Posted: 11:24 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014

VH1 documentary ‘ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game’ debuts Sept. 2 

By Rodney Ho

T.I., already connected with two VH1 reality shows, will partake in a documentary about the rise of hip hop in Atlanta. CREDIT: Getty

T.I., already connected with two VH1 reality shows, will take part in a documentary about the rise of hip hop in Atlanta. CREDIT: Getty

VH1 has shown a deep commitment to Atlanta with multiple reality programs: top-rated “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta,” the family friendly “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle,” and the upcoming “Atlanta Exes.”

Now the network is taking a more serious direction about our city’s legacy as the hip-hop capital of the south with a 90-minute documentary Sept. 2 called “ATL: The Untold Story of Atlanta’s Rise in the Rap Game.”

According to the press release:

The film chronicles the decisions of the city’s forefathers in post-civil rights Atlanta as they created an environment for African-American arts and culture to thrive, which set the scene for a local hip-hop scene to emerge.

Among those interviewed are many key subjects such as  Ludacris, UsherT.I., JeezyLil JonFuture and Jermaine Dupri. Others include Kilo AliRaheem the DreamMoJoMC Shy D and the producers of Organized Noize, who discovered two 17-year old kids who went by the name “Outkast.”  (The members of Outkast, though, are not listed.)

Non-rap contributors include former Atlanta mayor and civil rights icon Andrew Young, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins.

Ludacris is one of the executive producers.

I will pre-screen the episode soon and talk to an executive producer and write a more comprehensive preview later this month.



the show is nothing more than a recruiting tool to trap more impressionable black youths in the like of crime, drugs, promiscuity, and the DL..what is considered rap these days has no socially redeeming value glorifying all that is wrong and instrumental in the destruction of the black family unit and the black community


The sooner Atlanta can shed its image of a haven for "rappers" the better image this city will have!


Atlanta has quite a few talented "rappers," but its rise in hip hop coincided with the downfall of the genre.


@notevensurprised I have to respectfully disagree.  The ills you describe above will not be created by viewing a historical account that gives context regarding what influenced youth, a generation and the prevailing music.  Those things are socio-economic characteristics that might be highlighted in music - good and very bad - but they are not full derivatives of it.  I agree that readily available hip hop (heavy terrestrial radio play) is tough to listen to, but I would submit that there is a treasure trove of good music beyond your regular radio dial and a myriad of ways to find and consume it.  

I would rather the youth be inspired by looking at the confluence of events that inspired these guys to do music.  It might be more educational than we all might expect, considering how hard I know some of the above worked to actually make it - again, good and bad.

Respectfully, let's give it a view before giving it short shrift without data.