Rapper Slatt Zy from Chattanooga, Tennessee is blowing up right now. The 18-year old displays to the world just how his neighborhood molded him into the man he is today with his new project, East Lake Projects. The title is named after the housing development he was raised in with his musically inclined family of 11 brothers and sisters. Listeners will quickly recognize Slatt Zy’s effortless flow, which moves from melodic, growled bars to more mournful, introspective lines. This is what makes Zy’s musical arsenal so versatile.
“East Lake Projects is where I became a man. It was tough to value life there, and getting over that made me a man. To me it’s more than projects – it’s my family, and we got through together. 17 people in 2 rooms, 12 people sleeping on one floor – granny, 11 siblings, auntie. We been through struggles together,” he says.“We been through everything -shootouts, hungriness, shoeless, people dying. East Lake Projects is where all my problems came from and made me grown early, but my happy times came from there too. I couldn’t imagine any other way to be. The projects may have given me scars and bruises, but also motivated me to be the nigga I am today.”
This is Zy’s second release of 2020. He made his first entry back in April with his debut, Zy Story. He introduced audiences to his unique vocal approach and innate ear for melody. With people starting to know Zy’s name, the Tennessee native takes a different approach with his latest piece of work. On East Lake Projects, the artist showcases a more vulnerable, personal side.
On the first track, “Straight Out Them Projects,” Zy wastes no time to set the tone of the record. Over melancholic piano chords, he sings, “We come from poverty / We had to find a way / Straight out them projects, ain’t had shit, I had to find a way.” The focus on East Lake Projects is Zy’s childhood as he aims to shine a light on the community he grew up in and the violence that still plagues it. For a young artist, like Zy to make an album about his upbringing, shows great maturity.
The first video from East Lake Projects came back in October when Zy released the video for “How It Go (feat. Hotboii),” which is at nearly a million views. On the track, Zy takes on the vivacious hook while Hotboii delivers smooth melodic verses. The song is one of the more playful, freewheeling cuts on the project, showing that even when Slatt Zy is exploring his emotions, he’s able to turn up too. Other standout tracks from the project include “3 K’s (We On That Same Shit)”, “Last Dance”, and “First Year” featuring Pooh Shiesty.
Tennessee has emerged as a hip-hop juggernaut as of late and Slatt Zy has turned into another prospect to watch. East Lake Projects is out now on all streaming platforms.