Awful Records' "Awful Days" Captures The Good, Bad And Awful Of A Homegrown Music Collective
At the beginning of Awful Days is an intricate family tree that captures how the 17 member Awful Records came to be. From there the short film offers a glimpse into the lives of the people that define Awful: a group of twenty something creative misfits living and working together to achieve success on their own terms.
This is the house that Father has built. Tommy Genesis calls the Awful Records founder the “glue” that keeps everything together, and Abra acknowledges his ability to see people’s talents “way before they see the potential in themselves.” The result is an ever growing collective that offers so much, each member different from the other. The scenes then shoot through the artists on the roster: the smooth and southern rap bounce of Archibald Slim; the charismatic and infectious hooks of RichPoSlim; the bizarre and slurred sing-songs of Slug Christ; the “Broke Boi” mastermind (and youngest member of Awful) Playboi Carti; and the airy and soulful croons of Abra.
“Everyone’s individual style is starkly different,” Awful’s primary illustrator Bootymath, explains. “You can draw a line between each person.”
The distinctions between each member is arguably what makes Awful so easy to classify as “weird,” but that’s what also makes the collective so interesting, which is what the film successfully hones in on. All of these individuals coexisting under one roof, figuring themselves and their artistry out — the good, bad and awful that comes with it all. There’s great moments throughout Awful Days: hearing each member speak so highly of one another; and them simply hanging out, getting drunk and high and throwing fireworks at each other. Then there’s more poignant ones, such as GAHM revisiting the apartment complex where he was shot, or Slug discussing his drug addiction.
“My relationship with drugs is like any addict’s relationship with drugs,” Slug explains. “If I don’t fucking like it I’ll run away — fuck a problem man I might not solve it, I might just leave it there.” For some reason I thought of the Chris Holmes scene from The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years when Slug said this. Yes, drugs are a reality and (for some) a part of the artistic process. But it’s something that resonates with you, especially when the guy on screen is your age. But Awful serves just as much as a family and home, than an outlet for creative expression. “All of us have gone through something whether it be traumatic or us losing someone or not having anybody,” Ethereal explains. So it’s understandable when the members of Awful compare RichPoSlim to their “drunk uncle” or Tommy Genesis as their “little sister.” You get that familial dynamic from the footage: they may piss each other off at times, but overall you’ve got a group of people that look at each other more as friends and confidants than anything else.
Awful Days is an engaging and entertaining look into one of music’s most interesting collectives, and it’ll be interesting to see how the Awful family grows in time.