Next weekend, 11 local hip-hop artists are heading to Atlanta to showcase at AC3, one of the largest hip-hop festivals in America. The southern city is a literal hot-bed of hip-hop, home to artists like Gucci Mane,Rich Gang, 2 Chainz, Jermaine Dupri, Waka Flocka Flame, Andre 3000, TLC and many more. Also known as 'Hotlanta,' several musical movements have grown out of the socio-economic culture of the city, with incredible wealth positioned next to incredible poverty. Because of this economic disparity, and as a hub of the illegal drug trade, Atlanta is one of the most dangerous, crime-ridden cities in the U.S. The trap, as they say, is real.
But this cultural climate of Atlanta has created music and artistic expression that is unique, innovative and influential, especially in the last decade. Some of America's most important hip-hop artists, labels and studios circulate around the Atlanta scene. Talent is found constantly.
To get our local rap artists down there, Melissa MacMaster at Buds Entertainment joined up with Andree Gracie (Grey Sea Management) and TMG Entertainment's Tony Makhoul to select a roster of talent to rep Nova Scotia. MacMaster pitched the idea of an all-Canadian showcase and AC3 was down to clown. With the support of Music Nova Scotia and the Province of Nova Scotia, a team of 16 people (artists, staff and a videographer, Brendan Lyle) are whippin' down to ATL on October 7: "We have been working hard setting up meetings, interviews, participating on panel discussions and organizing a VIP industry mixer, which will take place right before our showcase," MacMaster explains, "We are looking to secure publishing deals and build relationships and A&R's which will help us break into the Atlanta market."
I spoke with the 11 artists hoping to break into the Atlanta scene, just so you know who they are when they get their own Noisey documentary. Best of luck to our hip-hop homedogs.
WHO I AM: I'm an 18-year-old hip-hop artist from Glace Bay. Fresh out of high school, I have four projects under my belt, most recently my "Young Superstars" mixtape from July. I've recently just returned from my Maritime "Young Superstars" tour with CDN Movement along with performing at Pop Montreal the weekend after, and I opened for Mad Child in Sydney. I've also incorporated my own company, Buds Entertainment.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: I have traveled to the land of Young Thug's brain many times. I'm most excited to take in the whole environment and the culture down there, and try to make as many connections as possible. I just wanna work with dope people, personality wise and creativity wise.
SHEVY PRICE Been to Atlanta many times,
"networking and kickin it with friends."
WHO I AM: A 21-year-old rapper and song-writer known for my unique and diverse style, raw and thought provoking lyrics, as well as my down-to-earth persona and community contributions.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: Most excited to dip my toes in new waters, exchange experiences and endure knowledge, and of course this showcase. It's a blessing to be able to be a part of A3C, especially with a team of amazing Canadian artists.
WHO I AM: Certi (Carvel Clayton), just turned 20. I'm from Dartmouth, from a small neighbourhood where you must hard work to see yourself get out. I've worked with a few major local artists, like Ghetto Child, JRDN, Thrillah and Quake, who taught me how to make music in a more powerful way. I released my fifth mixtape, Born And Raised 2, on datpiff.com along with other mix tapes. I am slowly working on my first album called Born And Raised, dropping next year.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: I am expecting to have a very good show, on my behalf. I want to create a fanbase out there and meet people that can help take my music to the next level.
WHO I AM: Dartmouth rapper; my single "Drop That" won Best Single in The Coast's Best of Music. I’ve been working on Thrillville3. Thrillville2 is nominated for "Best Recording of the Year" (MNS). I’ve just been working hard trying to make another recording that will out-do my last one.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: I’m looking forward to meeting new artists and making new connections, and the conferences. There’s always more ways to become a better artist. I’m excited to perform in the U.S for the first time. I can't wait to show them why my rap name is “Thrillah”.
WHO I AM: I'm 26, made a name in the battle rap scene in my teens, now a seasoned artist. Award-winning MC. Released fourth studio album, Rap Music, which hit the #4 spot on the iTunes Hip Hop Charts. Now working on an EP with Classified.
WHO I AM: I've managed to build a brand around my music. "ChopTrees." I'm 15 mix tapes deep and now creating the 16th. I'm just trying to keep moms smiling.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: Very influenced by Atlanta's music scene, so I'm stoked to meet people and just see how it is. I wanted to see Curren$y and 2Chainz but they play the day we leave. Other than that, this is my first time in the States so I'm just stoked. May have to cause a slight sun shower at Magic City.
WHO I AM: DJ, Singer, MC, Producer and Host of $mooth Groove$ on CKDU 88.1 FM (Sundays, 5pm). About to release $ecret $tudio $e$$ion$ Vol. 2 on Oct 12.
WHAT I WANT TO DO IN ATL: I'm the most excited for the opportunity to showcase our talents in a music hotbed like Atlanta. Who knows what opportunities await. I'm also excited to check out the conference and festival, including seeing a lot of the artists and especially the industry insiders that will be sharing their knowledge.