20 Reasons Why Atlanta is America’s Music Capital

We have a chokehold on the charts

Atlanta is the best city for music

Photograph by Kevin Winter/Getty

Atlanta hip-hop has become so successful, so ubiquitous on the charts, that even New York radio DJs are taking notice—and getting an inferiority complex. Just read what Ebro Darden, a DJ on Manhattan’s pioneering hip-hop radio station Hot 97, tweeted last summer: “I think it’s time ATLANTA radio started supporting some NY shit.” Over the last couple of decades, Atlanta hip-hop has coined the term “Dirty South,” made jock jams and winning R&B balladry out of crunk, and even influenced the tempo of modern pop. Six quick examples:

Singles from Speakerboxxx/The Love Below went no. 1 seven times on the Billboard 200 in five months from 2003 to 2004.

Usher, Lil Jon, and Ludacris
Their song “Yeah!” topped the Hot 100 for 12 consecutive weeks in 2004.

The Atlanta native racked up five consecutive no. 1 albums from 2015 to 2017. With last year’s self-titled album and another called HNDRXX, released one week apart, he also became the first artist to unseat himself on Billboard’s album charts.

Mike Will Made It
The Marietta native now outranks super-producers like Max Martin in terms of sales, radio, and streaming data—and scored his first no. 1 single with “Black Beatles” from Rae Sremmurd.

The Lawrenceville-raised group bumped “Black Beatles” out of its spot with “Bad and Boujee,” produced by St. Louis transplant Metro Boomin. Metro Boomin and Quavo of Migos had a larger presence on the Hot 100 in 2017 than even Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber. Migos tied a Beatles record for the most simultaneous entries on the Hot 100 by a group. Their album Culture II’s lead single, “Motorsport,” broke the chart’s top 10 at its peak.

Camila Cabello
“Havana,” in which she and Young Thug reference East Atlanta, became their first no. 1 hit in January.