cover image Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story

Rap Capital: An Atlanta Story

Joe Coscarelli. Simon & Schuster, $28.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-982107-88-8

In this pulsating work, Coscarelli, a culture reporter for the New York Times, traces the growth of the legendary Atlanta rap scene, crafting an epic of music history. Delving into Atlanta’s thriving music scene in the 1990s—a melding of “influences from the North, South and West, befitting Atlanta’s geography and its status as a transportation hub”—Coscarelli tackles a hefty subject manner as he painstakingly pieces together the countless moments that would later define the sound of the city, from the energy and excitement of the Freaknik festival to the rise of LaFace records and the birth of “crunk.” Yet just as important, Coscarelli conveys, were the rap scene’s trailblazing artists (OutKast, Quavo, Marlo, Lil Yachty), whose accomplishments and struggles didn’t simply paint a picture of career innovation but also reflected the adversity and triumph of Atlanta’s Black residents, who “have proven time and again to be resolute, resourceful and experimental, continually pushing boundaries in politics and culture.” Unparalleled success and crashing downfalls would be hallmarks to many artists, but, as Coscarelli makes stunningly apparent, their contributions put Atlanta on the map, turning “the chip on the city’s shoulder... to a stage.” This impassioned tribute to an overlooked pillar of music is spectacular. Agent: William LoTurco, LoTurco Agency. (Oct.)