Nov 1, 2023 - Music

The AJC’s hip-hop documentary debuts Thursday

Photo illustration of a collage of Atlanta hip-hop artists Latto, Outkast, Killer Mike, Lil' Jon and Ludacris, in a design resembling an early Hip-hop concert flyer.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photos: Rick Kern, Tim Mosenfelder, Peter G. Forest, and Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is hosting a teal carpet event Thursday to celebrate the premiere of its first feature film, "The South Got Something to Say," which highlights Atlanta's indisputable influence on the genre of hip-hop.

Why it matters: When hip-hop turned 50 this year, no one could deny Atlanta's contribution to the music's sub-genres — including crunk, trap and conscious rap, Axios previously reported.

  • The AJC's film traces the rise of Atlanta's hip-hop scene from the 1995 Source Awards, where Outkast's André 3000 famously declared, "The South got something to say."
  • The film shows more than 60 interviews with hip-hop legends, political figures and influencers.

The big picture: The film also marks the launch of AJC Films, an initiative to develop, produce and distribute original content based on the newspaper's 155-year-old archive.

  • The AJC will partner with filmmakers and studios to produce long-form programs to illuminate the city's history beyond the print medium.
  • As it enters the film industry, the newspaper will be represented by United Talent Agency.

Driving the news: Attendees of Thursday's premiere will meet some of the industry's biggest influencers at Center Stage before the film's premiere to discuss Atlanta hip-hop's past, present and future. To name a few:

  • Music executive Shanti Das paved the way for Outkast, Usher and Goodie Mob.
  • Kawan "KP The Great" Prather signed rap titan T.I. and co-wrote Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" song.

What they're saying: Co-directors, producers and brothers Ryon and Tyson Horne — known for the Emmy-winning AJC documentary "The Imperfect Alibi" — told Axios their film shows how the community built Atlanta's sound. They said it also highlights the shared appreciation and support among Atlantans.

  • "We show in this documentary that most certainly this newspaper has been covering hip-hop from its inception in Atlanta," Ryon Horne told Axios.
  • Tyson Horne says the film is "good because the music was good." He said they relied on their relationships with people "behind the scenes" to access influencers who are normally hard to reach.
  • The Horne brothers gave AJC President and Publisher Andrew Morse and AJC editor-in-chief Leroy Chapman a shoutout for wanting to reintroduce more than a century's worth of knowledge to society in a new way.

Worthy of your time: "The South Got Something to Say" premieres at Atlanta's Center Stage on Nov. 2. Watch the trailer, and get your tickets now.

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