Atlanta has always found ways to represent and be present on the world’s biggest stages. On Sunday, Atlanta resident Killer Mike shined the brightest as he took home three Grammy Awards, sweeping the rap category. It was an important moment for hip-hop and Atlanta.
During his press conference, Killer Mike shared why Atlanta is the Black capital. “Atlanta to me is the capital of Black America,” he said. “I think all Black people and other people should be celebrating Black history month because it’s for us all. I think Atlanta is the mecca of the Black world and people should be there and investing in there.”
Killer Mike’s words went beyond the realm of winning an award for music, it was about giving props to the leaders who built this city. Business leaders such as Alonzo Herndon and H.J. Russell, established a foundation for Black achievement in Atlanta.
Political figures such as Maynard Jackson ensured that Atlanta’s Black business community would be resourced and given opportunities to work on major projects such as the airport.
Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Lewis, Hosea Williams, and Ambassador Andrew Young all called Atlanta home while changing the landscape of the nation.
But it’s also a city that has produced some of the most outstanding artists of a generation.
“We’re not just one sound,” Killer Mike said when discussing Atlanta’s music scene. “We all don’t sound the same and we ain’t all just doing what you think we’re doing. And that’s what makes us so amazing. So whether it’s Kenny Mayson or Lil Baby, or Killer Mike. Whether it’s OutKast or T.I., Jeezy, or Bankroll Fresh. We are giving you a plethora of styles that you should be listening to.”
Atlanta’s legacy continues because of its foundation. One month before Killer Mike’s big night at the Grammy Awards, he spoke with ADW and shared what makes the city special and inspiring.
“For me it’s a combination of an education poured into me at Collier Heights Elementary, Frederick Douglass High School, and later Morehouse College,” Killer Mike said. “It’s the common man’s education that my grandfather taught me about Dr. King and family. It’s the Atlanta folklore and mythology that a Black kid only 60 years out of segregation can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.”