How Strip Clubs Influence Atlanta's Underground Rap Scene

This New American Noise documentary explores the intersection of rap and exotic dancing in Atlanta.

“Everything sounds better in the strip club.”

This installment of the six-part New American Noise series takes a closer look at the gritty world of underground rap in Atlanta, Georgia. A project with Sundance Channel, the documentary captures the volatile nature of the city’s music scene, as seen through its relationship with the exotic dancing industry. As one woman interviewed in the video says, girls here have the “power” to make hits.

“Home of the Hustlers,” Atlanta has produced some big names in rap and hip-hop over the last few years, including singer-rapper T-pain, T.I., 2 Chainz, and Young Jeezy. Like the newly signed Trinidad James, who’s smash hit “All Gold Everything” reached viral success last year, many emerging rappers get their start crafting these strip-club anthems. The clubs act as a platform where DJs can play never-before-heard mix-tapes and discover breakout artists before radio stations do. The strippers become synonymous with economic opportunity for the young male artists. To the outside world, however, they are a visceral reminder of hip-hop’s very gendered roots. 

For more from New American Noise, visit their site.

Alessandra Ram is a former writer and producer for The Atlantic Video Channel. Her work has also appeared in Foreign Policy.

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