by Winston "Stone" Ford

To say that my home state of Alabama right now is winning is almost an understatement. Long neglected as far as talent, in the past few years my state has produced Rich Boy, Yellawolf, PRGz, and the Alabama Shakes. Now you can add Huntville’s G-Side to the list

The duo is the perfect example of what’s happening in the world right now. Sure, they’re lumped into the genre of “Dirty South,” but it’s their production team, the Block Beattaz who have gotten the attention of the blogosphere. Mixing in a bevy of UK and indie rock influences the team has combined far reaching sound with Southern boom bap in a way that I have never heard before.

This is why I love their latest album, Island. Sure, any rapper can rap over an Animal Collective beat and sound cool these days, but it’s the way that Block Beattaz has integrated these sounds into their palate that put them over the top. Take the Joy Orbison sampling “No U In Us” or the Tame Impalla flipping “Gettin’ It. Instead of just grabbing loops, the team builds entire beats off of the back of them. And the result is amazing.

Add to that, you can find the duo rapping about the Google Translate app among other things. The game done changed. This idea of being urban alternative, has permeated into the mainstream of the United States. And to rural, red states in the South.

But what really puts this duo over the top is their over the top video for their Sinden collaboration. Who else would think to drive a double-decker bus through the streets of Huntsville, Alabama?