CEO Fully Loaded feat. Fatt Macc Presents “Round The Corner”

It’s tough to get any deeper into the Deep South than Montgomery. The capital of Alabama epitomizes Southern glories and Southern sins. Struggle, spirituality, interpersonal warmth and fierce determination, injustice and discrimination — it’s all written in bold letters in the city’s history. Montgomery is a place of high drama, a crucible of the Civil Rights movement, and the backdrop to artistic ferment that has been going on for decades. You’d expect there to be an incendiary, irresistible, fully realized hip-hop scene in Montgomery. As long as CEO Fully Loaded and Fatt Macc are around, there always will be.

“Round The Corner,” the latest single from CEO Fully Loaded, epitomizes the Southern trap sound and aesthetic. It’s simultaneously bruising and soothing, seductive and irascible, whip-smart and immediately accessible. The track has 808 beats big enough to rattle the block, a sinister synthesizer hook, and a hovering atmosphere of murkiness and steamy beauty. Like all of the best Southern rap, it’s economical: the record makes its points quick and leaves a powerful impression. There isn’t a wasted second or a meaningless gesture. Everything is directed toward the ruthless delivery of musical thrills.

But it wouldn’t work nearly as well as it does without the chemistry between the two stars. CEO Fully Loaded is the tour guide, effortlessly ushering listeners into his hard but alluring world; Fatt Macc is the color commentator, making observations and asides, rhyming in the low, steady, syrupy flow that has made him one of Montgomery’s best-loved musical exports. Their voices are perfectly matched and tonally complementary, and while their perspectives and approaches are different, there’s no doubt that they’re coming from the same place. In metaphor and allusion, they tell us about the grind — its dangers and rewards in a place as marvelous and menacing as Montgomery.

For sheer visceral threat, no inner city block can compete with the sight of a boarded-up cabin in the woods. The “Round The Corner” clip takes us to a dilapidated white house, under a canopy of trees, on the outskirts of town. Paint is chipping away, boards are nailed across the doors and windows, and “No Trespassing” signs leer down from the porch. It’s a little building, but it’s home to big business. The rappers’ chains, gear, and fresh haircuts testify to the money they’re making in there — by all means necessary.

Follow CEO Fully Loaded: