¿Téo? | “Final Step”
Colombian-American artist Mateo Arias, known more widely as ¿Téo?, may be based in Los Angeles now, but in interviews, he’ll credit the communities and sounds of his hometown Atlanta (he grew up in suburban Lawrenceville) as having sculpted his identity and sound.
Before he began to pen and deliver verses in both Spanish and English, Arias got his start in show business as an actor, starring in the Disney XD series Kickin’ It. As a solo act, he released his self-titled debut album in 2018, then three years later followed up with Sol. A third collection of songs, Luna, is set to drop imminently.
Baby Tate | “Hey Mickey!”
More than 40 years ago, Toni Basil’s “Mickey” climbed to the top of the charts thanks to the peppy chants, youthful energy and candy-coated pop vibes. It may surprise no one, then, that hip-hop dynamo Baby Tate, who gives the source material a major tongue-in-cheek upgrade with her remix, told Billboard magazine that she was a major fan of the 2000 cheerleading classic Bring It On. That film and this tune both inhabit a world of heavy squad drama.
Baby Tate originally released a version of “Hey Mickey!” in 2016, back when she still had Yung at the front of her name, which went viral on TikTok. Thanks to that boost from social media, she gave this an added oomph with the addition of featured rapper Saweetie. And if you watch this and still need more Baby Tate content (who doesn’t?), check out a recent episode of the NPR podcast Louder Than a Riot, which details the war she handily won against body-shaming trolls online.
Jack Turner | “Why Not the Best?” (Jimmy Carter campaign song, 1976)
Picture it: 1976, and the campaign jingle business is booming. Along comes this folksy little number, ready to blast a simple Georgia peanut farmer into the stratosphere! And yes, it’s quite cheesy (listen to that almost stereotypically ’70s guitar solo during Carter’s speech excerpt). And yet, you have to admit it’s still one heckuva earworm and worthy of our Vintage Track of the Week.
“Why not the best” is also a strangely prescient lyric, given that the best was still to come for the one-time holder of the nation’s highest office. President Carter, who announced in February that he had entered hospice care at the age of 98, built a powerful post-Presidential legacy that may never be matched. Earning him a 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, his work through the Carter Center in health and human rights is staggering. (For real, guys — he’s almost completely eradicated guinea worm!) “Once and for all” — I mean, he really was the actual best.
For his part, composer/performer Jack Turner, a UGA grad, won a Clio for composing this campaign song. As is only right and just in this world.
Be sure to check out our Atlanta Soundtrack playlist below!