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75 Reasons to LOVE ATL Hip Hop

April 17, 20237 min read

“If you're celebrating Hip Hop's 50th Birthday, how do we reconcile the fact that American Hip Hop's Home has been in ATL more than half its life?” - Miquiel Banks, The Hip Hop Evangelist


This is going to be a simple post full of statements about the Importance of ATL Hip Hop.

Are they rumors, legends, urban myths, or straight-up lies?

I’ll let you be the judge.

75 Reasons to LOVE ATL Hip Hop

  1. Did you know that ATL has been the HUB of American Hip Hop since the early 2000s?

  2. The greatest Hip Hop Duo of all time is from ATL (Outkast)?

  3. Do we really need to discuss the importance of Dre3000?

  4. Did you know that Khallid Muhammad called ATL home back in the late 80s?

  5. Did you know that Professor Griff resides in ATL?

  6. Did you know that Kool-Ace and Rapp Opera Man was the first Hip Hop Group signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Record Label (Curtom Records)?

  7. Did you know that Curtis Mayfield moved Curtom Records from Chicago to ATL in 1980?

  8. Did you know that Kool-Ace won a Grammy with Curtis Mayfield in 1996 for the track New World Order?

  9. Did you know that Kool-Ace was the first ATL Hip Hop Rapper to have an Opera Singer on his song back in 1983?

  10. Did you know that Tim and Bob call ATL Home?

  11. Did you know that LaFace Records was established in ATL back in 1989?

  12. Did you know the first two rap groups on LaFace Records was the Highland Mobsters and 90 MPH?

  13. Did you know that DJ Smurf (Mr. Collipark) won the BMI Songwriter of the Year Award in 2007?

  14. Did you know that Cooly C and Kool-Ace produced tracks on Kilo Ali’s 1997 Solo Release (Organized Bass)?

  15. Did you know that Kool-Ace and Raheem the Dream were ATL’s version of Run D.M.C. and they ran the Therrell High School Talent Shows back in the 80s?

  16. Did you know that Raheem the Dream recorded his Classic Hip Hop Track Eliminator on Delowe Drive in the SWATS?

  17. Did you know that DJ Smash won the ATL DJ Competition three times in a row back in the early 80s?

  18. Did you know that DJ Smash was self-taught?

  19. Did you know that Kool-Ace, DJ Stan, DJ Toomp, Cooly C, and Mike Fresh all grew up with 3 miles of each other in the SWATS?

  20. Did you know that DJ Toomp personally taught Cooly C how to DJ?

  21. Did you know Devyne Stephens, the legendary Choreographer, started out working at the Funk Shop in ATL, across the street from Bosstown?

  22. Did you know that the Walton Brothers (DJ Smash, Kelvin Walton) ran the Rainbow Arcade, the Legendary Breakdance Battle Spot across the street from Greenbriar Mall?

  23. Did you know that ATL has more than dozens of Producers and Production Teams who have each sold more than 40 million records?

  24. Did you know ATL was home to Bosstown, D.A.R.P. Studios, and Patchwerks?

  25. Did you know why y’all were fussing and fighting over East and West Coast, ATL released a track reconciling that issue with Rappers from All Areas (Too Short from West Coast, Eric Sermon from East Coast NYC, Mc Breed from Flint, Kool-Ace from ATL)?

  26. Did you know that same track has a Live Bass by Shorty B and that track is one of the Coldest Hip Hop Tracks to date?

  27. Did you know King Edward J was doing mixtapes with Bass Music and Slow Jams back in the early 80s, before anyone else considering doing it?

  28. Did you know ATL is home to several legendary Hip Hop DJs (DJ Smash, DJ Stan, DJ Toomp, Cooly C, Mike Fresh, Mr. Collipark, DJ Jelly, and DJ Nabs?

  29. Did you know ATL is home to several legendary Producers (Tim & Bob, Jermaine Dupri, Dallas Austin, Organized Noize, Kool-Ace, TM88, Lil Jon, Sonny Digital, Southside, DJ Spinz, Cassius Jay, London on da Track, Bangladesh, Headlinerz (affiliated with Speech and Arrested Development), DJ Toomp, Cooly C, Mike Fresh, Mr. Collipark, DJ Jelly, DJ Nabs, Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, and Mike Will Made-It)

  30. Did you know any self-respecting ATLien will add at least 5 more DJs and Producers to the Previous Statements?

  31. Did you know these rappers are from ATL (Ludacris, Lil Baby, Future, T.I., Young Thug, 21 Savage, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Migos, Childish Gambino, Killer Mike, 2 Chainz, Lil Jon, Offset, Gunna)?

  32. Did you know that T.I. was discovered and produced by DJ Toomp?

  33. Did you know that DJ Toomp, Sleepy Brown, and Cooly C went to Ralph Bunche Middle School, yes, the one on Niskey Lake Road Shawdy?

  34. Did you know that Splack Pack was managed by Local ATL Producer Chris Rock (not the comedian)?

  35. Did you know that DJ Toomp spun the wheels of steel for Raheem the Dream, MC Shy D, 2 Live Crew, JT Money, and the Poison Clan?

  36. Did you know that famed Grammy Judge and Mastering Engineer Earle Holder calls ATL home?

  37. Did you know that Earle Holder is the co-creator of the famed Har-Bal Visual Mastering App?

  38. Did you know that Earle Holder is also the creator of the new three-dimensional mixing technique that takes the art of mixing to an entirely new level?

  39. Did you know that Grammy Judge Earle Holder is currently the Chief Mastering Engineer for the world famous Public Enemy and Chuck D's new record label SlamJamz?

  40. Did you know that Chuck D calls ATL home?

  41. Did you know the famed Artist Melanie Ferguson calls ATL home?'

  42. Did you know that Sidney Poitier's Daughter calls ATL Home?

  43. Did you know that Heartthrob Tony Terry calls ATL Home?

  44. Did you know the Famed Vocal Coach Yakira called ATL home back in the 80s and 90s?

  45. Did you know that Eva Pigford got her start in a small movie, The Walk, that was filmed in ATL back in the early 2000s?

  46. Did you know that Tony Terry is affiliated with Soundwave Entertainment, a local record label in ATL?

  47. Did you know that Tony Terry's Slow Jam Smash, With You, is the number one most requested wedding song of all time?

  48. Did you know the lead producer for Soundwave Entertainment was one of Puffy's in-house producers and now calls ATL Home?

  49. Did you know that Rick Beato calls ATL home?

  50. Did you know that Famed Youtuber and MPC Specialist, Ave Mcree, calls ATL home?

  51. If Mike Fresh moved to Miami and produced all the tracks for Luke, does that make Luke’s Music Miami Bass or ATL Bass?

  52. Did you know TLC was from ATL?

  53. Did you know the S.O.S. Band was from Marietta Georgia?

  54. Did you know that Maurice Starr calls ATL Home?

  55. Did you know that Maurice Starr discovered New Edition, New Kids on the Block, Perfect Gentlemen, Rick Wes, Classic Example, Tommy Page, Ana, and NK5?

  56. Did you know that Michael Jonzun was in The Jonzun Crew? (Pack Jam, Space Cowboy, Space is the Place, and We are the Jonzun Crew)

  57. Did you know Arrested Development came to prominence in ATL?

  58. Can you count how many Grammys have been given to Talent that calls ATL Home?

  59. Did you know that Tim & Bob have sold more than 400 million albums worldwide?

  60. Did you know that Dallas Austin’s first business partner was Klymaxx member Joyce Irby?

  61. Did you know that Busta Rhymes had to come to ATL to get his first Deal as a Solo Artist?

  62. Did you know that Dallas Austin Produced Boyz II Men and made them Astronomically Famous?

  63. Did you know that Dallas Austin hung out at the Skating Rinks with T-Boz of TLC?

  64. Did you know that Jermaine Dupri started off as a Dancer for Whodini?

  65. Did you know that Devyne Stephens discovered and introduced the world to AKON?

  66. Did you know that Devyne Stephens started the Funk Shop with Slick Nick, a member of F.D.C. And 90 MPH?

  67. Did you know that the Funk Shop (Devyne Stephens, Slick Nick) choreographed for Rowdy Records, Bosstown Records, Motown Records, Uptown Records, and Bad Boy Records?

  68. Did you know that all the dance moves done in Bad Boy Videos was done by Devyne Stephens?

  69. Did you know that Desi (Lil Danger), an ATL Yeek Dancer, is currently on tour with New Edition?

  70. Did you know there are over 40 Yeek Groups in ATL Hip Hop History?

  71. Did you know that Anthony Francis, a Co-Founder for F.D.C., is the Godfather of Yeek?

  72. Did you know that F.D.C. was the first Yeek Group in ATL?

  73. Did you know that Guess was the second Yeek Group in ATL?

  74. Did you know that Yeeking is celebrated at the Yeekfest every year in ATL?

  75. Did you know that famed Hip Hop Legend and Pioneer Kool-Ace changed his name to Klay Redd and is now doing Southern Soul Music?

  76. Did you know that Kool-Ace produced music for Curtis Mayfield, George Clinton, and Larry Blackmon?

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Miquiel Banks

Miquiel Banks is the Power behind his Educational Site, The Hip Hop Evangelist. His site is dedicated to cultivating and preserving ATL Hip Hop and Yeek Culture.

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