It’s hip hop’s dirty little secret: the love-hate relationship between New York and Atlanta and the constant competition over which city reigns supreme as rap capital of the world. There may be more to it than just the music.
No one disputes that hip hop started in New York City—breaking new ground as New York artists broke new beats. Hot 97 DJ Funk Flex told me it is really about perspective. He sees Atlanta as very good but not the new capital.
In the 1990s golden era of hip hop, artists from New York and Los Angeles dominated the charts and the culture. But in 1999, a new artist called Lil Wayne turned all eyes on the South.
A few years later, Gucci Mane and T.I. launched the trap music movement. For more than a decade, Atlanta artists dominated the charts.
The emphasis of Atlanta artists like Young Thug, Future and Migos on catchy beats and their flamboyant style resonated with millions of new hip hop fans, taking trap mainstream.
For a while there was a strong belief that Atlanta wasn’t showing New York artists love but that may not have been the full story. New York artists get played in Atlanta—and they go there to party.
Cardi B is leading the charge of New York artists making their mark, according to Atlanta’s DJ Infamous, who is also a tour DJ for Ludacris. Infamous said that another reason city rivalries and boundaries are disappearing is the digital revolution, which means new music is streamed instantly around the world and it doesn’t matter where it comes from.
And as Flex says, ultimately, the fans determine the hits, regardless of where they’re from.
FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
FUNK FLEX, Hot 97 https://twitter.com/funkflex
DJ DREWSKI, Hot 97 https://twitter.com/SoDrewski
CHUCK CREEKMUR, CEO allhiphop.com https://twitter.com/chuckcreekmur
TAP, Hip Hop Artist https://twitter.com/1TapiaSGB
SOLO, Streetz 94.5 https://twitter.com/USofSOLO
DJ INFAMOUS, V 103 https://twitter.com/DJInfamousATL