Atlanta rapper Yung Marley’s listening party was not your typical industry experience (Event Review)

Photo: Owen Rogers
Photo: Owen Rogers

The Shark Bakery are the new legends of Atlanta. Formidable in their business approach, this team lead by Yung Marley has stolen the hearts of the city’s budding stoner community. They are tapped into the bubbling underground culture that contrasts the city’s slick aesthetic. Everybody under 25 knows the strain “Sharklato” and the crew that has made a lane out of loud.

The collective planned a proper rollout cleverly named, “Shark Week”, where each day there would be various events. GRUNGECAKE was invited to their kickoff listening party and meet and greet. This was not your typical industry party. This festivity was self-funded, and I mean that in the best way possible. The level of personal care and Atlanta hospitality was prevalent; it did not have that empty industry feeling. Don Julio’s 1942 and Moet was filled to the brim with Dave’s scrumptious cheesesteak egg rolls and American Deli wings to coat the stomach. The party was held at the unsuspecting MET, a former ducked off space transformed into an edgy mixed-use development. The industrial space was cloaked in art from floor to ceiling giving early Williamsburg vibes.

I arrived earlier than most and was able to take in the kind demeanour of staff hustling and bustling to get things in perfect order. It was endearing watching this crew of unassuming gift wrappers assemble swag packages in support of their close friend. That moment conveyed the self-determination of the brand. It wasn’t perfect, but that’s the beauty of the story. Being around their evolution is inspiring. It is one of the reasons Yung Marley has such a cult following.

Initially, I was expecting the regular, a room full of people socialising, drinking and ignoring the music, but experienced quite the opposite. There were chairs set up for a Q&A. We were AirDropped a Google Doc to review the music. The crowd was open and eager to show love. The Big Shark, himself, sat there with his energy beaming while countless Atlanta mainstays like Trinidad James and Sonny Digital poured love into this project. He eagerly led us through each snippet of the album answering questions about the musical journey that occurred.

Yung Marley, a Gemini, played it cool, but underneath the glasses I can tell that he was overwhelmed by the positivity in the air. It felt like he had spent countless hours waiting for this very day. The music itself is vibrant, fun and timely. His manager Rosario revealed that Marley spent at least a year working on this album. Check out the hallmark of this artist’s lifetime via this link on ‘Big Shark’.

Words by Sade Wilkins

Written by Manny King John

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