Photo courtesy of Gaten / The Flip
For East Atlanta rapper Gaten, “glitching out” just comes natural. “I get on beats and glitch out, I go crazy, so I’m the Glitch God,” he said describing his upcoming mixtape, as the 25-year-old ATL emcee looks to level up big in 2023.
Stemming from his certified street hit “Hummin,” which has amassed over 180,000 views on YouTube, Gaten’s beginnings in rap derive from pivoting his life altogether. While his songs outwardly narrate his experiences in the street, Gaten finds the most solace in the studio — ultimately changing his life for the better because of it.
“I came from the real slums of the Eastside,” he said. “But after taking a lost of one of my best friends, I knew I had to take a different path. My dad was always in the industry so it made sense to try music and I ended up loving it — it changed my life.”
Consistently dropping music since 2016, records in 6 Dread God (2019) and his latest Opp-eration Z6ne (2021) showcase Gaten’s pure Atlantan sound — following the lineage of the ATL’s upper echelon of street spitters. With undertones of classic Young Thug, Lil Baby and Lil Keed (a la “2024”), Gaten’s crisp mix of heavy 808s and atmospheric trap seep into his rather soothing bravado. It’s all real for Gaten, who praises past Atlanta icons for inspiring him to craft his own signature sauce.
Tracks like “1 Time,” “Weight Up,” “2024” and “Hummin” all bring something different to the table, proving Gaten’s creative vision is as clear as he intends it to be. “I feel like I paint pictures with my lyrics,” he said. “Each song is almost like a self portrait because it’s my everyday life just in the art form of music.”
As “Hummin” continues to make noise in the heart of the ATL and beyond, bigger stages are on the horizon for Gaten. Performing at Beer N Tacos at SXSW in Austin, Texas this week as well as opening for Lil Keed prior to his passing, Gaten recalls how the late YSL rapper impacted him when they were in sessions together. “He always told me stick to what I’m doing — don’t switch up the sound [and] the streets will start eating up the drip!”
On the cusp of surpassing local stardom, Gaten’s Glitch God is poised to propel the rapper to new heights. Hoping to attain a collaboration with his idol and fellow East Atlanta native Future one day, Glitch God — which is set for release in April — is just the start of his origin story.
Check out Gaten below!
Q&A w/ Gaten…
OGM: For fans that don’t know Gaten, how would you describe your sound?
GATEN: “I like describe my sound as one straight from the bricks! A raw and gritty delivery that will have you feeling every word I say.“
OGM: What is the best representation of yourself as an artist?
GATEN: “I feel like I paint pictures with my lyrics, each song is almost like a self portrait cause it’s my everyday life just in the art form of music.“
OGM: Where did the name Gaten come from?
GATEN: “The name Gaten is actually one I came up with on my own. I feel like I’m Gaten, Gaten is me!“
OGM: You’re from Atlanta – a hot-bed for rap icons of past, present and future. How has the city shaped your ear for music?
GATEN: “I feel like being from Atlanta is a blessing! I got the chance to hear so many different sounds cause all the rap icons from here have their own style. Seeing and hearing that really gave me the gas to create my own signature sound.“
OGM: What is one all-time dead or alive Atlanta collaboration you’d want to make happen?
GATEN: “I’d have to say my ultimate collab would be with Future. We both from East Atlanta, I feel like we could create some legendary songs.“
OGM: I saw you opened for Lil Keed in the past: Can you speak on the potential impact he made on you? Any advice he gave you early on?
GATEN: “Long Live Keed! He definitely impacted me with his energy he had the sessions live! He always told me stick to what I’m doing, don’t switch up the sound and the streets will start eating up the drip!“
OGM: “Hummin” is the lead single off your forthcoming mixtape: How have you reacted to the reception the track has garnered?
GATEN: “I’m still taking in all the love I been getting since dropping ‘Hummin.’ I’ve dropped singles in the past, but the people really been rocking with ‘Hummin’ — it’s a blessing!“
OGM: What’s next from here in evolving your sound and continuing to build your brand/catalog?
GATEN: “I plan on really seeing more of the world, having experiences in life that inspire me. All of my music is my reality, so the more I live life the more I can build my sound, brand, and catalog.“
OGM: Was it always about music?
GATEN: “I came from the real slums of the Eastside so it was the streets first, but after taking a lost of one of my best friends I knew I had to take a different path. My dad was always in the industry so it made sense to try music and I ended up loving it, it changed my life.“
OGM: When did you first realize you had a talent/passion for rap?
GATEN: “I was 16, I had lost my childhood best friend and I was looking for different way to live my life. That’s really the first time I took music seriously.”
OGM: A huge vault: You said in a past interview that you have 500 songs recorded. Are there any tracks in particular you’re itching to release?
GATEN: “If I could I would release all of them… I feel like I make music for everyone so they need to hear it all. You might not like 10 songs but I got 60 more you’ll love. ‘Glitch God’ got some bangers on there too, I’m ready to drop them all.”
OGM: You performed at SXSW this week, were you excited for that? What do you hope new fans gain out of seeing you perform?
GATEN: Yes, I’m ready to hit them big stages. This will be my second time going. I’m excited to turn up with the crowd, I love seeing and meeting new fans… I hope [they] gain some inspiration seeing me perform. I get on the stage and leave my heart and soul… I hope new fans can see and feel that with every performance.”
OGM: You have a mixtape ‘Glitch God’ dropping sometime next month, care to divulge what the title means to you?
GATEN: “The title ‘Glitch God’ comes from being in the hood seeing crazy s*** go down everyday. Me and the bros see it and say ‘them boys glitching out.’ I get on beats and glitch out, I go crazy, so I’m the ‘Glitch God’… No features, you getting all Gaten! I was blessed to get some wise words from my family GoodGame Auntie — an Atlanta OG that’s on my song ‘Triple Cross.’ You can expect to hear club bangers, street anthems, just real raw music.“
OGM: Looking back on when you were just starting your career, what is some advice you would say to your younger self?
GATEN: “I would tell my self keep going, keep pushing your sound the world will catch up later and keep your circle tight and don’t trust easily.“
OGM: What’s your message for Our Generation?
GATEN: “My message for Our Generation is to keep evolving. Growth is what you need to get to the next level of life.“