By Jasmine Grant
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta is back to occupying your Monday nights. It’s about to be LIT tonight (April 4th), as we begin the journey with Mimi, Stevie J, Joseline, Rasheeda, Lil’ Scrappy and Yung Joc as they all try to juggle personal drama. While we’re all here for the tea and shenanigans we sometimes take for granted the musical contributions the stars of the show have given us.
Really though. Joc, Scrappy, and Waka Flocka Flame have repped the A proudly with hip hop chart-toppers that have contributed to the city’s long legacy of musical success. Atlanta, unlike any other major music capital, steadily manages to send a roster of artists up the charts. Though some of Atlanta’s shining rap stars experience fleeting success, most of these Southern playas made contributions that changed the game and uplifted the culture. Here’s a look at some of the Atlanta hits you may have forgotten about, but still can get a party turnt.
DG YOLA – “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up” (FAVORITE ATL SONG EVAAAAA)
The rising star and Grand Hustle signee lit up Atlanta traps in 2006 with his uplifting anthem “Ain’t Gon’ Let Up.” If you’re a true student of the game, this is one of those low-key classics only understood by those in tune with the ATL underground.
Gucci Mane – “I Think I Love Her”
It’s not often that we get to see the romantic side of Guwop, so this joint is definitely one for the books. Gucci, in great detail, describes his ideal type of woman, and why it’s so easy to be caught under her spell.
Yung LA- “Ain’t I” feat. Young Dro, T.I
Grand Hustle was running things in ’08. Following the breakout success of Young Dro’s “Shoulder Lean,” head honcho T.I. wanted to showcase his bench of heavy hitters. The song featured the label’s breakout star at the time Young L.A., with a verse from Dro and the King of the South’s unmistakable swag. You couldn’t find a D-boy that wasn’t bumping this in their whip.
K.P & Envyi – “Shawty Swing My Way”
This one is for all the 90’s baby. “Shawty Swing My Way” is a quintessential Atlanta jam that’s been flipped and sampled by everyone from B.o.B to Bryson Tiller. The Miami bass-inspired hit peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and can still pop up in rotation at just about every block party from Oakland to Atlanta.
UNK – “Walk It Out”
This year will mark the 10-year anniversary of DJ Unk’s Walk It Out (file that under things that makes us feel old), so it’s only right we celebrate this feel good track in the roundup. This joint takes us back to the days where XXXL tees and embellished snapbacks were a thing.
Tag Team – “Whoomp (There It Is)”
Tag Team should be revered not only for delivering a party cut for the ages, but this timelessly twerkable dance anthem. The quadruple platinum “Whoomp! There It Is” has been leveraged in ad campaigns by Luvs, AT&T, Apple and Google. Cha Ching! There it is. Hit the 1:01 mark to see the Obama look-alike.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT – “Tennessee”
This was the one of the few rap songs that might be agreeable to play around the elders at the family BBQ. The hymnic instrumentals provided the perfect backdrop for these deeply spiritual, introspective lyrics.
Freak Nasty – “Da Dip”
This song followed the fail proof formula of concocting a ridiculously simple and irresistibly catchy hook driven by a bass heavy tune. The song’s somewhat corny but endearing dance took on a life of its own. Let’s allow our parents to still think its cool.
D4L – Laffy Taffy
D4L’s hit song was at the forefront of the “snap dance” movement in 2006. It was nearly impossible to hear the track and not be tempted to rock back and forth with that signature snap. A decade later and the song still evokes a bit of nostalgia every time we hear it.
Trillville “Some Cut”
Rap trio “Trillville” carried the A on their shoulders heavy in 2004. Their memorable hit smash “Some Cut” is one of those jams where just about everyone remembers the unmentionable shenanigans that took place when this song was at its peak. Bonus points if you spotted Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Stewart in all of her video vixen glory.
Rasheeda – “Bubblegum”
Before this Georgia Peach’s bread and butter was reality TV, her sweet and fruity single made her a local celebrity. Shout out to the music directors of the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop for digging in those crates and resurrecting the song for the film.
Yung Joc – “I Know You See It”
Some of you might think of Yung Joc as a one-hit wonder turned reality show star, but you’re way wrong. The ATL native followed up his chart topping debut single “It’s Goin’ Down” with this Top 20 Billboard 100 smash. We know you’re tempted to hit the motorcycle right now.
Lil Scrappy – No Problem
Before he was threatening to “put them paws” on anyone who crossed him, Scrappy actually held some weight as a respected player in Atlanta’s bourgeoning rap scene of the 2000’s. This track is a reminder of the breakout success Scrappy had as one of the young stars off ATL’s Crunk movement.
Boyz N Da Hood – Dem Boyz
While Jeezy unquestionably became the breakout star of this rap group, this track was definitely a standout anthem during Da Snowman mania. It is a true moment of nostalgia for dope boys every where.
Dem Franchize Boyz – I Think They Like Me
The Atlanta Snap dance movement had the rap game in a chokehold in 2006, thanks in part to Dem Franchize Boyz and their dance hit “I Think They Like Me.” The song’s catchy AF beat had even the trillest of D-Boys snapping on the dance floor.
Young Dro – “Shoulder Lean”
The charismatic rapper from T.I.’s Grand Hustle crew captured the essence of ATL hip hop in 2006 with this all-inclusive club banger that came equipped with a dance anyone could do.
Lost in all the stars and hits Atlanta has produced in the past two decades is the contributions of YoungBloodz, J-Bo and Sean P. The ATL duo helped introduce the Crunk movement to the masses with this Grammy-nominated cut. Remember, “Don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff.”
Ying Yang Twins – “Say I Yi Yi”
Tell us your auntie won’t hit that twerk with her hands on her knees right now if she heard this. You would too.
Ludacris – “Fantasy”
It’s been a minute since he’s been dropping them bows, so people tend to sleep on early Luda.
OJ Da Juiceman – “Make the Trap Say Aye”
This is one of those one-hit wonders that never gets old. Juice had the trap jumping in 2008