There are over 150 miles between Montgomery and Mobile, Alabama, but the difference between the cities is far less. One is a large urban center and the other is a smaller, coastal town. Both are cities with large impoverished populations, and both have direct ties to the Civil Rights Movement.
For Rubberband OG and Posa, the focus is more on the present than the past. “We both come from cities that have a lot of crime and violence.” Rubberband OG explains, “You don’t really spend a lot of time thinking about our cities in a historical context when you just tryin’ to live.”
One half of 2 Sides of Da Bottom, Rubberband OG, was born Cortez Oates and raised in Montgomery, AL in the Tulane Court housing project. “I didn’t ever really leave my neighborhood until a couple years ago so my lyrics reflect my life and the things I have seen in my hood,” states Rubberband OG.
A similar sentiment that Mobile native Posa shares, “I think that everybody has a story,” he says, “In Alabama, things are just a little rougher. It’s slower down there. Sometimes it seems like we get everything last.”
Born Karvin Jones, Posa originally aspired to a sports career. While an injury ended his sports career, he kept his motivation and channeled his energy into his other love—rap music. His sports background may account for some of the rhythm that he brings to his verses. “Posa is more of a singer than me,” Rubberband OG says explaining their differences.
The two met when they both signed to TIG Records, home to Trinidad Jame$, Rich Homie Quan and YFN Lucci. Hanging out in TIG Studios, the two Alabama rappers had such a complementary style together that they caught the attention of the label’s A&R Bigga Rankin. “He was like, ‘Y’all should do a project,” Rubberband OG states, “Being that we are both from Alabama, it made sense.” Posa agrees that recording the project came easy, “We got in there and started working and we were done in about a week.”
The resulting project, 2 Sides of Da Bottom, is a strong representation of the Alabama natives. “I think we just have a chemistry,” Posa says, “I bounce off his ideas, he bounces off my ideas.” Both ideas come together to make a strong, cohesive project with a diverse subject matter that reflects both artists.
The intro track, “Packs from Cali,” is one of Rubberband OG’s favorite tracks, the track is a bop for the trappers, detailing the good, bad, and the ugly of the streets. Posa favors the most introspective track on the album, “Burn One.” An anthem for smokers, Posa says, “I don’t really smoke like that, but this is one of those songs where you see so much or you go through so much that you just wanna burn one.” He explains that the song came from personal experiences and how he learned how to release the pressure.
“One of my other favorites on the album is ‘Even Better,’” Posa says, “That was inspired by real life,” he says with a laugh. The song is about a woman who is “even better,” than the girl he had before her. “She cook even better, she listen even better, she even f**k me even better.” The song is destined to be on regular rotation in Atlanta’s infamous strip clubs.
The chemistry between the rappers who didn’t know each other in their native Alabama is clear, there’s a balance on the album that seems to come naturally. On the lead song, “Enemies,” the two alternate back and forth while lamenting the inevitable, seeing friends turn into enemies. At just over two minutes, the track is impactful as the album turns darker in the second half.
“Enemies is just one of those songs where our styles just fit together,” says Rubberband OG. The second half of the album shows the personal growth of both artists. On “Use To,” Rubberband OG takes the lead talking about his former life, “I done came a long way/I was broke/in the trap hoping 12 don’t kick the door,” he raps on the bridge while trying out his own singing style on the hook.
The last track, “Big Dogg Sh*t,” ends the album on a high note. One of the most up-tempo songs on the album, it’s optimistic in its flow. “That’s the one right there,” Posa says, “We letting you know, we ain’t leaving nothing on the table. We on everything. Whatever you on, we on it.”
“On the album, you get both of our sides of one story,” says Posa, “We are two different artists. We got two different styles, and deliveries, but we still come together to make one solid project. We both from the very bottom, and we’re giving you two sides of it.”