What do you know about rap?
Unlike the pre-internet era, it’s easy to ignore large swathes of music today. A lot of people hate hip-hop. Therefore, they don’t know anything about the scene, let alone Atlanta and Lil Baby, but if they read this book…
Now, there may be people who read “Rap Capital” and know all about what Joe Coscarelli is about, but there aren’t that many of them and I’m not sure they’ll read this book anyway. You see, “Rap Capital” isn’t a gossip reveal, it’s more of an in-depth analysis of the history of the Atlanta rap scene to the present day. And more.
It starts with an explanation of Atlanta. How there are different domains, all with their own names.
And then he tells you about black life in Atlanta.
It’s not downtown to the metropolis like NYC, it’s not a skyscraper, it’s more like LA, like in single family homes. And some of them are places where drugs are sold, they are called “trap” houses, meaning “trap” music.
Atlanta is the epicenter of black culture in America. Not that you know if you don’t listen to hip-hop. Even if you follow the policy, you think of all the white areas around Hot Lanta. But this book isn’t about elections, it’s about cultural influence, and when it comes to hip-hop, it’s NYC, LA, and Atlanta, and arguably Hot Lanta leads.
So, what was it like growing up in Atlanta?
Good luck you were raised without a father.
Chances are you were involved in street crime from a young age. It’s not easy to fly straight. All influences, and the need for MONEY! If you want money, you have to find your own way.
As for the traditional way… One of the rappers in the book talks about the number of college graduates who end up in the neighborhood with minimum wage jobs. You see it’s not so easy to get out of it. So you do with what you have.
“Rap Capital” is the best explanation of street culture I’ve ever read. Like why all these young black men end up selling drugs, end up being involved in crime. BECAUSE THERE IS VERY LITTLE OPPORTUNITY!
And the amount of money you can earn…
I can’t get over the story of the drug dealer turned rapper who showed up with 300k cash for his first video. You can do a ton of pulp dealing, but you can also get caught and go to jail, and you can also get killed. Many do.
To die is.
As for going to jail… It seems everyone has done it! You’ve read about these rappers being in jail and out of jail, “Rap Capital” will give you an understanding of the landscape. It’s not like you’re an instant star, you have to SURVIVE first!
And what’s interesting is that a lot of rappers are crossover artists, from the street to the studio. Yes, drug dealers who have no interest in recording take the mic because the entrepreneurs behind the scene think they have good stories to tell. Read “Rap Capital” and you’ll see hip-hop as a storytelling medium.
Not that there aren’t stupid lyrics. Then again, most acts have very brief careers. And you can only be a star in Atlanta, via mixtapes. Either you know all the hits or you’re oblivious. It is a culture.
By reading “Rap Capital”, you will understand why rock is dead. Rock was somewhat similar, as there was a scene bubbling through the streets. Of course, everyone wanted to have a say and get rich, but you didn’t start from the top but from the bottom, you had to impress your peers first. And believe me, nobody clings to the lyrics of the latest rock band these days.
Rap is the way out.
And his stories appeal not only to the black community, but also to white people.
And there is an incredible amount of money to be won. Lil Yachty has earned double-digit millions in eighteen months. You see, the recordings are just the beginning, the starting point. Sure, it’s nice if you can get noticed and make money from streaming, but the real money is in public appearances, endorsements and… If it can be monetized, they’re interested. Credibility just escaped from the streets. Ripping off the establishment is the goal, while rock has become the establishment!
And you have to work incredibly hard, around the clock.
And they record endlessly. It’s not like they have ten songs on demo and they go to the studio with a producer. They carry hard drives, see a studio and come in and rap for a few hours and the end product might never see the light of day. They sharpen their chops, unlike so many on the white side of the business.
And the real star is Coach K. Who I first heard about from Steve Barnett, when he ran Capitol. He bound me to his power. You align yourself with a powerful player…
And you don’t always succeed.
Marlo gets a deal with Republic, releases a single that doesn’t succeed and gets dropped, and goes back to the streets, and the streets are hard to ignore, there’s so much money to be made. AND RESPECT!
And like I said, there is a story. The gang that ran Detroit and Miami infiltrates Atlanta. How many people are there in the Atlanta Police Gang Department? SIX! That eventually changes and the gang is splintered, but before that there’s a series of strip clubs where records are broken and…
It’s a foreign world.
But it affects the whole world.
Read “Rap Capital as Anthropology. Regardless of the acts and their success.
You chart your own path. Your goal is to find a way to be rich without being on the streets.
And don’t get the idea that these rappers are fungible, the story is that the successful ones are super smart.
And unlike rock, rap understands the street. When to flood the market with products and when to hold back.
Coscarelli spent four years reporting this story and you feel like you’re part of Hot Lanta when you read it. You can smell the streets. You get an idea of how leads are made and what makes them successful.
As for mansions and automobiles… THEY MAKE A LOT OF MONEY!
Can you make as much money as a professional athlete?
Probably not, again athletes invest in hip-hop. Everything is connected. Like I said, it’s cultural.
As for the majors… They come last. They skim the cream. And they are not always necessary. Transactions are concluded when they are financially correct. It’s a street phenomenon. And if you succeed, you end up with your own label.
It’s fast cars and fast money and if you’ve always been scared of downtown, black people, rap, you should check this out. You will know so much more when you do.
The reporting is comprehensive. But only by going to the micro level can you probe people’s hopes and dreams and experiences. What’s it like growing up poor and wanting more, with the white man who wants to keep you in jail, at least on probation, when the only way to make money is to be in the street…
In truth, not everyone will finish this book. Because it’s so detailed. But if you do, you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else. You will know what is really going on. Maybe even more than those who claim to be hip-hop experts.
You will dine on the book for a week. Tell all amazing stories to your friends.
Atlanta is hiding in plain sight, but most people still don’t see it. But if you read “Rap Capital”, you will.