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Killer Mike and T.I. Ask "What Happened to Atlanta" on "The Real A"

Killer Mike and T.I. Ask "What Happened to Atlanta" on "The Real A"

Published Thu, March 16, 2023 at 10:26 AM EDT

Killer Mike, T.I., and Yung Booke and Skooly have linked for the new inquisitive track, "The Real A," a song that bridges the gap between veterans and new school rappers who all want to know the same thing — where did Old Atlanta go?

The question is a regular one for most Atlantans who arrived in the city pre-2010 before rapid gentrification rocked the city, Hollywood set up shop on Peachtree, and the city began regularly landing in the top spot for income disparity. "Old Atlanta" versus "New Atlanta" dominates dinner conversations, as folks grapple with where the city once was and what it represented, and where it's going.

T.I. and Killer Mike both served on former mayor Keisha Lance Bottom's transition team, and have ongoing community and business projects in Atlanta, both separately and together, including plans to revive a brick-and-mortar for the infamous Bankhead Seafood (they currently run a food truck), and Mike's involvement with the Black-owned Greenwood Bank. They offer their thoughts about the past and future of The A on the track.

"I remember when Atlanta was just itty-bitty/ In ’88, Miami boys came and tried to take the city/ They had the weight and price was great but [we] wasn’t with it/ They bought they MAC-10’s out of East Atlanta, went Osama/ They killed them Florida boys and baby mamas, bloody summer/ It was major drama, word to my dope-dealing momma,” Mike raps, reflecting on the late 80s.

T.I. offers perspective on an ongoing conversation in Atlanta, including transplants who've rushed to Atlanta to take part in the bubbling technology scene and regularly televised nightlife (and traptastic brunch scene), while also exploring the recent rise in violence.

“Now I can’t tell if it’s the switches or the out-of-towners/ A youngin’ mixing X and Adderall with all them downers/ I remember we had a code of conduct and an eco-system/ Taking the time to tell old Atlanta we really miss ’em," he raps.

The song's premise is summarized on the hooK: "What happened to Atlanta?/ We went from repping Zones to coloring bandanas/ Tryna stay clean, but the streets dirty like Diana … I’m from Atlanta, but damn, I miss the real A.”

Watch the video below.

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