Hip-Hop Pioneers: The Atlanta Migration


When you think of Atlanta, rappers like Ludacris, T.I., and Young Jeezy are more likely to come to mind than Whodini and DJ Red Alert. In recent years many Hip-Hop pioneers have made the move from New York City, N.Y., to Atlanta, Ga.

There are a numerous amount of factors that are bringing Hip-Hop pioneers to Atlanta. Many artists claimed to have moved to Atlanta to escape the harsh New York environment.

“Life in New York is brutal,” said Professor Griff, 53, an original member of Public Enemy from Long Beach, N.Y., “We are older now and we have children. We want a better life for them than we had.”

Cost of living is another major factor why old school Hip-Hop artists are leaving the Empire State for a life in the Peach State. The average cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment is 53.33% lower in Atlanta than in New York City, according to numbeo.com.

MC Shan, an original member of the Juice Crew from Queens N.Y., compared the cost of living between the two cities, calling Atlanta the “witness protection program for old school rappers.”

“I live off of royalty checks now,” said Shan. “The cost of living is a lot lower in Atlanta than in New York City. I have a big house here. In New York I would be lucky to rent a room.”

While some East Coast artists are drawn to the “Home of the Braves” because of its lower cost of living, others like the freedom Atlanta has to offer.

Minister Server, a Spiritual Adviser for the Universal Zulu Nation and the Temple of Hip-Hop  from Atlantic City, N.J., described Atlanta as a  “Get in where you fit in type of city.” Stating whatever you like, you can find in Atlanta.

Whatever their reason for moving, many Hip-Hop pioneers are now calling Atlanta their home.


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