OK, so that title is pretty damn arrogant, but Zaytoven has a point. In a recent Red Bull Music Academy roundtable I attended featuring arguably the three biggest Atlanta hitmakers today — Zay, Metro Boomin, and Sonny Digital — young Metro spoke of Zay’s crib with the same affection and reverence of Atlanta’s original hip-hop creative thinktank, the Dungeon. He said “You’ve got to go through Zay’s crib if you’re going to be anything. It’s vital.” Gucci Mane put Zaytoven on when he made him his go-to producer, and from there Zaytoven became one of the early architects of trap and a mainstay in the influential ATL music scene as a whole. He’s a part of the reason why Guwop has been sonning rappers for over a decade now, and why trap has traversed every region of the country.
So it’s only fitting that Atlanta all-stars would give the OK for a compilation tape called Where Would The Game Be Without Me. Gucci Mane wouldn’t be where he is today without Zay, and without Gucci none of the other rappers featured on this tape would be where they are either — even Future, despite his Dungeon Family ties. So it’s a given that Gucci, Future, Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made-It, Young Thug, 21 Savage, and DJ Esco would lend themselves to a veritable gathering of ATL’s past, present, and future orchestrated by Zay. Tune in for a clinic in trap music below.