Of course, hip hop is now a worldwide genre, but there’s no doubt that at any given time, people look to a specific city or region for their music. Usually, at any one time, there is a city or a region that holds the beacon for hip hop. During the 1980s, it was undoubtedly New York that was the city holding the torch for hip hop, but during the 1990s, most would agree that, although New York still had good artists, the sound of G-funk clinched the top spot, and the majority of people were looking to Los Angeles for their hip hop.
However, with the emergence of crunk, seeing the electronification of hip hop, more and more people began looking to the south for their hip hop. With sampling becoming less common in hip hop as funk’s popularity began to decline, by the early 2000s, with the death of Tuppac and Biggie, G-funk and boom-bap hip hop were basically dead. Although artists like Kanye West were still sampling, there was undeniably an electronification of hip hop that was happing, and Kanye helped cement this with his two albums, Graduation and 808s and Heartbreak.
In fact, before Kanye even released the latter, producers in the south had been using 808 bass kicks for years with their more digital production. When Kanye released the latter in 2008, 808s became much more popular in hip hop, and by the year 2012, when an off-shoot of crunk music known as trap came out of Atlanta, the south began to hold the torch for hip hop. Trap saw hip hop evolve and modify, becoming less soulful and more electronic.
Now, trap is the sound of hip hop, with people not even considering it trap music, merely hip hop, because it is so present in the mainstream, it has overshadowed and obliterated other forms of hip hop. Trap is an Atlanta-born sound, birthed from crunk and at the present moment in time, Atlanta holds the torch for hip hop.
The following playlist, this mix is a thorough showcase of all the classics within that Atlanta vein. There are some big names you might recognise and some more underground names you may not have heard of. Alternatively, some artists might look entirely foreign to you. Really, there’s something great in having a balance of both. So take a listen to our ‘Essential Mixtape’ of 25 from the history of Atlanta hip hop.
The 25 best songs from the history of Atlanta hip hop:
- ‘Get Low’ – Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz ft Ying Yang Twins
- ‘Freek-A-Leek’ – Petey Pablo
- ‘I’m A King’ – P$C ft T.I & Lil’ Scrappy
- ‘It’s Goin Down’ – Yung Joc ft Nitti
- ‘Stand Up’ – Ludacris
- ‘Crank That’ – Soulja Boy
- ‘Salt Shaker’ – Ying Yang Twins ft Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz
- ‘What U Gon Do’ – Lil’ Jon & The Eastside Boyz ft Lil’ Scrappy
- ‘Southern Hospitality’ – Ludacris
- ‘Damn!’ – YoungBloodZ ft Lil’ Jon
- ‘Welcome To Atlanta’ – Jermaine Dupri ft Ludacris
- ‘Money In The Bank’ – Lil’ Scrappy
- ‘Magnolia’ – Playboi Carti
- ‘I Get The Bag’ – Gucci Mane ft Migos
- ‘Mask Off’ – Future
- ‘Bad & Boujee’ – Migos ft Lil’ Uzi Vert
- ‘Ric Flair Drip’ – 21 Savage ft Offset & Metro Boomin’
- ‘1 Night’ – Lil Yachty
- ‘With That’ – Young Thug ft Duke
- ‘Donk’ – Soulja Boy
- ‘Clout’ – Offset ft Cardi B
- ‘Hard In Da Paint’ – Wacka Flocka Flame
- ‘What’s Yo Name’ – T.I
- ‘My Bubblegum’ – Rasheeda
- ‘Drip Too Hard’ – Lil’ Baby ft Gunna