Nov 3, 2023 - Music

Now streaming: "The South Got Something to Say"

Goodie Mob members

Members of Goodie Mob are shown in AJC Films' "The South Got Something To Say." Photo: AJC Films

"The South Got Something to Say" is an Atlanta hip-hop documentary. But it's also about the Black community's experience amid the city's growing economy.

Why it matters: Hip-hop has existed for 50 years thanks to New York, but this film credits the South, especially Atlanta, for the genre's evolution over the last 30 years.

  • Its premiere this week also marks the launch of AJC Films, aka The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's new film division.

What they're saying: "I started the rap, the rap music," said the iconic James Brown, a South Carolina native who spent his final moments in Atlanta.

  • Atlanta's first Black mayor, Maynard Jackson, created a city department that incubated the talent behind the music.
  • Several producers and rappers, including T.I., credited the south's earliest hip-hop artists as the inspiration for their careers.

The intrigue: Atlanta apparently has eight Black mayors. Watch this movie to see who's been the city's unofficial mayor for three decades now.

Of note: Things get political. Expect snippets from the video of Minneapolis police killing George Floyd.

  • "Hip-hop artists tell truths in the way that poets do, and the way that prophets do, and that people, for example, in politics are hard pressed to tell," Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.) says in the documentary.

Wil's thought bubble: I'm no Roger Ebert, nor am I Jay-Z or Ludacris. But do I think this film captures the essence of Atlanta's impact on hip-hop? Hell yeah, shawty.

The bottom line: Let's see what the East Coast and West Coast has to say about this.

How to watch: It's now streaming for free at the AJC's website.


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