Rolling Out

Atlanta continues influencing hip-hop with Playboi Carti’s new group, HxG

HxG, the new duo signed to Playboi Carti’s Opium label, is creating waves with their electrifying sound
Photography by Gunner Stahl

Beno and Meechie have been friends for years. The duo known as HxG has been praised for their musical chemistry.

“I think growing up together and collaborating together from the time we were younger allowed our chemistry to develop naturally and consistently,” Beno shares. HxG has quickly become one of the most talked about up-and-coming groups in Southern hip-hop.

Besides their musical chemistry, Beno and Meechie grew up in Atlanta under the geographical tutelage of some of today’s biggest names in Southern hip-hop. Meechie recalls how inspired he was after hearing OutKast’s single, “The Way You Move.”

“That song [has] been stuck in my head,” he said. “I rode dirt bikes growing up, and I would listen to OutKast, Alley Boy, and Chief Keef.”

His partner Beno references Gucci Mane, Young Thug and Future as early influences that shaped his musical palate. Another influence that became a part of the duo’s personal success story is rap star Playboi Carti.  The influential rapper launched his Opium label in 2019, right before the pandemic. After meeting the group, Carti took an interest in their music.

“Carti is more like a big brother to us,” Beno explains.

Understanding representation is important. Meechie says he saw how watching Pharrell Williams’ moves impacted his group mate.

Pharrell moved out of the country, which showed Beno different ways of life. He proved that you can achieve global success and still remain a ‘hood star. He never lost himself and can still go back to where he’s from,” Meechie shares. “We mess with Future and Pharrell because they both created something they wanted to see in the industry instead of copying someone else.”

Like the other three acts signed to Playboi Carti’s label, HxG has a unique sound. Instead of focusing on distinct drum patterns and clever lyrics, HxG offers a dark rap sound and aesthetic from the rage rap scene rooted in Atlanta. Like their label mates, HxG’s sound is also heavily influenced by the punk rock sound that became popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Although the group’s impressive numbers suggest commercial appeal, HxG’s sound feels like it’s part of a cult movement. Instead of following the trap sound that has become mainstream for young hip-hop artists, HxG’s sound is raw and authentic. The result of going against the grain has paid off in huge dividends on both social media and downloads, creating a cult-like following that feels grassroots but massive. HxG believes the response is because today’s fans are less tolerant of music that doesn’t come from a bona fide place.

“Our music is real life. It’s authentic,” Beno explains of the group’s success.

HxG says they believe their music reflects what they observe in life without additives. The positive synergy between Beno and Meechie aligns with their solid production, lyrics, and work ethic both in the studio and on stage, connecting with fans.

Atlanta continues influencing hip-hop with Playboi Carti's new group, HxG
Photography by Gunner Stahl

“I don’t think we could choose which we like best out of performing onstage or being in the studio, making music. We love making the music, but then witnessing its impact is the reason we do this, so we can’t choose one,” Meechie says.

Being present in the studio and on stage is the key to the favor HxG seems to receive with every release.

In the spring of 2024, HxG released their single “HIGH VOLTAGE.” This month, they dropped their latest single, “R50,” which immediately garnered almost a million views. The single was the precursor to their upcoming mixtape, I5U5WE5, which is slated for release on May 31, 2024. A fusion of triumphant horns, aural synths, and kinetic percussion, HxG’s upcoming mixtape is certain to feed their growing fan base’s appetite for their sound.

As June kicks off Black Music Month, the duo have stars in their eyes when discussing their goals and aspirations. Beno dreams of winning a Grammy Award and making a lot of hit records without losing track of where they came from or what motivated them to start creating music.

Both Meechie and Beno dream of one day building their own label and becoming influential like two of their other heroes, P and Coach K. Beno says watching Quality Control’s example inspired them from the very beginning because it was the only independent Black label impacting culture for a while.

“We want to keep creating music, but [we also want to] lock in with other artists [who] need that connection to take it to the next level. We want to be able to be artists and not lose ourselves by putting the focus on a lot of other people. We want to [work] with other artists [who] are confident about what they bring to the table, so they are able to keep working on their music and the connections and collaborations benefit everybody involved,” Beno says.

Photography by Gunner Stahl

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