Words by Kiah McBride
Tucked away on a gritty block off of Peters Street is a world where the artists, nonconformists and individualists gather together to celebrate the one thing that they have in common—a love of art and the culture. The artists-in-residence are students of their craft. It’s made evident in the carefully blended colors of the wall art, the hypnotic beats filtering through the shop, and the steady buzz of the needle gun embedding portraits onto soft skin.
City of Ink is where you go to be tatted by some of the best, and where underground talent gets the respect that they deserve. It was only fitting that rapper Chris “Tuki” Carter would host his listening party for his latest release Tuki Tape in the city that he helped to build from the ground up, and that nurtured his vision both as a tattoo artist and now a hip-hop lyricist.
On Monday night a moderate crowd gathered to hear the Taylor Gang artist debut his new mixtape, which includes a couple of feature tracks from Wiz Khalifah. Fans sipped from plastic cups and smacked on half-racks of ribs (which were apparently better than a blunt according to some), while listening to Tuki’s braggadocio rhymes and syrupy melodies. Of course, what would a Taylor Gang tape be without tracks dedicated to living the high life, stacking cash, and smashing freaks?
Throughout the night the Atlanta native stepped down from his place high above the crowd and embraced the friends and fans that have been riding with him from day one, giving back the love that his city has shown him.
Check out the photos from the event below, and download Tuki Tape here.