By Jack Barnes
A Bay Area transplant who became an influential figure in the Atlanta trap scene, Figg Panamera, formerly known as JT The Bigga Figga, is an established OG and a respected businessman. Flashing a melodic and powerful flow over a swirling piano-led beat from Cassius Jay, Figg shares his secrets for success alongside Kevin Gates on “Phone Ringing.” Enjoy this video stream below after the jump.
The video, premiered today by VIBE, finds the two southern rap impresarios rendered in 3D, video-game style animation. Inspired by the Grand Theft Autoseries, the video finds the rappers’ digital avatars packing heat, running from the police, dancing in bandos, and riding in the game’s finest sports cars. A highlight from Figg’s Cali Boy Down South, “Phone Ringing” is an infectious slice of anthemic trap, and an excellent representation of Figg’s combination of Bay Area and ATL sensibilities. “Phone Ringing” is the second visual released off Cali Boy Down South, following the FADER-premiered “Money Talk,” which features a guest spot from 21 Savage.
“My Philly partner hooked it up between me and the GTAV Skit Boyz,” Figg Panamera explained to VIBE. “Kevin Gates got sentenced to 30 months, I want to help keep his name out and keep his buzz going… When Kevin Gates started his own label around 2012/13, I helped mentor him about digital distribution and running an indie label. We talked a lot about trapping and the important of keeping your phone busy. He’s a phone fanatic. He came up with the concept of ‘Phone Ringing’ and this was before his big hit ‘2 Phones.’ With me and him, the phone stay ringing.”
Born in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, JT The Bigga Figga started Get Low Recordz in 1991, gathering some of the most talented emcees and producers in the Bay Area and releasing over 20 albums per year in the ’90s. In 1993, JT dropped “Game Recognize Game,” one of the first hyphy hits. After producing and rhyming on hundreds of tracks in the Bay Area and elsewhere, with his production appearing on albums by the likes of The Game and Master P, JT relocated to Atlanta in the late ’00s, founding the label Fillmoelanta and changing his name to Figg Panamera. In Atlanta, Figg leant his experience and wisdom to artists and producers in the city’s bustling Hip-Hop scene, mentoring Zaytovenand working with artists like Young Thug and Young Scooter. With Cali Boy Down South, Figg reasserts his influence in the Bay and Atlanta scenes and creates an addictive, brilliantly produced trap album.
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