By Anne Carlson
Gorilla Zoe and Zaytoven have been a dynamic musical duo for close to a decade. The signature style they’ve established over the years has helped to influence an entire generation of rappers who’ve deconstructed their work and capitalized on their sound. But on I Am Atlanta 4ever, their latest project, the street prophet and the melodic producer delved deeper inside themselves to create a body of work that will be a tough act for mimickers to follow.
Zoe, a product of the influential Atlanta culture, is knitted into the fabric of hip-hop. On this final installment of the four part series he started at the inception of his career, he offers autobiographical life lessons and more. The 10-song album is a seemingly endless roller coaster of emotions that offers a different vibe on each track that boasts digestible storytelling atop disrespectful 808 basslines. The cerebral MC clearly values lyrics; every verse on I Am Atlanta 4ever is purposeful. This artistic offering will appeal to those who appreciate soulful trap music that’s also soulfood. It’s motivational, empowering and inspirational with kernels of wisdom scattered throughout that resonate. Zaytoven sculpts his high-octane beats around the wordsmith’s zigzagging gruff vocals that showcase their kinetic chemistry.
A brilliant culmination album that cements their legacy in the game, the southern-bred poet and the Bay-area musical genius make what they do seem easy. The streetwise slick talk melds perfectly with the harmonious melodies of the keys. Much like the classic pairing of peanut butter and jelly, Zoe and Zay are impressive independently, but extraordinary when paired together.