To truly understand a society, one needs look no further than what’s happening in pop culture. In Atlanta, wokeness, for lack of a better term, is the underlying theme driving anything and everything that has to do with the city’s nightlife and musical communities. But the political agendas, the sense of strife, righteousness, resistance, and the passionate debate that’s clogging up social media channels and organizing in the form of protest marches would be for not if it weren’t for the quality, strength and diversity that’s brewing in the music scene.
Evolution and revolution are constantly at work in the city that’s still too busy to hate. Nowhere is that more clearly on display than with the new crop of young, progressive and mobilized artists who have carved out their own pieces of real estate within Atlanta’s creative communities, and started building upon the city’s already deep legacy of hip-hop, punk rock, roots music and dance floor odysseys. ATLiens, it seems, are at their best when they’re under duress. The gentrifying face of the city, coupled with the tumultuous tone of American politics, came home to roost in 2017. The natives are restless, and they’ve responded with fortitude, channeling the fear, elation, anxiety and joy into a music and nightlife scene that’s as hard as the world we live in. Amen to that.
— Chad Radford, CL Music Editor