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“The whole feel that I’m going for with my new project is that whole grittiness,” Wara From The NBHD said to Atlanta’s 3 Little Digs back in 2013, describing the ideal sound as, “some type of rock sh*t,” later in the discussion. A little over a year later, the bubbling wordsmith’s vision came to fruition via Kidnapped, a lush 11-track concept album that’s as sonically captivating as it is lyrically.

Every great story requires some expert level of foreshadowing. And for Wara, a relatively new face among Atlanta’s ever-popular rap scene, this tale shows growth and promise.

The project, which was written, arranged and produced by the up-and-comer, follows the journey of a musically-inclined kid named “Piano Lessons,” a “light-skinned rebel” with box braids who’s torn between honing his craft and running the streets. In seeing how the conflicted youth navigates the hectic urban terrain, Wara does a diligent job to paint the picture of how that life is sometimes forced upon those who live it.

Listeners are chronically bombarded with visually stimulating rhymes like, “Two cell phones, you know the drug dealer perks/ Tube socks on where I’m holding all the work,” while ambitious sonics work other senses.

Simply put, we see Wara, 24, making a huge splash in Hip-Hop. Keep reading and find out why.

Who: Wara From The NBHD (Neighborhood)–born Jawara Barnett in the Big Apple, only to relocate to ATL prior to his teenage years–possesses the kind of thoughtfulness that infers a long career lies ahead. He speaks with purpose both on and off the microphone, but he doesn’t over share.

Credentials: It’s best to compare Wara’s talent to a NBA draft pick, which is as finicky a selection process as any. He doesn’t rely on big name affiliations, but 2013’s The Ill Street Blues and his most recent opus, Kidnapped, are proof that if he were to somehow slip to the second round, remember that Manu Ginobli did the same.  

Fun Fact: While Wara takes pride in his craft and has been known to tell a hell of a story on wax, he’s can often be seen in father mode kicking it with his son.

Photo: Matt McGinley

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