Atlanta Hawks tap hit producer Mr. Hanky to liven up in-game music — Andscape

“True to Atlanta.”

The Atlanta Hawks’ mantra manner extra than just profitable video games — it additionally manner giving lovers the most efficient revel in imaginable, and that incorporates including certainly one of the most up to date manufacturers in hip-hop to their roster.

Mr. Hanky, born Corey Dennard, is becoming a member of the Hawks to produce unique tracks to be performed at State Farm Arena all season, beginning Wednesday, when the crew will open its season in opposition to the Houston Rockets. The East Atlanta local and Southern University alum has collaborated with hip-hop stars comparable to Gucci Mane, Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Yo Gotti and Young Dolph and is thought of as one of the crucial staples of Atlanta’s music scene.

“We are always looking for organic and creative ways to integrate Atlanta’s world-renowned music talent into our game experience,” mentioned Joe Abercrombie, senior vp of reside revel in and manufacturing for the Hawks. “Having the opportunity to add unique tracks from one of the hottest producers in Mr. Hanky gives us the opportunity to create an atmosphere that is undeniably true to Atlanta.”

It used to be Abercrombie who first of all proposed throughout the offseason that the Hawks suppose extra seriously about what music to play throughout video games. 

“We are the only sport that actually plays music when the ball is inbounded and in play across all the major sports. In particular the NBA and Atlanta Hawks are a very progressive league and team; hip-hop is at the front and center,” he mentioned. “As Atlanta we feel no one should be able to do this better than us.” 

Enter Mr. Hanky. The producer spoke with Andscape about how he’s taking a look to just do that, drawing on courses discovered from DJing at Southern, his Atlanta roots and his paintings with town’s most sensible music artists.

You’ve been very constant the closing seven years, with a singular sound rooted in a deep bass however custom-tailored to each and every artist. How do you hope to channel that power with the Hawks?

Just to do the similar factor. I used to be a DJ as smartly, so at Southern University, once I would do a birthday party, and in an previous clip from a homecoming birthday party, it went from no person there to over 3,000 other folks. In the ones 3,000 other folks you’ve got the Louisiana house, Houston and all over the place the rustic. So you’ve got to be very observant of the group and browse the room in an overly literal sense. I take that very same part once I’m growing to see other folks like this, other folks didn’t like that, let’s do extra of this. So that’s like being a DJ, as a result of you realize what they would like, which leads to longevity and numerous nice good fortune.

With that longevity, you discussed going to Southern, the place you were given your nickname from an upperclassman within the band. How a lot did Southern affect you, in addition to your mother, who had a classical music background, and your sister who’s a clarinet participant?

All of the ones issues influenced me. My mom lately had a live performance at Atlanta United First Methodist Church at the pipe organ. Growing up round a majority of these rehearsals and gazing your mother play the pipe organ is one thing in itself. My sister and I each picked up on music; she even went to Southern with me and were given her grasp’s from University of Michigan in music training. From delivery listening to music in the home to within the automotive, it performed an enormous function in me entering music.

You’ve been running with artists comparable to T.I., Soulja Boy, 2 Chainz, Lil Duval – all other folks from or who’ve spent vital time in Atlanta. What’s one thing you in finding to be a commonality between those artists?

They’re all the time so unique, authentically them. They’re telling their actual fact, their actual tale, all the time. It’s one thing you don’t in finding that steadily. I feel that’s what made them and made them keep for goodbye.

The Hawks are based totally in Atlanta, which is a mecca for hip-hop and has been one of the crucial distinguished spaces for the way within the closing decade. How do you suppose hip-hop and basketball tie into each and every different?

I feel it’s an enormous phase. Basketball is the one main recreation that has a soundtrack throughout the entire recreation. You would possibly pass to a soccer recreation and listen to clips of a music each and every blue moon, however [in basketball] it’s actually part of the material of the entire recreation. The tradition of the sport – it’s the one recreation hip-hop actually is going into the full revel in.

Corey, you grew up right here. Now you’re a staple of the Atlanta sound and hip-hop historical past. What does it imply to be “true to Atlanta” to you?

Being local to Atlanta, I’m partial to the entire Atlanta sports activities groups. Whether we win, lose or draw, I’m there. It manner the whole thing to me, from being within the band at Southern – that used to be massive – to the entire accolades within the music trade. But to in fact be running with the Hawks is very large! It’s like a dream come true, you running with the house crew you grew up gazing. You put your all into it as a result of you realize what it manner to be ‘true to Atlanta.’ You know what it manner to see the brand, while you see children with the Hawks equipment on across the group. They constructed a brand new LED signal throughout from Centennial Park, and I be mindful a child gazing it in amazement like, ‘Wow!’ So to see that and know what it manner to that child strikes a chord in my memory of the nostalgia of me seeing that as a child. So it’s the whole thing, being true to Atlanta, all issues A-T-L always and the spirit of town.

I do know in earlier interviews you’ve mentioned that once in a while other folks don’t all the time know what they would like to listen and you have got to give that to them. How has social media modified music and the way you undergo your ingenious procedure?

You can’t forget about social media; it has impacted how the whole thing on the earth strikes. One of the primary artists I labored with when changing into a certified producer used to be Soulja Boy due to us being at the similar label, Collipark Music. I be mindful simply seeing him and his crew after his first or 2d display operating again to the bus to get on their laptops, which no longer everybody had on the time. I used to be puzzled like, “What are y’all doing?” They mentioned they have got to hurry up for the lovers ready on MyArea to see the content material. He used to be the primary particular person I noticed use YouTube, and to be part of that used to be a blessing to see the previous regime of the way we do issues to a front-row seat of the place we are actually. In HBCU [historically Black college and university] band tradition with the Human Jukebox [Southern’s marching band], we had been one of the crucial first HBCU band methods with our personal media crew. Shout-out to the blokes who run the media crew. Seeing how that labored and adjusted band tradition to the music aspect, I take it all into consideration when making those tracks. They no longer simplest have to be scorching for the sport but in addition social media, which is an entire other ballgame.

Scott Lipscomb is a mass communications pupil from Prince George’s County, Maryland. He does postgame interviews for the Xavier males’s and ladies’s basketball groups and is helping edit and convey for XU Media, Xavier’s pupil media outlet. He has additionally contributed content material to the WHUR radio station web page. “I am looking forward to being a sponge and expanding on my journalism skills, as well as getting a chance to cover different athletes.”

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