Thursday, April 15, 2010

Atlanta is No Longer the Heart of the South

The Southern hip hop scene had been trying to emerge into the overall hip hop community since the late 1980s. But, it would not be until the late 1990s that anyone gave them a chance. Early on, it was behind the efforts of Master P and No Limit that the South dominated.

For a little while, No Limit ran the entire hip hop community, but their reign slipped. Not only did they lose their grip on hip hop, but they also lost the South. While one era had ended, another had begun and the mecca of Southern hip hop was Atlanta.

Ever since 1994, Big Boi and Andre 3000 made up Outkast and they were known for their eccentric styles and their lyricism. Because of their alternative style, Outkast rarely made any big hits. For years, their only claim to fame was their hit single, "Rosa Parks." While they were still looking for recognition, in 2000, Ludacris would take the rap game by storm. Alongside his DTP crew, Ludacris was the most popular rapper in the game. The music that he created was lyrical and humorous. Even after his run ended, Atlanta remained on top.

Following Ludacris, his rival, T.I. would pick up where he left off. T.I. would coin the phrase "king of the South." Eventually, rappers who had issues with T.I. would challenge him on that. Even as T.I. was one of the top rappers in the game, other rappers from Atlanta were also making waves in the hip hop community, so no one person was representing the city. In 2004, Atlanta single-handedly dominated the charts. Music from Usher, Ludacris, Lil' Jon, T.I., Outkast, Pastor Troy, Jazze Pha, Ciara, Lloyd, Young Bloodz, Jermaine Dupri, and Dem Franchise Boyz dominated the radio waves.

Following a great year for black music, in general, Atlanta did an encore in 2005 with help from Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane, and other newcomers. However, in 2006, a shift took place that made Miami a new hotspot for Southern hip hop. The movement out of Miami is led by DJ Khaled and is called the "We The Best movement." Even while Miami was initially dominating the South, rappers from Atlanta still had a foot in the door, but this is no longer the case. Ludacris and T.I. are no longer the young boys in rap, but there is no one real rapper to pass the baton to.

Unlike in other Southern cities, Atlanta has become stagnant and, as a result, people look towards Rick Ross and the crew behind him to move rap music forward. Every now and again, Gucci Mane, Ludacris, and/or T.I. come out with something new to win the fans over, but things have drastically changed. No longer does anyone look at Atlanta and refer to the city as the "mecca of Southern hip hop."


  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP