Atlanta, GA

T.I. and Killer Mike have joined forces on Yung Booke’s new song “The Real A” alongside Skooly — check it out below.

Released on Tuesday (March 14), “The Real A (WHTA)” finds the Atlanta rap dignitaries reminiscing on simpler — yet not exactly innocent — times growing up in the Black Mecca.

“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.

Tip’s verse also finds him in a reflective mood as he looks back on ATL Hip Hop pioneer Kilo Ali, Freaknik and his dope boy past that resulted in brushes with the law and close shaves with death.

The Grand Hustle general then turns his attention to the present day and ruminates on how his beloved hometown has changed since his youth — and not necessarily for the best.

“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.”

T.I.’s bars echo Skooly’s melancholy hook, on which he asks: “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.”

Listen to “The Real A” below:

The 21st century saw Atlanta steal the Hip Hop spotlight and become the epicenter of the culture. T.I. and Killer Mike both played a role in paving the way for future stars to thrive in the city.

However, following TakeOff’sNovember 2022 murder and the sprawling YSL RICO case that threatens to put Young Thug in prison, fellow Atlanta native 21 Savage recently admitted that the Georgia capital may not ever be the same.

“You can feel a lot of energy missing from Atlanta right now,” he said in an interview with Complex. “Atlanta just ain’t the same, honestly. That shit be really driving me crazy. I feel like we took a lot of big ass losses last year.

“I don’t feel like we’ll ever recover from that shit, if I’m being honest. Especially with TakeOff. I feel like we’re just in a dark place right now in Atlanta, as far as our energy. Going outside ain’t the same, clubs ain’t the same, you just feel it.”

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He continued: “I feel like certain people, when you lose them or they’re not physically able to be present, certain people just aren’t replaceable. There’s nothing you can do to fill that void. I really don’t think there’s nothing we can do for real, but hold on to what we have left and cherish what we have left.”

Jermaine Dupri, whose So So Def hit factory helped put Atlanta on the Hip Hop map in the early ’90s, shared similar concerns in an interview with VIBE in January.

“I feel like Hip Hop is definitely hurting and needs reviving,” he said. “I have to go ahead and say this: for the last 20 years, Atlanta’s always had at least five to six top rappers at one time. Right now, Atlanta’s dropped down to two top artists: Lil Baby and Future.

“There’s a lot of talent in the city still, I don’t want anybody to screw what I’m saying, but that top tier where you have Ludacris, Jeezy, 2 Chainz, Migos, Future, Lil Baby — I mean, at one point, all of this was Atlanta. This was where all the top-tier rap artists came from.”