Skip to contents

ATL’s Love for Hip-Hop: Residents Share How They Got Hooked

We took it all the way back with this one. Check out the songs and albums residents are celebrating.

Hip-Hop is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Atlanta is at the heart of its history and future. (Getty Images)

Aug. 11 marks Hip-Hop’s 50th birthday. And while Atlanta isn’t the birthplace of Hip-Hop, few cities have influenced the genre’s history, current popularity, and future like ATL, letting everyone know that “The South has something to say.”

So, in honor of the anniversary, Capital B Atlanta set out to ask residents a simple (yet loaded) question in true Brown Sugar fashion: What song or album made you fall in love with Hip-Hop?

Here’s what we heard.

Roger Green, 51, Buckhead

Roger Green

His pick: “The Reel for Reel Album” by Grand Puba

“When I think of this song, it reminds me so much of home. I have a lot of greatest songs ever when it comes to Hip-Hop, but this one is the one that I think made me fall in love.”

Dena D., Lakewood Heights

Her pick: “Sucker M.C.” by Run-DMC

“Old-school Hip-Hop is what I think of when I think of the greats. Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC is the era of music I grew up listening to.”

Denzell Moton, 31, South Fulton

Denzell Moton

His pick: “The Black Album” by Jay-Z

“At first, I was thinking Goodie Mob, OutKast, trying to keep it old Atlanta since I’m originally from South Carolina and the majority of the music I grew up to was adjacent to it. But then, when I thought of the greatest album of all time to me, this was it. It’s just a complete work of art.”

Omar Ali, Lakewood Heights

Omar Ali

His pick: “The Still Standing Album” by Goodie Mob

“Being a country boy from Griffin, all we listened to was Atlanta music. This is the music I grew up on.”

Villardia Philistin, 28, South Fulton

Villardia Philistin

Her pick: “Fu-Gee-La” by Fugees

“At first, I wanted to pick a song that showcased me being Haitian and from North Miami, but when I thought about it, I realized that this was the perfect song for me. It represents who I am and how I think about Hip-Hop”

Nasir Bey, 36, Westland

His pick: “If I Ruled The World” by Nas

“There are so many Hip-Hop songs I can easily say I love that it’s hard to pick just one. But, between this and “Regulators” by Warren G, I think I would have to give my top two to those songs.”

Interested in hearing our Capital B staff picks? Check out our playlist celebrating all generations of Hip-Hop music here.

Capital B is a nonprofit news organization dedicated to uncovering important stories — like this one — about how Black people experience America today. As more and more important information disappears behind paywalls, it’s crucial that we keep our journalism accessible and free for all. But we can’t publish pieces like this without your help. If you support our mission, please consider becoming a member by making a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!