manne, street rappers with dope boy swagger, is like icing a cake for DJ Squeeky, who produced Atlanta 2 Memphis in its entirety. Mediocre beats on this album make beats from other Memphis area producers look like the play dough. He also brings the “rookie of the year” Young Kee on board for a special appearance on “ATL 2 Memphis”. DJ Squeeky is what many would call a true “dope boy” magician in bringing the gutter streets to life with his magical juggles of synthesized snaps, chords, and drums. “Stallion” a certified hood classic song with an already extended history of radio play, in which Criminal Manne describes his preference in what type of stout woman he would like to take home, shows that DJ Squeeky can cook up some cross over appeal that Gwen Stefani faithfuls can bounce their heads to. It also appears that Squeeky brings out the best in P.T. and Crim. Throughout the album Pastor Troy rides the beats like cruising high in his box chevy on 26’s and Criminal Manne adds that genuine Memphis twang to the home cooked production.
Atlanta 2 Memphis is a definite classic album released independently through Pastor Troy’s own label Money & Power Records. It has superior production from DJ Squeeky, one of Memphis’ finest and best kept secrets, play-it-again radio friendly anthem songs such as “Yeah Yeah”, and a bonus disc featuring the chopped and screwed version by DJ Black. With all the fire that this albums entails it still lacks diverse content. Even though every song on the album has single or radio potential written all over it, most seem to own the same content in being repetitive. Nevertheless Atlanta 2 Memphis is an album that every song is listener-worthy. Pastor Troy and Criminal Manne of Atlanta 2 Memphis are one of their kinds in being genuine articles of the drug gangster rap craft.