For up-and-coming Savannah rapper Pote Baby, known for “In the Kitchen,” “Yams” and “Yamacraw Yetti,” success means more than personal recognition and financial rewards.
True to his roots, Pote, who derives his moniker from Savannah’s nickname as the “C-Port,” wants to share his recent success with local residents and pave the way for new young artists to make it big.
Prompted by these ideals, Pote is hosting the second annual Pote Day from Sept. 10-12. The three-day, free event incorporates activities and giveaways for the community, an opportunity to learn from experts in the entertainment industry as well as the launch of new music and a live concert.
Pote Day 2021 is building on the success and popularity of the inaugural Pote Day in 2020 when Pote gave away 100 pairs of Reeboks to lower income and disenfranchised families at 520 Tavern, a local, black-owned restaurant. Pote also signed autographs and took pictures with local fans. Pote said the original Pote Day was inspired by his memories of community events in his youth growing up in the Live Oak neighborhood off 38th and Waters.
“I really just wanted to have something that the community could come out to,” Pote said. “I wanted to bring that sense of community back to Savannah.”
Pote said the event was a hit with locals.
“People loved it,” Pote said. “When I put up the flyer for this year people had been waiting for it and people who missed the event last year knew they didn’t want to miss this one.”
Pote expanded the event this year both because he wanted to make sure more people in the community could attend and because he and his team couldn’t fit all their ideas into just one day.
“I always want to do things bigger and better every year whether that’s Pote Day or my music – just everything,” Pote said.
The weekend will kick off with a game night at the AMF Savannah Lanes bowling alley, from 7 p.m. until close. In conjunction with the event Pote will drop the Pote Day EP. Asked what fans should expect, Pote didn’t give much away. But he did say it would be something the city hasn’t heard before, it would feature SwankMadeDis and it would be a good time.
The next day Pote Baby’s Manager and Business Partner Donny Slater will moderate a panel discussion with three music industry professionals on the Savannah State University campus.
The event, which starts at noon, will be open to the public and live streamed. The panel features Rico Brooks, CEO of Adella Thomas Management, a full-service talent management agency based in Atlanta, Byron Wright, executive director of creative for Broadcast Music Inc. in Atlanta and Renaldo Nehemiah, an Atlanta-based stylist whose clients include Ludacris, Chingy and Anthony Hamilton.
The final day, Sept. 12 (912, just like the area code) will start with a community service project to clean up Skidaway Road. Following the clean-up, Pote will host a block party with CJ the DJ from 3-7 p.m. at 520 Tavern, 8820 Abercorn St. Clothing designer and event sponsor Lifted Research Group (LRG) is giving away book bags, school supplies and polo shirts for local low-income children. The free, rooftop concert will start at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast to LRG’s 600,000 Instagram followers.
Slater said the LRG Instagram Takeover was a natural fit. According to its website, LRG is focused on supporting independent, underground artists through its clothing and concepts.
“LRG has been a big brand since we were young,” Slater said. “Their mission statement falls in line with what Pote is trying to do, which is to build a new Savannah.”
Pote said the concert will feature hits from his debut self-titled EP “Pote Baby” as well as brand new songs from the “Pote Day” EP and some local favorites. His lead single “In the Kitchen” debuted in January on Spotify’s “New Music Friday,” Most Necessary” and “Fresh Finds” playlists. “Pote Baby” has amassed more than 1 million streams since its release on March 12. The EP’s popularity landed Pote an invitation to the Day N Vegas festival in November where he will perform on the same stage as headliner Kendrick Lamar and other popular acts such as Roddy Rich and Polo G.
Like “Pote Baby” Pote said “Pote Day” will be a mix of dance music, hip hop and rap. Pote said his music is as versatile as his city, which is where he finds his inspiration.
“Here you’ve got that coastal feel with Tybee Beach and downtown is like a mini New York, but you’ve also got hood mixed in with the south,” Pote said. “This same city produced Paula Deen and Camouflage. Savannah is a melting pot -- like gumbo.”
Pote said he has always gravitated toward artists that represent where they are from and that is what drew him back to Savannah after a short time in Atlanta.
“I like seeing people’s lives through their music,” Pote said. “I haven’t heard my story told before, the way I grew up. I want to show Savannah in a different light. It’s my home. I don’t know nothing else.”
The city that informs his music also inspires his music videos, which might be funny or serious, focused on dance or telling a story. Pote said Savannah has everything you could want just on a smaller scale. Unfortunately, Savannah’s small size has been a barrier to many local artists, a trend Pote hopes to break.
“To chase my dreams, I had to go to a bigger city, and it didn’t feel good,” Pote said. “Everything was already here except opportunity.”
Through events like Pote Day, Pote hopes to create a pipeline between Savannah and bigger cities where up and coming artists can be recognized for their talents.
“A lot of people have lost hope in Savannah because they can’t reach their dreams,” Pote said. “I want to change the city for the better.”