When it comes to rap music, Atlanta has become the capital for some of the game’s biggest stars in recent years. With the likes of Young Thug, Future, and Playboi Carti coming from the Peach State it’s hard not to realize the influence of ATL. But with that, a number of young creatives are hoping to be the next out of the state, and Flacko might just that creative.

For those who don’t know you, who are you and what do you do?

Flacko444 is the name. I’m a rapper and a music engineer.

What was it like growing up for you? Would you say you grew up in a good environment?

It was pretty simple. Just me and my moms type shit. The typical deadbeat dad story y’all know how it goes. But I can honestly say it was smooth until I got to high school. That’s when I started doing stupid shit.

Were you surrounded by music at an early age?

Yeah, even though he wasn’t around my pops used to play guitar for a living with his own band and others. My mom was a singer and had awards for it. She was a lead soprano I think. They always wanted me to play an instrument but I never fucked with any of them.

Does your family know that your currently rapping? Is it something they support?

They just found out like a few months ago. My mom found out randomly at a wedding where my homies were talking too much. I didn’t even want to tell her yet. I wanted to just pop up later in my career about it. But everybody loves it and the music so it’s a satisfying feeling honestly.

When most people think of Atlanta’s underground scene, they’ll probably think of someone like Father or Key!. Are these artists you would say have inspired your artistry?

Most definitely man. Key! is one of my favorite artists period. Father was part of one of my favorite waves in Atlanta. They made me want to go another route sound wise and find my own instead of conforming to the music all around me.

It seems like every year someone new pops into the mainstream out of Atlanta. Lil Baby and Gunna last year and Lil Keed and Lil Gotit this year. That doesn’t even account for the rest of the acts who’ve popped out of the area in recent years. Does this drive you as a creative any knowing that Atlanta loves to put on artists out of their home state specifically?

Most definitely. I think a lot of people have this perception of Atlanta and don’t even realize how many lanes there actually are here in the city for rap music. You see people like Lil Keed or Gunna and a lot of folks will forget that we’ve also given the world EarthGang and JID. The city is honestly amazing and diverse so I know I can carve my own lane out here.

What’s the local scene in your area like?

Honestly where I live specifically it’s really small. Besides me I can name only a handful more of rappers. Hotboy Spook is one. He’s on my tape with me actually as well. So we really just trying to help each other as much as we can.

You often tweet a decent amount about Pi’erre Bourne and Playboi Carti. It seems you take a lot of inspiration from Pierre particularly. Why?

Well the Playboi Carti part really just came from the fact of me watching him from the start and the way he moved and is moving as an artist. It’s more about that than his music. When it comes to Pi’erre Bourne I just resonate with his originality. I know he gets some slander for his simplicity but when you do something right that’s gonna happen. The way he views the rap game and how he chooses who he works with aligns with how I am mentally as well. Dude is really smart man.

You recently just dropped your new album “PLAYING4KEEPS” completely produced by Geeez and entirely mixed and mastered by yourself. What’s the background behind the project?

I started all of this with Geeez. Like I literally had just started rapping and as a joke I told him he should produce. He literally went and bought a shitty laptop at the time. Found a way to get FL and then the next year started getting better. He’s literally like my brother at this point and it’s dope to already have that connection that a lot of producers/artists crave for.

What’s the inspiration for the name of the project?

The name came randomly. I wanted to just name the tape something else that I can’t even remember anymore. I’ve been going through a lot of shitty ups and downs lately that also slowed the process of dropping the tape. It’s just with the position I’m in at life right now I’m literally playing for keeps with everything. My music. My relationships. Money. Everything.

Although you might not consider yourself an underground veteran, is there anything you’d like to see changed in the underground? What do you think is a positive for the scene right now?

Changed? Just the clones honestly. I don’t think people try enough to find individuality. Positively is just seeing people pay more attention to the underground and realizing we’re the ones next.

What do you enjoy outside of music?

I still skate and hoop a lot. I like to work on and build cars as well that’s my favorite hobby.

Who are your biggest inspirations musically? Would you collaborate with them given the chance?

Wiz Khalifa. Pierre. Jay-Z. Wiz is the biggest one for sure. I won’t feel like I did enough musically if I never make a song with him.

Is there any other music on the way this year?

Most definitely. I’m already working on the next tape which is going to be fully produced by MadRussian. I’m trying to drop that around November. Me and Geeez already have enough for another tape so I don’t know how or when we gonna make that one happen as well.

Lastly, do you have any shout-outs you’d like to give to your friends and fans?

Shout-out to everybody that’s listening to the new album man. I’m glad people appreciating it and telling me it was worth the wait! Shout-out to Underground Vampire Club, Carssere, JD, Bernie, Kardii, Geeez, Spook, Kusco, Woo, Jonah, Manish, Jaleel, Mon! Everybody that’s been around through the process for real.