Trinidad James & The Recurring Popularity of Atlanta Rappers

This is the first time I’ve done one of these Rome’s Rants in a while. Well, it’s not really a rant, but more of a collection of observations and questions I wanted to pose.

Let me preface this by saying I’m an Atlanta native. I spent the first 18 years of my life here and left 4 years ago to head to North Carolina for college. Now I’m back for what hopefully will be a short stay. For the most part I can identify with and know the places and things most Atlanta rappers are talking about. I always enjoy seeing rappers from my city being in the limelight and getting recognition.

Despite my background I still can’t pinpoint the reason a lot of rappers from Atlanta get recognition and manage to get significant radio play. From my perspective they aren’t the most talented in rappers, when it comes to lyrics and other skills most rap fans look for. Take Trinidad James for example, the Southside Atlanta rapper has gone from unknown to one of the most talked about in the past few months. His image as a quirky, gold sporting rapper has intrigued many, but his music has a lot people questioning why they should even know about him. I’ve listened to his Don’t Be S.A.F.E. tape a few times and outside of the bass heavy “All Gold Everything” and the Forte Bowie assisted “Southside” none of the songs really caught my ear. I’ve scrolled down my timeline on Twitter or read some of the message boards I’ve frequented and I see the same comments, “What do y’all see in this dude?” or  “He’s wack.” And it’s a question I continue to ask as well, What makes Atlanta rappers capture the ears of the nation?

The triumvirate of Ludacris, Young Jeezy, and T.I.,  has been the main stars representing  the past decade or so and are almost  guaranteed to be the main artist or featured on some of the top songs of the year. But for every Ludacris or Jeezy there’s 2 or 3 F.L.Y.‘s  each year who’ll make one notable hit and never make another track close to it in popularity. Atlanta’s music is possibly the rap world’s guilty listening pleasure. The songs and artists you’ll bemoan on Twitter, but somehow the music makes its way onto your iPod or you’ll involuntarily rap a lyric at work. It’s an interesting thing. What I can say about the that differentiates Trinidad James from the Atlanta rap carousel is something Maurice Garland pointed out last month, he has the look and sound that appeal to the hood and the hipsters.
The question remains, is he really that nice? 
Maybe, it’s just me and what everybody else likes just isn’t up my alley.  I’ll just go with that for now.
Hit the comments and chime in.