Atlanta's Culture Shift
Okay let’s discuss this new tidal wave of talent emerging from the East side of ATL. I know, I know, you’re tired of hearing about Atlanta……. or are you? It’s no surprise that our country is going through a transition. As one of the most respected cities for the Civil Rights movement, Atlanta culture is in fact that, a culture.
Every region of the city of ATL has had their reign in music over the last 20 years. On the West side you have, T.I., Young Dro, Shawty Lo, Dem Franchize Boyz etc. On the South side you have Waka Flocka, 2 Chainz, Outkast. On the North, Migos, OG Maco, Playboi Carti and the list goes on. However, the East side of Atlanta only hails Gucci Mane, Future, and more recently 21 Savage as the only mega stars from that side of the city. This is the home of the “trap” but it is also the home of a legendary movement. I think it’s time we get back to our roots.
The interesting part of the eastern side of ATL is not only the camaraderie, but also the fierce competition that barrels through each individual artist to be “the best.” Lyricism and melody are two critical aspects when you mention any rap artist. A few years ago, I predicted the wave of the Eastside, so it is especially rewarding to see it come to fruition.
Recently, a group by the name of EarthGang released a hilarious yet piercingly true EP titled Rags featuring DC Young Fly. The group is Doctor Dot and Johnny Venus from the Stone Mountain/Lithonia area of ATL. The project really gives you a general idea of the struggles of being extremely talented with a powerful voice and society still finds a way to make you feel less than. The message is to keep going, no matter what, stay true to what you know is inside you. Then you have J.I.D who spares no soul when his thoughts enter the microphone. They are all currently signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label.
Then there’s also Michael Aristotle, who released Mega Millions in the beginning of 2017. This album took on the life of a black Richie Rich. Mikey wins the lottery and his life changes…..drastically. On September 1st he released a follow-up album TONI, which he pays homage to his mom as he knows this next phase of his career is about to be life changing.
Civil Writes is another act that needs to be taken seriously, these guys just released Fake News EP which chronicles the history of Atlanta my favorite part of the entire EP is when the older man talks about Decatur St. and Auburn Ave. He says “Auburn Ave was lit up like Hollywood and the Royal Peacock was where he first saw the Temptations perform.”
So you see? There’s enough substance and talent in Atlanta more specifically the East side to carry the hip-hop torch for another 20 years. Don’t forget that it is almost time for the second season of FX’s hit show Atlanta which happens to be written by another East side native, Donald Glover. Keep your boards ready, a new wave is about to hit.