Atlanta Hip Hip in 2022: A look back at a year of upheaval

From Takeoff and Migos to Young Thug and Gunna
Takeoff and Gunna
Photo credit Rich Fury and Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
By , Audacy

The country’s most influential Hip-Hop scene has weathered a period of extraordinary upheaval. Joined by the author of Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story, Joe Coscarelli, Popcast host Jon Caramanica takes a look back at what’s happened and imagines the possibilities of what’s next.

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We start off with a snippet of “Last Memory,” a track from Takeoff’s solo album The Last Rocket, expressing the unfortunate loss of the Atlanta native rapper, which Caramanica noted was a cap off to an, "already really, really challenging and kind of unpredictable and in a lot of ways unpleasant year in Atlanta rap.”

Running through some of the topics, up for discussion include: “Takeoff’s murder, and Migos… the YSL case, the RICO case,” as well as getting into “some stuff about Lil Baby and 21 Savage.” Plus, the possibility of “getting into some younger artists that might mark a stylistic shift in the city.”

They also discuss in great detail the magnitude of Takeoff’s death’s impact on the community, his influence on the Migos sound, and what his passing means for Migos and Atlanta music in general.

As well, they talk through “the prokaryote of the YSL case, and Young Thug and Gunna who are still sitting in jail… being denied bond connected to a RICO investigation.” Coscarelli related their absence from the Atlanta music scene as a missing guiding link, leading to “an entire sub-generation underneath them kind of flying loose, without the kind of figureheads.” Then going on to wonder if their “removal of the Atlanta rap eco-system hasn’t been just as disruptive as a loss might be, as a death might be.”

For more, press play on the episode above to listen to the entire in depth conversation.

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Hosted by Jon Caramanica, The Popcast is a pop music critic for The New York Times that covers the latest in popular music criticism, trends and news.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Rich Fury and Bennett Raglin/Getty Images