Songs to get you pumped up for Atlanta

Get pumped up for the ONA conference in one of America’s most vibrant and musically-charged cities.  Not only can you read through this list, download the songs using a Spotify list made just for ONA attendees.  

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The music of the Atlanta dips into almost every genre, but hip-hop reigns supreme.

Some of the biggest names in hip-hop music – from Usher to Outkast to Ludacris – originated in Atlanta, which has been teeming with hip-hop and R&B since the 1990s and 2000s. Some say Atlanta has put its own spin on hip-hop, which was made popular in the 1980s in New York and Los Angeles.

Jon Caramanica, a music writer for the New York Times, has written several pieces that describe Atlanta as the nation’s prominent site for hip-hop emergence because of the sheer amount of music made there. Some artists even become transplants to the area just to get in on the action, Caramanica wrote in 2009.

Not a hip-hop fan? Don’t worry – there’s still plenty of other artists that hail from Atlanta.  The city has developed an indie-rock scene, which was a starting ground for artists such as the Indigo Girls and The Black Crowes; even John Mayer uprooted from Connecticut to get his start in Atlanta. Country stars Zac Brown Band and Sugarland also hail from the ATL.

Enjoy the playlist. And if there are any Atlanta songs I missed, tweet at me @thebeenster and I’ll be sure to include them!

Welcome to Atlanta – Jermaine Dupri, ft. Ludacris

Jermaine Dupri, an Atlanta producer who discovered the rap duo Kris Kross (which appears later in the playlist), raps this tribute to the always-energized city that he calls home.

Why Georgia

Though he hails from up north, John Mayer came to Atlanta at the start of his career. “Why Georgia” is his contemplative look at the south and life in general.

Oh, Atlanta

By Little Feat, it’s a song longing for Georgia sun and an Atlanta girl.

Ms. Jackson

Back in the 1990s, Outkast helped give Atlanta its stronghold as a hip-hop capitol. The group’s song “Ms. Jackson” is too catchy to leave off the list.


Who doesn’t remember “Jump,” probably the biggest song to come out of 1992? After Jermaine Dupri discovered Chris Kelly and Chris Smith in a shopping mall, the Atlanta-based duo Kris Kross was formed. Dupri then wrote and produced their biggest hit.


Usher hails from Atlanta, and his catchy song “Yeah!” has otherwise nothing to do with the conference, except that it’s exciting, like the conference will be.

Gold Digger

Kanye West was born in Atlanta. ‘Nuff said.

Bright Lights, Bigger City

Atlanta-born Cee-Lo Green’s song conjures images of the ATL.

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  1. Pingback: How do I love thee Atlanta? Let me count the ways | ONA13 Student Newsroom

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