The VH1 documentary ‘ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game’ aired last night (September 2, 2014) and it was embraced with open arms.
The show not only went through the musical history of Atlanta, it was also a Black History lesson in that the hip-hop explosion that occurred in our city also coincided with Atlanta’s civil rights legacy.
The documentary is different in that it touches on the city’s meager, mostly overlooked hip-hop beginnings and pays well-deserved homage to frequently overlooked early musical contributors like MC Shy D, Kilo Ali, Raheem the Dream, King Edward J., Arnell Star and more.
The documentary also focuses on the musical groundwork laid by producers Organized Noize, Dallas Austin and Jermaine Dupri.
By linking the city’s rap scene with its historic civil rights roots, the film sets Atlanta’s southern breed of hip-hop apart from the coasts that alternately dominated the genre before the South’s rise.
The documentar also ties the local scene’s launch in 1982 — when Mo-Jo became the first local rapper to release a record with “Battmann: Let Mo-Jo Handle It” — to the end of Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered Children case that plagued the city’s African-American community for four years before reportedly ending that same year.
In case you missed it, catch your ATL history lesson and watch the full episode of ‘ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game’ below…
VIDEO: ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game
From press release:
VH1’s award-winning “Rock Doc” franchise takes you down to the dirty south with the premiere of “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game” on Tuesday, September 2 at 10PM ET/PT. The 90-minute documentary investigates the rich, complex untold story of Atlanta’s fascinating rise to the top of the rap industry, which created a major force within American music. The film chronicles the decisions of the city’s forefathers in post-civil rights Atlanta as they created an environment for African-American arts and culture to thrive, which set the scene for a local hip-hop scene to emerge.
“ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game” uncovers the epic story of an American city’s evolution, from segregation to the Atlanta of today, which has now been nicknamed “Black Hollywood.” VH1 tells the story of how Atlanta’s modern-day rap dominance emerged from the struggle to break away from the genre’s contemporary leaders in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx in New York and from South Central and Compton on the west coast. Featuring interviews and commentary from Atlanta’s mega-stars including: Ludacris, Usher, T.I., Jeezy, Lil Jon, Future, Jermaine Dupri and pioneers of rap Kilo Ali, Raheem the Dream, MoJo, MC Shy D and the producers of Organized Noize (who discovered two 17-year old kids who went by the name “Outkast”). The ATL rap movement was helped along by social and political icons and ATL interviewees such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Mayor Kasim Reed and Dominique Wilkins. Blending all of these perspectives, “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game” is a truly unique story that reveals how Atlanta justly earned the mantle of hip-hop dominance and can now command the reputation as hip-hop’s center of gravity.
VH1’s Emmy Award winning Rock Docs are feature-length music documentaries focusing on a variety of today’s popular genres, trends and views.
“ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game” is written, directed and executive produced by Brad Bernstein, Rick Cikowski and Brandon Dumlao for Corner of the Cave Media. Executive producers also include Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Chaka Zulu, Jeff Dixon, Aiyisha T. Obafemi, Jason Jeter and Bernard Parks. Executive producers for VH1 include Warren Cohen, Brad Abramson and Stephen Mintz.
VIDEO: ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game’
What did you think of VH1’s ATL documentary?