In 2009, an article in the New York Times referred to Atlanta as “hip-hop’s center of gravity.” Although Atlanta’s music scene is diverse, it is perhaps the city’s hip-hop scene that has garnered the most national attention and commercial success.

Local multi-platinum-selling artists include Ludacris, Ciara, TLC, B.o.B., Young Jeezy, T.I., and OutKast, who won the Album of the Year Grammy Award in 2004 for Speakerboxxx / The Love Below.

The scene has been advanced by the development of local record labels, including LaFace Records founded by L.A. Reid and Babyface in 1989; So So Def Records founded by Jermaine Dupri in the mid-1990s; and Quality Control Music founded by Kevin “Coach” Lee and Pierre “Pee” Thomas in 2013.

As the number of local artists continues to multiply, Atlanta remains a center for hip-hop innovation. In 2014, Billboard magazine called the Atlanta scene “a powder keg of talent waiting to blow.” The growth of the hip-hop music scene in Atlanta also led to the development of the VH-1 reality television show, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.

[OutKast] were pivotal in the recognition and growth of the Atlanta area.

Omoleye Amuleru-Marshall, Community submission to Atlanta in 50 Objects

Speakerboxxx / The Love Below, Outkast, 2003.

Object:
Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center, purchase acquisition with funds from Coca-Cola Company.

Image:
Courtesy Zach Wolfe, photographer

Next: 13 The Varsity.

Frank Gordy opened the Varsity as “The Yellow Jacket” in 1928, catering to students of nearby Georgia Tech.