Posted on: November 7, 2023 Posted by: Dr. Courtney A Hammonds Comments: 4

In a memorable Thursday evening, the spotlight shone on Center Stage Theater in Atlanta, where a gathering of hip-hop luminaries came together for the premiere of “The South Got Something to Say.” This highly anticipated documentary, a pivotal offering within the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s “AJC Films” initiative, serves as a heartfelt tribute to the city’s vibrant hip-hop legacy.

The premiere event served as the pinnacle of an eventful day, replete with insightful panel discussions that delved into the multifaceted layers of hip-hop culture, encompassing both music and fashion. The discussions spanned a spectrum of compelling topics, ranging from “Documenting the Movement” to “Hip-Hop’s Far-Reaching Impact,” “Pioneering Women in Rap,” and a forward-looking exploration into “The Next 50 Years.”

Documenting the Movement Panel Discussion Ft. Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Shannon McCollum, Sonia Murray, Jason Orr, Dr. Joycelyn Wilson and Amir Shaw, moderator Lauren Hubbard, Lauren Liz Photo/Courtesy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Esteemed panelists, featuring luminaries like “The Dean of Fashion” Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Shannon McCollum, Sonia Murray, Jason Orr, Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, Amir Shaw, Rashan Ali, Mike Jordan, Shanti Das, Jacinta Howard, and Jewel Wicker, participated in engaging discussions that paid tribute to the genre’s rich history while envisioning its promising future. Noteworthy contributions were made by current AJC reporters DeAsia Paige and Ernie Suggs, who played pivotal roles in crafting the documentary’s narrative, shedding light on the origins and evolution of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene.

Furthermore, Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Senior Fashion Editor at Upscale, plays a pivotal role in “The South Got Something to Say.” His invaluable insights and contributions greatly enhance the documentary’s examination of the fashion aspect.

Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds, Senior Fashion Editor at Upscale wearing a custom Rebellious Soul design. Lauren Hubbard, Lauren Liz Photo/Courtesy of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The premiere event also celebrated “The Village Marketplace,” a symbol of economic empowerment and a stronghold for Atlanta’s Black-owned businesses. Recognized as a direct link for these enterprises, it facilitates connections with engaged consumers, vital resources, and dedicated community partners.

(L) AJC writer Ernie Suggs and Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds Photo/Courtesy of AOAGWLLC

As the attendees graced the teal carpet, the evening transformed into a Hollywood-like spectacle. The screening of “The South Got Something to Say,” was intricately tied to a yearlong national cultural celebration, “50 Years of Hip-Hop,” a testament to the genre’s enduring impact on culture and society.

The documentary itself is a powerful exploration of the rise of Atlanta’s hip-hop scene, with its origins traced back to the momentous 1995 Source Awards. It was at this awards show that OutKast’s Andre 3000 uttered the iconic words, “The South’s got something to say,” a declaration that would forever change the course of hip-hop history.

Crafted by the esteemed filmmaking duo Ryon and Tyson Horne, “The South Got Something to Say” intricately entwines Atlanta’s burgeoning growth with its vibrant hip-hop culture. The documentary presents exclusive interviews with notable figures in hip-hop, including luminaries like Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, Jermaine Dupri, and acclaimed DJ Ryan Cameron. Moreover, it offers valuable insights from influential political figures, such as Ambassador Andrew Young, Mayor Andre Dickens, and U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock. This cinematic journey also shines a spotlight on Atlanta’s inaugural rapper “Mojo,” super-producers Jermaine Dupri and Dallas Austin, as well as celebrated artists like Arrested Development, Pastor Troy, and Lil Yachty, whose profound contributions have transcended the city’s confines, leaving an enduring mark on the genre.

Acclaimed Producer Tyson Horne with Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds at the premiere of AJC’s “The South Got Something To Say” documentary screening at Center Stage. (Photo by AOAGWLLC)
Acclaimed Producer Ryon Horne with Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds at the premiere of AJC’s “The South Got Something To Say” documentary screening at Center Stage. (Photo by AOAGWLLC

The premiere at Center Stage in Midtown Atlanta was a resounding success, attracting a substantial and enthusiastic audience. The film was introduced by award-winning directors Ryon and Tyson Horne, who set the stage for an unforgettable viewing experience. A notable presence at the event was U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, who emphasized the documentary’s significance and the role it plays in celebrating Atlanta’s cultural legacy.

A true masterpiece, ‘The South Got Something to Say’ pays a moving tribute to Atlanta’s hip-hop culture. The documentary artfully intertwines history with personal insights from influential figures. Ryon and Tyson Horne’s direction is nothing short of remarkable. An essential watch for those keen to understand Atlanta’s profound impact on hip-hop. – Hazel Simpson, celebrated movie producer and event attendee.

For those eager to embark on this remarkable journey through Atlanta’s hip-hop history, “The South Got Something to Say” is now available for streaming on the AJC’s website at AJC.com/hip-hop. Furthermore, discussions are underway to potentially expand its availability to other prominent streaming platforms, ensuring that this remarkable exploration of Atlanta’s hip-hop history reaches a broader and more diverse audience.

In the heart of Atlanta, a city that has played a pivotal role in shaping the hip-hop landscape, “The South Got Something to Say” serves as a testament to the genre’s enduring impact, and a tribute to the trailblazers and visionaries who have made it all possible. This documentary is a must-watch for anyone interested in the roots and evolution of hip-hop in the vibrant city of Atlanta.

In summary, Upscale Magazine offers our sincere congratulations to the accomplished AJC journalists Ryon Horne and Tyson Horne, the exceptionally talented writers Ernie Suggs and DeAsia Paige, and the entire AJC team. Their collaborative endeavors have yielded a masterpiece that not only illuminates our cherished city but also holds the promise of captivating a worldwide audience.

Yours in Fashion,
Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds

4 People reacted on this

  1. Courtney and Upscale. Wow!! Thank you so much for your unyielding support of this important project. As one of the filmmakers, I will gladly go on record in thanking Dr. Hammond, not only for your kind words, but for your participation in the project. Hip-hop is so encompassing and inclusive. Your examination on the role that fashion plays in the culture helped us tell a complete and well-rounded story and for that, we are forever grateful. Please continue to keep up the good work and telling those stories.

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