Why focus on “The King Of Atlanta”? Well, think about it: When Nas & Jay was battling for the crown of NYC a few years back, it was a forgone conclusion that the winner would also be the top dog in Hip-Hop. If you’ve been under a rock for the last few years, you’ll notice that New York isn’t leading the pack in the Hip-Hop world anymore…the South is. For a least 7 years. Most of the hottest rappers in the South are from Atlanta (The city that birthed the name “Dirty South”). So with the previously mentioned logic: If a rapper is the “King of Atlanta”, doesn’t THAT mean he runs Hip-Hop? Well, probably not, but you get what I’m saying. ATL has a lot competition, but who’s the best? Who’s the actual “King of Atlanta”? Not saying who had the best career but who actually has a claim to the crown RIGHT NOW (Shout out to the homie Believe for bringing this subject up and arguing with me about it…constantly). – B-Easy[Update: Damn! You people went crazy with the e-mails. I guess putting Soulja Boy on the list opened up a can of worms. We added 7 more Atlanta rappers to the list. I think that’s all of them now…and yes, we know OJ Da Juiceman, Alfa Mega, & Yung LA aren’t listed…]
Albums: 6 Years Active: 2001 – Present Crew: P$C; Grand Hustle
The self-proclaimed “King” who has been using this title ever since 2001’s I’m Serious. Considering his track record, can you deny his claim? The only dent in his armor is the fact that he hasn’t had a “real” Hip-Hop battle. You can’t call Lil’ Flip real competition and Luda sorta murdered him on Young Buck’s “Stomp”.
Young Jeezy (King)
Albums: 3 Years Active: 2005 – Present Crew: CTE; USDA
Like T.I., Jeezy helped usher in Atlanta’s whole “Trap” movement and made it popular, very profitable, and became the face of the movement. Jeezy not only moved into the South’s forefront, but he crafted his own lane in Hip-Hop. One reason why he could not be the King of Atlanta may be the lack of creativity to make an album that will really connect with Hip-Hop fans who balk at drug laced rhymes.
Andre 3000 (King)
Albums: 6 (with Outkast) Years Active: 1993 – Present Crew: Outkast
3 Stacks is in a place where a lot of MC’s can’t go. He can drop a few verses a year and still be largely considered as THE best in the South as well one of Hip-Hop’s elite. But this is also a double-edged sword. Like in most leagues, to get that MVP title, you gotta play a certain amount of games. In the past few years, Andre hasn’t played half a season.
Big Boi (Knight)
Albums: 6 (with Outkast) Years Active: 1993 – Present Crew: Outkast; Purple Ribbon All-Stars
As ½ of Outkast, Big Boi was an integral part in building the Southern Hip-Hop landscape as we see it today. His body of work is great but he was always #2 in his own group (And maybe even overshadowed by Andre 3000). While it’s no question on talent, are you really anticipating his upcoming album Sir Luscious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty? We all love Big Boi, but we’re talking about his status right now. Yeah, it hurt us too.
Killer Mike (Pawn)
Albums: 3 Years: 2000 – Present Crew: Grind Time Rap Gang
Ever since his debut on Outkast’s “Snappin’ and Trappin'”, you could tell how Mike earned his name. He is probably the most underrated on this list. Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind II last year showed that this ATLien could still make good music. The reason he isn’t ranked higher is probably because this division is tough and while he has way than enough talent to challenge for the crown, Killer Mike’s place in history is not set in stone.
Albums: 7 Years: 2000 – Present Crew: Disturbing Tha Peace
Luda has been reppin’ Atlanta and the South hard for a minute now. He’s ripped through countless notable cameos as well as collecting numerous Gold & Platinum plaques. While many question Ludacris’ dedication to the game when he started getting calls from Hollywood, his recent releases show that everybody still loves Chris
Gucci Mane (Knight)
Albums: 4 Years: 2005 – Present Crew: So Icy Entertainment
I know what you’re thinking…you guys can’t be serious. Hear us out first. With his mixtape game, Gucci has the STREETS on lock. I don’t care what side of the A you are in…Gucci is getting played in 3 out of 10 cars. We all know why Gucci can’t be king. He will never wow you with his lyrics, but he will entertain you with ignorance.
Albums: 7 (2 solo, 3 with Goodie Mob, & 2 with Gnarls Barkley) Years: 1995 – Present Crew: Goodie Mob; Gnarls Barkey
Why is Cee-Lo Green on this list? Yeah, he’s been on a grind of a different type as of late but he’s doing a lot better than the other members of Goodie Mob. He has immense talent both with rapping and singing but can ½ of Gnarls Barkley really be the King of ATL?
Pastor Troy (Pawn)
Albums: 15 (13 solo & 2 with D.S.G.B) Years: 1998 – Present Crew: D.S.G.B.
This guy used to be the “People’s Champ”, he actually was Gucci Mane before Gucci Mane. He made his mark beefing with Master P (Troy lost because his paper wasn’t long enough). Despite carrying around a championship belt, his reign was cut short because others (Archie Eversole, Miracle, & Drama) raped his style and made him irrelevant. It also did not help the fact that some of his recent albums were not that good.
Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em (Knight)
Albums: 2 Years: 2007 – Present Crew: S.O.D.
Don’t laugh, you may hate Soulja Boy but you can’t deny the buzz this kid had on him. Plus, lately a lot of Atlanta rappers including Gucci Mane and Jeezy have rallied around the youngster as well as jumping on songs with him. While his last album may have bricked, Soulja Boy may have time to turn it all around and surprise us all.
Young Dro (Knight)
Albums: 1 Years Active: 2001 – Present Crew: Grand Hustle; P$C
I don’t what it is about Dro that makes people still pull for him three years after his debut. Besides when he was Fantasia’s main squeeze, Dro has really stayed on the low. But then again, people still mentioning Young Dro as one of the South’s mentionable is saying something. “Shoulder Lean” still shuts down the clubs too. Dro!
Lil’ Scrappy (Pawn)
Albums: 3 (2 solo & 1 with Trillville) Years Active: 2003 – Present Crew: G’$ Up Click
Remember years back when Scrappy was know as the “Prince of Crunk”? Lil’ Jon doesn’t own the airwaves anymore and Crunk is basically dead (No matter what a gold chain says). A lotta people thought when Scrap hooked up with 50 Cent & G-Unit his star would rise. That album flopped and now nobody cares.
Gorilla Zoe (Pawn)
Albums: 1 Years Active: 2007 – Present Crew: Block Ent.
When Zoe joined the Atlanta based Boyz N Da Hood in 2007, he immediately pulled a “Jeezy” and soon released a solo album around the same time of the group’s release. While he landed a hood hit or two, that album tanked and pushed back he often delayed sophomore album (Which really isn’t anticipated).
Yung Joc (Knight)
Albums: 2 Years Active: 2003 – Present Crew: Block Ent.
When Joc first came out, “It’s Goin’ Down” had the city on smash! He later got ridiculed for being a “ringtone” rapper with songs like “Coffee Shop” & “I Know You See It”. But even with this, he’s still got a Platinum plaque plus made “Forbes’ Richest Rappers List” in 2006. He’s one hit away from a comeback.
Albums: 0 Years Active: 2005 – Present
B.o.B. may not have an album out but the buzz is pretty good. After appearing on the cover of XXL’s “Class of ‘09” issue while being co-signed by some Hip-Hop’s elite, the future looks pretty bright for Bobby Ray Simmons. Musical talent and the “something different” factor will always be a good look. You can’t really count him out (or in) until his official debut drops.
Albums: 2 Years Active: 1998 – Present Crew: Big Oomp Camp
Unk was Soulja Boy before Soulja Boy…until Soulja Boy (Get it?). Yeah, no one is still doing the “Walk It Out” but he did make the city proud closing out the 1st BET Hip-Hop Awards as well as having a new dance move every month (“Two Step”!). Real talk though; now a days no one really check for DJ Unk.
Stat Quo (Pawn)
Albums: 0 Years Active: 2002 – Present
Stat and Atlanta has always had a weird relationship. While he once had a coveted spot on Shady/Aftermath, he never really had no presence in the city. After parting ways with Eminem & Dr. Dre, his mixtape game is better but maybe too late.