For the better part of the past decade and a half, Atlanta has been a major exporter of the rap and hip-hop the world has been exposed to. And while other cities in the South have their claim to fame, e.g. Three 6 Mafia hailing from Memphis or the plethora of rappers coming from Houston or New Orleans, it’s fair to say that Atlanta has had a vice grip on the throats of mainstream hip-hop media for quite some time.
Unfortunately, Southern rap, and mainstream rap in general, has suffered from a significant drop in quality and dynamic. Production has been reduced to the same recycled and rehashed beats, 808 snare and hi-hat packages, and lazily compiled melodies. Subject matter has been diminished to perhaps a handful of topics: copious amounts of sex, drugs, the “trap” (a phrase and lifestyle that is as ironic as it is terrible), and other acts of degenerate behavior. Sans artists like Kendrick Lamar, most rappers have become vapid money bags for corporate moguls to leech off.
Fortunately, Atlanta has local artists like Jack Preston to shake up the foundation — figuratively and literally. Preston has been working hard the past year, putting the final touches on his newly released LP, End of the Future, and unveiling new videos for “It’s Okay,” as well as for the album’s first single, “Rebirth.” Yesterday, Preston revealed yet another visual stunner, this one a mini-movie for the album’s opening track, “Future’s End,” and late album outro, “Future’s Beginning.”
The combined track and video are both short, yet intensely purposeful in context and message. Directed by Vek Neal for V/V, the visuals are a reflection on the interactions we have with ourselves, others and the resources around us that are ostensibly meant to better our lives. Are these tools truly meant to improve ourselves? Or are they distractions meant to shift our focus? Have we become feeble-minded to the point where we serve no purpose or function? These are just a series of questions Preston wants you to ask yourself as you indulge in this visual experience. Watch below.
End of the Future is available now on Bandcamp.