Omeretta the Great Sparks Debate Over Who Has the Right to Represent Atlanta

Omeretta The Great caused a stir with the release of her latest single, “Sorry Not Sorry.” The Atlanta-based rapper sparked a heated debate about who has the right to represent her hometown.

“College Park is not Atlanta/Lithonia is not Atlanta/Clayco (Clayton County) is not Atlanta/Decatur is Atlanta/Gwinnett is not Atlanta/Roswell is not Atlanta/Forest Park is not Atlanta/Lilburn is not Atlanta,” Omeretta rapped on her song. 

Instantly, the song went viral sparking discussion amongst social media users from the metro Atlanta area and even inspired users from cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Detroit to create their own versions. 

The song gained more traction over the weekend after fellow Atlanta rapper, Latto, provided a remix to the song where she embraces her Clayton County upbringing. 

For Omeretta, who has released music since 2017, it’s undoubtedly her most-discussed song to date. 

“I wrote it last year when I was bored and thinking about topics to rap about,” Omeretta said during an exclusive interview with Atlanta Daily World. “I began to write about different parts of the surrounding areas that claim Atlanta, but they’re not Atlanta. I didn’t know that people would be so mad (laughs).” 

There’s a significance to being associated with Atlanta. The city’s culture continues to thrive from its rich history in the civil rights movement to today’s ever growing hip-hop scene and TV and film industries. 

“We’re the Black Hollywood,” Omeretta says. “A lot of great artists come from here so it’s a historical place. I was talking to someone from ClayCo and he was telling me that Atlanta wouldn’t be what it is without the artists from the southside. But my argument was that they still used Atlanta to stamp themselves. Both sides have helped the area to grow in the industry.” 

However, Atlanta’s growth has led to a change in who has enough financial access to reside in the city. Once known as a city that was relatively affordable, Atlanta’s home prices rose 20 percent over the past year with a median home price of $390K, according to stats provided by Redfin.  

Growth is expected to continue. Over the next 30 years, the population of the metro area is forecasted to grow by 2.4 million, and the city of Atlanta is projected to grow by nearly 50 percent from 500,000 to 800,000 residents, according to a report by JLL, a Chicago-based real estate and investment services firm

Omeretta sees some disadvantages in the city’s growth. 

“It’s the people coming here from other cities,” Omeretta says. “That’s why traffic is crazy, the rent is so high, and there’s gentrification. Outsiders need to leave (laughs).”

Omeretta represents a new generation of Atlanta-based artists who are looking to carry the mantle in the music industry that has stood strong since Andre 3000 declared, “The south got something to say,” in 1995. 

“I know how (OutKast) put on for the city. But so me of the newcomers don’t know about how Atlanta was put on the map. I know the history so I respect it,” she says. 

The women of hip-hop in Atlanta are also gaining more respect. Days after releasing “Sorry Not Sorry,” Omeretta posted a freestyle on her social media pages where she gave a shout out to different female artists in the industry. It was also a monumental moment for her and Latto to collaborate on the “Sorry Not Sorry” remix at the start of Women’s History Month. 

“I think it’s a cool idea to support other female artists,” Omeretta says. “When I was first coming up, some people didn’t show that same love back. But now I’m at a point where I don’t care if they show the love back or not. I’m going to still show it because it’s in my heart to do it.”

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