“Never Back Down”— the definition of the acronym behind the star-studded roster of musicians hailing from Atlanta, GA. Also a testament to the artistic nature of Atlanta that resides in the hearts of its residents, forever solidifying it as one of several Mecca’s of art within the USA. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already understand how Atlanta has held a strong grip on the cultural influence of Hip-Hop and every extension into it. From music, fashion, photography, the list can be drawn up all day—and as soon as one empire has had its run, another is soon to come behind it. We’ve seen this time and time again, and some of us have even been lucky enough to be ahead of the wave when it comes. Personally, I have a feeling that this is one of those instances, wading in the water as the wave you’ve been waiting for slowly builds itself up.
Following this name comes the sounds and imagery of 9 artists, including the work and support from several other behind-the-scenes teammates. This includes engineers, producers, photographers, graphic designers, and the whole nine. With these extra hands, this allows for complete creative and financial control over whatever work is made. NBDMG—or Never Back Down Music Group—is packed with a variety of different individual artists that all bring their own worth to the table, ultimately making NBDMG a powerhouse selection of creatives separately and collectively. When you put such creative individuals in one space and ask them to create whatever their hearts desire, you find that all of their different ideas and styles come together to truly make the most meaningful art possible.
“NBDMG my dogs! We go way back at this point and we have all grown in this industry together. Crazy to see them turning up their production and work flows with mine as I continue mixing and mastering. We linked in Atlanta and then I finished the mastering in Chicago. From the second I heard all the finished mixes, I knew my guys leveled up again!” – Mason Bonner
With their debut album “Black Jacket” officially released, the NBDMG team begins their start on their journey towards success, publically—of course, privately this album has been a work in progress for quite some time. Since the start of their building process, the team has been on a nonstop run with their social media presence as well as their “in-real-life” presence. From the digital promos to flyers around the streets of Atlanta, NBDMG is making sure that their black jackets will always be seen. Because every time you see it, you will see NBDMG.
Last week we briefly covered the release of “Black Jacket” while today we hope to give a more in-depth look at the project as a whole, while also hearing quotes from some of the members of NBDMG—like Scotty Styles, Nick Diminico, ThatGuyVeezy, Saki & many more— involved with the making of “Black Jacket.”
“Who would’ve known that 2 months is all it took for our first album. It’s only the beginning!” – Scotty Styles
From start to finish, this project is truly everything that we say it is and is very worthy of having a second review. Black Jacket is 10 solid tracks featuring verses from Lonnie G Finesse, That Guy Veezy, Jody Quintero, Meechh, Kaapo, Nick Diminico, Scotty Styles, Saki & KC—with production from Nick Diminico and That Guy Veezy—mixed and mastered by That Guy Veezy & Mason Bonner. Created over the span of 2 months, the NBDMG team splits themselves into teams and takes over the court with the outstanding piece of work. The process of every artist within the group putting in their effort at every chance they get is an example of flawless execution. Showing just how hungry the collective is when it comes to their work.
“Going into mixing on the project I wanted energy all throughout even on the more melodic songs but also making sure our vocals could cut through the beats, I was there partially during the mastering process as well when our homie Mason came to Georgia for a day. Our biggest goal for this project is for it to be seen by the masses and push the culture forward.” – That Guy Veezy
Since the beginning of their promo run with their first single “Rumble” NBDMG has been stopping the door early with a very big boot. And it makes sense why hearing rumble for the first time was sort of like a breath of fresh air. Something I needed to play in my car at max volume right before the summer starts. The title itself is an exact representation of how the song feels; the consistent banging of the heaviest bass to be found alongside an eerie yet heavenly melody. Almost like the biggest, baddest titans around coming to the same space to battle it out.
The production from That Guy Veezy coming off of the first single is a sign of amazement in itself; the entire team works within the camp, so everything you hear is the natural in-house sound coming out of the walls of NBDMG. Not to mention the distinct, unforgettable verses by That Guy Veezy & Lonnie G Finesse. Showcasing the lyrical ability within NBDMG. Both verses hold their own styles to them while simultaneously matching the exact vibe of the beat they’re standing over. A perfect introduction into what’s held behind the rest of the black jacket.
“I wanted to make something fun that sounded like us—NBDMG. That was the most important thing. I usually ran the sessions when we were recording the album, so when I made the beats beforehand I just wanted to make sure that we caught a vibe to the beats so it wouldn’t be forced when we actually recorded the songs.” – Nick Diminico
Shortly afterward, another single was released—a single song yes, but also another testament to the diverse sound of music being made in the NBDMG camp. The second single “Cap” is more melodic than its predecessor, nevertheless—it’s still hard. With the melodic flowings of Meechh, Saki & Nick Diminico and heaven-like production from Nick Diminico, “Cap” is an example of just how far across the spectrum of musical genre can reach.
It holds the same lyrical value that its predecessor does with a more cloud nine “higher than high” sound to it. Comforting me, reminding me to worry about the little things later as bigger things approach. Another reflection of just exactly what to expect from Black Jacket–both singles showing the different tones of the album and just how far they’re willing to reach within their access of these sounds.
“We recorded Stunner and Cap in my hometown of Memphis. I wanted to channel my absolute best into my performance there. I thought of my family most when I recorded. I honestly believed the songs we recorded in Memphis would be the best I’d ever done.” – Saki
To be honest, the whole album is full of hits. From more bass-heavy songs like Stunner, Ask For Help, or Too Much to more experimental, melodic sounds like “Whatever,” “Swing,” or “Don’t Stop.” NBDMG hits every nail right on the head, cultivating a truly perfect example of the new sound coming out of Atlanta. It goes without saying that the NBDMG team left a major imprint with this most recent release. This isn’t something to be breezed over and ignored for a later date, as art like this is sometimes the start of a whole new wave. Granted this is their debut project, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the NBDMG team has something monumental on their hands—and who knows what else to expect from them? By offering up such a diverse piece of work, the NBDMG team proves that there’s much more in store for the future of their supporters—that this is truly the beginning of a new era.
“I know that we wanted to do a project that not only showed our skill sets, but also something that felt natural to us. There are 9 of us. Everyone is different. The project needed to be different.” – Jody Quintero
Be sure to check out the NBDMG Instagram and Twitter page to stay up to date with new music and fellow art releases from the collective. Be sure to also give all the separate members a follow as well, as you may never know what one individual may drop out of nowhere. Check out the promo visual for “Rumble,” and stream “Black Jacket” from the service of your choosing here. Thank you for your time, enjoy!