Squalle's Iconic Soul

Squalle's Iconic Soul

Athens, GA won’t be able to keep him a secret for long.

Squalle's Iconic Soul

Athens, GA won’t be able to keep him a secret for long.

In October 2018, I saw a poster for a local Athens, GA hip hop show. And as any given hip hop fan does, I dug a little deeper into who was performing. I came across Squalle, listened to a few songs, and looked away from my phone for a moment to question why I had never heard of him before. I immediately messaged him to tell him I was coming to the show and wanted to talk to him in person. This man was genuine.

After seeing Squalle perform five times over the next six months, I can absolutely confirm that his stage personality is his real personality. And his most recent album Iconic Soul is a product of this sincerity.

Squalle was drawn to music early at nine years old. This does not surprise me in the slightest, as his ability to structure his songs and projects with a coherent purpose implies a certain maturity that new rappers just don’t have. While the Athens, GA rap scene is often overshadowed by the nearby powerhouse of Atlanta, Squalle understands his role in Athens and is a clear figurehead of the city. Anyone who catches one of Squalle’s sets will understand his charisma, which reminds me of J Cole’s ability to deliver positive messages in a digestible form.

Iconic Soul showcases Squalle’s honesty. He shares his perspective on life’s relatable processes, examines the state of the rap game, and of course sprinkles some braggadocious wordplay in where appropriate. Tracks like “Drip” and “Better Days” highlight his ability to collaborate, as he proficiently exchanges energy with featured artists Kxng Blanco, Clayt, and Minnie Lea. Iconic Soul has bouncy production too. He gives Meek Mill a run for his money on “Iconic Soul Intro” and rides the one-of-a-kind tune of “Stadium” to a tee. However, my personal favorite song on the project is “Local Politics.” The beat is soulful. Why wouldn’t it be? He breaks down the rap game as a microcosm of society in such a digestible way that makes it easy to share the song with any member of Generation X who discounts rap as a legitimate genre. Boom. Now they have a song stuck in their head and have reconsidered hip hop’s rationality.

Squalle has been frustrated, but doesn’t sulk in the presence of adversity. It is this assertive tone spread throughout his bars that proves he is a natural leader. He is looking to tour more this year so that he can relate to more crowds across the country. Be on the lookout for posters. Athens, GA won’t be able to keep him a secret for long.

Iconic Soul is available anywhere you listen to music.

Check out his recently released music video for “Iconic Soul Intro” here:

Squalle's IG: @squalle_shottem