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OutKast Mural in Atlanta

TALK OF THE TOWN: THE REAL ATLIENS

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Photo credit: Photo by Heather Lashun for Heather Lashun Photography
STANDING ON THE VERGE OF GETTING IT ON: From left, LaMarquis Jefferson, bass; Tomi Martin, guitar; Craig Love, guitar; Victor Alexander, drums; David Whild, guitar; and Preston Crump, bass.

By now, everyone has probably seen the larger-than-life mural of OutKast (André 3000, left, and Big Boi), painted by JEKS, that adorns the wall of WISH ATL, the boutique in Little Five Points. You’ve probably even had your picture taken in front of it if you are a self-respecting Atlanta creative — or aspire to be one.

OutKast makes the music, but they — and other Grammy Award winners who record in the ATL — couldn’t do it without the serious session players who lay down the tracks. Part of the Organized Noize production team, they are to Atlanta what the Wrecking Crew and the Section were to L.A., Booker T. & the M.G.’s were to Memphis, the Funk Brothers were to Detroit, MFSB was to Philadelphia, the Compass Point Allstars were to Nassau, and, well, you get the point … 

According to Tomi Martin, who has been an integral part of the Atlanta recording scene for years, he was coming out of his bank in L5P one day when he first saw the mural. “I saw people posing with it, then I started seeing all of these posts on social media of people doing selfies with the mural, and I thought, ‘why not have some of the musicians that were actually a part of working with Outkast?’ We’re all friends, so I called the fellas up, we met, and the rest is history!”
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