Tracing the origins of #NewAtlanta

What is #NewAtlanta, where does it come from, and will it differ from our city’s previous trends?


  • Courtesy Pitchblend
  • The Flush

If you’ve been on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or any of these other social stalking platforms lately, you’ve no doubt encountered the hashtag #NewAtlanta attached to everything from show fliers to music download links to blurry party photos, and have probably asked yourself, “What is #NewAtlanta, and where does it come from?”

On the outside looking in, #NewAtlanta may seem like a clique of young rappers, fighting for attention and acceptance from anybody who’s paying attention, and that’s only partially true. There is a lot of light to be shed throughout this movement, and the music is just the tip of the iceberg. Producer Jeron Ward of the Flush Music, the Grammy-nominated unit responsible for Big Boi’s “Royal Flush” (feat. Raekwon and Andre 3000), along with a handful of songs from Big’s latest solo album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors explains that #NewAtlanta is a culture that’s been brewing here for quite some time. “It’s not a clique, its not Wu-Tang, its a collective, unified energy. It’s about positive growth.”

The people down with this positive growth are mostly an early-to-mid 20s, purposefully egoless bunch ranging from rappers, DJs, singers, and producers to painters, poets, and tattoo artists. Community activists, writers, bloggers, and even Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward has hopped in on the conversation via Twitter. “When we say #NewAtlanta, what we’re building is a culture,” offers GreedmontPark writer Steve “Steve-O” Dingle, who is, perhaps the most vocal proponent of the movement.

Unlike other major U.S. cities, Atlanta knows what it feels like to have something “new” take shape every three to four years. It’s one of the ways our city remains culturally relevant. But will the #NewAtlanta renaissance be any different from Atlanta’s trends of the past?