Atlanta is known for many things: its southern hospitality, world-renowned cuisine, and rich history. But music is one of the most significant aspects of life in The Big Peach. From soulful gospel hymns to chart-topping rap songs, Atlanta has a rich musical heritage that is celebrated in many genres.
In this post, we’ve put together a playlist of 10 of the best songs about Atlanta. Whether you’re from there or just visiting, these songs will give you a taste of what makes Atlanta so special. Let’s get started!
1. “Welcome to Atlanta” by Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris
Atlanta is the hometown of Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris, so they provide listeners with a window into the real, day-to-day life in the city.
Since its release in 2002, “Welcome to Atlanta” reached number three on the US Hot Rap Songs and number seven on the US Rhythmic Billboard charts and has become a hymn for those who are part of this community.
With these lyrics, Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris depict the social reality and atmosphere of Atlanta. They sing, “See gangsters roamin’ / And parties don’t stop ‘til eight in the mo’nin’.”
In 2018, the rappers reunited and released a remixed version of this song for the local football team, “The Atlanta Falcons,” of which both are huge fans.
2. “Oh Atlanta” by Little Feat
“Oh Atlanta” was the first single released of Little Feat’s fourth album titled Feats Don’t Fail Me Now. It was one of their most popular songs, and the album itself sold more than 500,000 copies.
Little Feat branched out with “Oh Atlanta.” In this song, listeners will hear their keyboard player, Bill Payne, singing lead vocals.
When songwriter Ben Fong-Torres writes, “I got to feel that Georgia sun … Where the music plays all night / They got the boogie band blowin’ that’s bound for hell”, he expresses the beauties of Atlanta and his wish to be there.
3. “F.I.L.A.” by Lil Scrappy
Lil Scrappy praises his hometown of Atlanta with “F.I.L.A (Forever I Love Atlanta).” This song shows that Atlanta holds a really special place in Lil Scrappy’s heart. He sings, “Martin Luther King from the A, so I love my home” and “hell yeah, I’m proud.”
He also sings of his fond memories in Atlanta with lines like “reminiscin’ on crunk years / It’s the city of crunk where I shed my tears.”
This rap song has a laid-back beat. Turn it up in the car and feel your speakers shake.
4. “Oh, Atlanta” by Bad Company
Bad Company, an English rock band most popular during the 1970s, released “Oh, Atlanta” in 1996.
The song features a narrator reminiscing about his time in Atlanta. He recalls his favorite things about the city with lines like “All the crazy days and crazy nights / Country music playing,” and he claims he will be returning to Georgia.
Bad Company expresses their longing for Atlanta in the tone of their vocals. The listener can hear them crying out for the city they miss.
5. “Elevators” by Outkast
Outkast released “Elevators” in 1996, and it climbed to number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. This single even reached number one on the US Hot Rap Tracks chart, and it has been certified gold.
In “Elevators,” the hip hop duo shares their rise to fame, which started at Headland and Delowe in Atlanta. They sing of how they were “Writing rhymes, tryna find our spot off in that light.”
Outkast also expresses their struggle with making ends meet with lines like, “But we not making no G’s and that’s a no-no” and I live by the beat like you live check-to-check.”
6. “Ride Wit Me” by T.I.
“Ride Wit Me” was a promotional single that came out before T.I. released his fourth album titled King. The album was number one on the Billboard 200 and sold 522,000 copies within the first week.
In this song, T.I. tells of how he is from the “Westside of the A-town.” The song revolves around T.I. driving around his hometown.
He sings: “We gone swing by Simpson Road … We gone ride down Bankhead … See me riding through Atlanta in a Phantom with the double door”.
T.I. invites listeners along for a ride down memory lane in “Ride Wit Me.”
7. “Dirty South” by Goodie Mob
As a band based out of Atlanta, Goodie Mob knows the ins and outs of the city. “Dirty South” is a track from their album titled Soul Food, which was released in 1995. The album was number eight on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Billboard chart. It was certified gold in the US.
Goodie Mob describes the drug community in Atlanta during “Dirty South.” They tell of the variety of drugs available when they sing, “See powder gets you hyper, reefa makes you calm / Cigarettes give you cancer, woo woo’s make you dumb.”
This song also refers to slavery and the education system’s approach to this topic with the line, “So in the 3rd grade this is what you told / You was bought, you was sold”.
“Dirty South” explores serious issues in the south, but it is still a fun sing-along.
8. “New Atlanta” by Migos
Migos is a trio of men raised together in the suburbs of Atlanta. They discuss their fame and attempt to stay down to earth when they sing, “We don’t f*ck with cameras out here, I’m for real.”
However, they also remember their struggle with rising to fame. Migos sings, “Do you remember my teachers said we wouldn’t make it? / I gotta thank y’all / Atlanta made us famous”.
This is a classic ‘zero to hero’ story for aspiring young people in Atlanta.
9. “Hot ‘Lanta” by Allman Brothers
“Hot ‘Lanta” is a nickname for the city of Atlanta. The Allman Brothers, an American rock band formed in 1969, performed this instrumental piece and released it in 1971.
The song is only available on their live albums, and it debuted on At Fillmore East. There are featured solos throughout the song played on the organ and guitars, plus a drum duet. “Hot ‘Lanta” combines jazz-rock and progressive rock music.
Despite the lack of vocals, the Allman Brothers keep listeners engaged throughout this tune.
10. “Love Shack” by B-52’s
The B-52’s are an American new wave band. In the middle of the 1980s, they were struggling to maintain popularity after their guitarist died. Luckily, “Love Shack” was just the comeback that the band needed, and it is now considered their signature song.
A cabin near Athens, Georgia inspired the B-52’s to write this song. They sing about their love for this hang-out spot with lines like, “Just a funky old shack and I gotta get back … The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together”.
“Love Shack” is a feel-good, upbeat song for car rides with friends.
Summing Up Our List Of Atlanta Songs
Atlanta, Georgia, is well-known as the starting point of the Civil Rights movement. Many people of color call Atlanta home. Several of the artists listed above remember the struggle of growing up in adversity and proving themselves to their hometown.
Additionally, Atlanta is warm most of the year, cultivating a party atmosphere that draws people into the city.
Whether you are on a road trip to Atlanta or dreaming of the warm Atlanta weather, turn up these tunes and enjoy the feel-good vibes.