On Friday, October 12th JSG will host the event, “Atlanta: Hip-Hop and the South” featuring photos by Michael Schmelling for one-night only at Space2 beside Sound Stand at 438 Edgewood Avenue from seven to 10 PM. Cocktails, small bites and DJ Apple Jac will make this an night that you don’t need to miss!
From 2007 to 2009, Michael Schmelling made several lengthy trips to Atl to record the city’s famous hip-hop scene. Schmelling uses this fertile centre of popular culture as the setting. From off-the-map adolescent clubs, to room studios, to Northside mansions, Schmelling traversed the diverse world of Atl hip-hop, recording the scene from the ground up. The resulting photographs evoke the spirit and singularity of the city’s hip-hop scene, capturing everything from automobiles and hot dogs to pay phones and gold stores, to up-and-coming emcees to strippers and multi-platinum artists. Each personality and each piece are part of a greater story that examines American popular culture, technology, economics, and music.
Schmelling has spent the previous twelve years taking care of a series of lengthy photo projects, many of which have become books: atlanta recording studio Shut Up Truth (J L Books, 2002), The Wilco Book (Picturebox, 2004), The Week Of No Computer (TV Books, 2008), and The Strategy (J L Books, 2010). Copies of his newest novel, Atl will be available for market throughout the exhibit. In this publication, Schmelling approaches the main-stream subject of hip-hop with a thoughtfully oblique viewpoint. This approach to documentary photography operates throughout much of his work—projects that are rich in depth, but also saturated in unexpected cues, distractions, and 2nd requires.
Ben “Dstructive” Cost is an improbable character: a hip-hop performer and rapper living in the peaceful city of Powder Springs.
At 23, the metro Atlanta rapper stereotype, lyrically or otherwise doesn’t be fit by Price. Raised in Cobb County, he spent his early years between Powder Springs and Marietta. He graduated from Kell High School in Northeast Cobb in 2005 before settling near Sunshine Valley Beach in Powder Springs.
He wrote his first rap at age 8, but he confesses he never recorded or took himself significantly as an artist until two years after his high school graduation. He has listened to hip-hop since he was a small kid, but the tune that stimulated his love for the music genre and passion for the spoken phrase was Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” off the soundtrack for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds.
In both music and lifestyle, Cost is a far cry from Coolio’s gangsta classic. In several respects, his sound is an contemporary mix of the beginnings of hip – hop and the voice of the millennial era. His newly released mix-tape Donut Powered Time Machine, for example, is a homage to the late J Dilla, a producer who gained notoriety in the mid-1990s and continued until (and following) his 2006 departure.
Cost stated J Dilla is his favorite producer. “He is got hundreds of beats, and I could use any one of them.”
Cost was never a gang member, therefore his words aren’t full of gang references. He typically will not speak about other stereotypical rap subjects such as firearms, drugs and the degradation of females.
“My lyrics are about items that I have observed in life,” Price stated. “Some songs are like protest songs in a feeling… my notion of the way the world should be.”
The styles of rap and hip-hop are usually interchangeable, but Cost said variances have developed between both since
2000. “Rap is everywhere” in the Atlanta area, he said. “But I do not hear a lot of traditional hip-hop here.”
traditional hip – hop, by his description, is a mixture of funk, jazz, spirit and a heavy dose of creativity. Many of these factors be noticeable in J Dilla-produced tracks, which may describe Cost’s strong recognition with that perform.
Also the name of Cost’s self-produced Donut Powered Time Machine is a play over a frequent motif in J Dilla’s work—doughnuts—with the time machine signifying a way to “take it back to the classics.”
On the other hand, rap has developed into a mainstream product, Price mentioned.
“Radio in the South is more synthy-rap and not truly hip-hop,” he mentioned, although “Atlanta rap has affected me more than I’d like to confess.”
Cost added that Powder Springs isn’t his “outlet city.” If you type his name into a internet search engine, you’ll generally see Atlanta listed as his place of residence.
You might also discover his substantial presence on the web. He’s on every social media site, from Myspace to ReverbNation, a network for musicians, artists and music fans.
“You really have to branch out,” Price mentioned. “It isn’t about one city anymore, and an online existence is really important.”
Still, Cost uses Atlanta professionally for the title reputation.
Besides, Powder Springs doesn’t have a music location, though Cost stated the town plays an important part in his music.
“My friends and most of my encounters happened here,” he said. “As an artist, it helps being here because it offers you that added emotion: inspiration.”
In several ways, Cost is now a symbol of the new age of hip-hop. A striving artist no longer requires a big budget or a transfer to a huge town to increase and reach an audience.
“With songs, children tend to latch on to trends,” he mentioned. “But the true part of audio people value is a distinctive standpoint.”