Year in review: Atlanta had something to say about hip-hop’s big anniversary

T.I. performs alongside Jermaine Dupri during the 50th Anniversary Hip Hop Concert at Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta on Sunday, August 13, 2023 in Atlanta. (Michael Blackshire/Michael.blackshire@ajc.com)

Credit: Michael Blackshire

Credit: Michael Blackshire

T.I. performs alongside Jermaine Dupri during the 50th Anniversary Hip Hop Concert at Lakewood Amphitheater in Atlanta on Sunday, August 13, 2023 in Atlanta. (Michael Blackshire/Michael.blackshire@ajc.com)

Hip-hop traces its origins to a block party in New York City in 1973, but it didn’t really break through into the national spotlight until the end of that decade, growing as a music industry force in the 1980s and finding resurgent new life in Atlanta in the 1990s.

That means 2023 was the 50th anniversary. Celebrations of that milestone abounded both locally and nationally, including a recent CBS special, and it revealed how dominant Atlanta has become in the hip-hop world the past quarter century. A pop-up hip-hop museum at Underground Atlanta curated by Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin this fall highlighted the city’s impact, and the city marked the occasion with an all-star concert at Lakewood Amphitheatre in August.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s first ever full-length documentary “The South Got Something to Say” which featured many of the key hip-hop players in the city, debuted in November and can be viewed at ajc.com/hiphop. In addition to the documentary, the AJC explored Atlanta’s hip-hop history with a month-long series of stories, beginning with a visit with Atlanta’s first rapper, Mojo. We wrapped things up with a trip down hip-hop memory lane and a discussion of the intersection of the genre and journalism with our editor-in-chief Leroy Chapman.

About the Author