Atlanta has long been home to some of the game's most talented acts. Nowadays, Rae Sremmurd, Migos, and Rich Gang's Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan are representing their city on a major scale as the leaders of ATL's new school.
Heat In These Streets will give you the low-down on choice rappers putting on for a specific city and advancing the sound of hip-hop at the same time. For the first edition, we profile rappers making noise for Atlanta, a current hot-bed for auto-tuned, unique (sometimes weird), and creative rappers. Let us know if there is a city you'd like to see up next.
Outkast showed us in 1994 that ATLiens are synonymous with hip-hop culture. Acts like T.I., Ludacris, Jermaine Dupri, Dallas Austin, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, and Shawty Lo are considered modern-day ATL legends. However, in recent years, artists such as B.o.B., Future, Travis Porter, K Camp, Waka Flocka, and Roscoe Dash have dropped enough bangers to keep the core of Atlanta vibrant and represented in the mainstream arena. While the LA sound has been permeating airwaves and pop culture heavily over the last year, ATL's finest are doing their part to bring the sound of their city to global audiences, with a refreshing twist.
Of all rap groups coming out of Atlanta these days, Rae Sremmurd has the hottest single in the country. "No Type" has been tearing up radio stations, clubs, and parties for months, and shows no signs of slowing down. Atlanta's leading producer, Mike Will Made It signed the two youngsters, originally from Mississippi, and have proved that they are no one-hit wonders with a follow-up single even more gripping, honest, and authentic than this summer's banger "No Flex Zone." Rae Sremmurd have quickly become part of the Atlanta identity and have the most talked about record in the city. Millennials and youth everywhere are thanking Rae Sremmurd for the rage-up anthem and the official response to any parents' grievances: "let my momma tell it nigga, I ain't living right."
What strikes us most about these two young brothers, actual siblings, is the fun they appear to be having in their music. Simple enough for kids to understand, mature enough for adults to love, they've a nice little niche and might be around for a minute as next up to lead the South.
Migos, Migos, Migos, what to say about the Peach State supergroup that hasn’t already been said? Not often does a hip-hop group garner Beatles comparison before a major label release, but Migos have built an undeniable movement. Their music is fun, catchy, but upon listening to Rich Nigga Timeline it’s also apparent that they have heart, and are more than just "Handsome & Wealthy," although that alone is more than most can imagine. It's hard not to respect their grind, relentless push to make something out of themselves. To say the trio are funny is an understatement, they are actually hilarious (have you heard "Move"?). Not since Jim Jones have adlibs been utilized in such a remarkably entertaining manner. Upon the release of their first crossover single, Versace, "business is business" became the line du jour.
All jokes aside, Migos is contributing enough words to the lingo to earn their own dictionary as well. Unless you were deep in the trap in Atlanta, you were not saying "bando" until they made it popular in their music. The short film "Bando" is an incredible testament to their grind, hustle, and determination to make it. You have to respect any rapper that puts their momma and her fried chicken in a movie!
Rich Gang's Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan have had a remarkable year and earned a spot with one of the most respected teams in the game, Young Money, even if they're not officially signed. Their Billboard Hot 100 record "Lifestyle" along with YMCMB boss Birdman is evidence that they're living a lifestyle few others may comprehend, but everyone wants to achieve. The rap star persona embodied in the "Lifestyle" video show that these two young rappers out of Atlanta are also at the top of the pyramid, and newly anointed Kings of ATL and the South. Young Thug has popularized the 'be yourself' mantra to the extreme, and represents a bold era of individual expression for the culture as a whole. Rich Homie, though making the news for health issues recently, seems to be poised to continue his growth as a key figure in the ATL and Southern Rap scene, collaborating with the most promising artists of the moment. Albeit controversial, their popularity is certain, and they are among the most in-demand names in the industry with enough momentum to suggest 2015 may be an even bigger year. Perhaps Rich Gang's wave will help out OVO fam and fellow ATLien iLoveMakonnen as he seeks to follow up his smash "Tuesday" and become another ATL King in 2015.
Salute to Rae Sremmurd & Mike Will Made It, Migos, and Rich Gang for their impressive grind and accomplishments. They are truly the voice of ATL and carrying on a tradition of Southern Rap as important as any other since the culture became recognized decades ago in the Bronx. Other names to watch for at the top of ATL in the future include soon-to-be pop sensation (?) iloveMakonnen and underground king Yung Mazi.