There has been a new lyrical birth in Saginaw's hip hop scene dubbed A.T.P., or Amongst True People. You have already seen the fathers, Capital-C and Jacinto, in Saginaw's hip hop scene. Capital-C has performed as a guest rapper on DJ Snakes's "The Realness," a hip hop night at White's Bar. You can find Jacinto rollin' with his band, Thick as Thieves, at Grand Central Station. A.T.P.'s debut album, The Natural Source, is rooted in Capital-C's and Jacinto's walk through Saginaw's streets. The band is also an extension of the Gas House Gorillas's chamber's hip hop family, including such local rappers and artists as Alphabetics, Seth Patrick AKA Ill Eaze, Big Baby Entertainment, Train, and Deelow Ice.
There is no A.T.P. without the family and without the source, and this source is represented in the name A.T.P., which is a play on words. Capital-C, who was taking an anatomy course at the time of A.T.P.'s birth, recognized "adenosine triphosphate as the human body's natural energy source," and thus assisted in the development of the name A.T.P., Amongst True People. A.T.P represents individuals who are willing to collaborate and bring versatile styles and flows to the hip hop table. When I compared the relationship between the two rappers as a yin and yang, Capital-C says, "Yin can't live without yang, but we can hold our own."
This has proven to be true, as we sit in Jacinto's, or David Jacinto Herrera's living room, discussing what A.T.P. is all about. They interrupt one another perfectly like a set of hip hop twins. When asking them what makes A.T.P. different from other hip hop artists, the answer is similar to their flow. Their energy feeds off one another. Jacinto replies, "We view music other than the mainstream, not that we are completely against the mainstream, but I'll be listenin' to some other type of sh**." Capital-C is making faces and laughing, then says, "I be tired of the same hip hop so we don't be sittin' down and sayin' let's make an album and write about poppin' bottles." Jacinto laughs, muttering under his breath, "You a damn fool," then goes on to say, "We complement each other; we have similar energies that produce a new outcome."
Those similar energies bring diverse influences and backgrounds to the debut album The Natural Source. David Jacinto Herrera began his lyrical journey writing stories and drawing, and he was brought up listening to such rap superstars as NWA and Public Enemy, later to be heavily drawn to reggae artists, such as EeK-A-Mouse and the legendary Bob Marley. Carlos Juan Guerra followed his big brother's footsteps to the rap game, starting out as a child writing down all the lyrics to 2 Pac and Snoop Dog's track "America's Most Wanted," performing it as a child during a family talent show. Jacinto's solo project, "From the Roots," is heavily driven by reggae music and soulful vibes, while Capital-C's solo project, "After Hours II," is focused on just that, the after hours. Jacinto's topics within his rhymes vary from autobiographical confession to relationships to the struggle, while Capital-C's topics range from women's love of money, to warfare and the Catholic religion.
Their versatile styles and influences produce the new rap group A.T.P., which promotes diversity in music, rhythm, style and flow. Featured artists from the fam are included in the album, such as K-Dot, Artistik, Alphabetics, Ill Eaze, and Mar. The album begins with thunder, literally, precluding a battle scene over a litter of gunshots. The track bleeds into the next track, "Hunt the Rap Game," which introduces the lyrical battle among all rappers. The tracks continue to transcend in this manner, with Jacinto carrying the promise of battle at the end of track three, "Dart Movements": "So rap about your cars, chrome, and big wheels / I’ll be strapped with this pen ready to kill." The lyrical battle rap is already won by track four, titled "Triumph." Jacinto and Capital-C rap back and forth, with no verse-chorus-verse to slow them down.
The tracks are arranged so the listener can follow A.T.P.'s flow down the battlefield, with reminiscence rest breaks between battle raps that are narrative and geographical histories of both rappers. Echoes of elementary school, the city of Saginaw, and shout outs to the fam are inserted sporadically from beginning to finish. The fam joins A.T.P. as they bring it home down the second half of the album, touching on such topics as manhood, self-image, brotherhood and loss. The fam brings their own downfalls to the surface, leaving their opponents little ammo. This album will feed both artists and hip hop lovers, fueling the fire battle-rap style, with a Saginaw bloodline of truth, loss and hope flowing through it.
A.T.P. will be performing April 14th at White's Bar, 2609 State Street, in Saginaw at The Realness with DJ Snakes, and April 17th at Rubbles, 112 W Michigan St., in Mount Pleasant at the Keef Courage CD Release Party for Re-Encouragement. Follow A.T.P. via Twitter per capitalcATP. Further information can be found at www.myspace.com/atpamongsttruepeople. You can buy the album on Amazon.com and iTunes.