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30 signs you were raised in the ‘real’ Atlanta

Hundreds flocked to Central Park in Atlanta for ONE Musicfest on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. (Photo credit: Norman Johnson for Steed Media)

All eyes will be on Atlanta as the city hosts the 2019 Super Bowl on Feb. 3. Beyond the big game, Atlanta’s culture will also take center stage. Before the city became synonymous with rap music and reality TV, Atlantans lived by their own cultural rules.

Rolling out created a list that will resonate with Atlantans.

Here are 30 signs you were raised in the “real” Atlanta.

You know you’re from Atlanta if:

Your neighborhood or community has its own holiday (Ben Hill Day, Glenwood Day, SWATS Day, 4th Ward Day).

You remember when Magic Johnson Theater resembled a nightclub for teenagers on Saturday night.

You know more than five people who were born at Grady Hospital or Crawford Long Hospital.

You know The King Center like the back of your hand because your school planned a field trip there every year.

You remember when Arnell Star brought hip-hop to Atlantans when Atlanta wasn’t known for hip-hop.

You remember when Mozley Park was like Freaknik every Sunday afternoon

You bought new sneakers from Greenbriar Mall and the West End Mall only to look “fresh” while walking (not shopping) at Lenox Square Mall.

You know how to do Atlanta-created dances such as the Bankhead Bounce, the Yeek, Ticking and the Rag Top.

You know you’re from East Atlanta/Decatur if:

You jump up at the club and dance to “Cocaine,” “Baby, Baby” or “Go Shawty Go,” by Kilo Ali.

You have a collection of mixtapes by Edward J.

You have partied at Club 112 when it was at the Disco Kroger (Piedmont Road) until 5 a.m. and then went to the 6 a.m. service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Of course, wearing the same clothes you wore the night before.

You still reminisce about partying at Charles’ Disco, Shyran’s Showcase, Mr. V’s Figure 8, Marco’s Lounge, and Frozen Paradise.

You know you’re from College Park if:

You did not drive down Old National on Sunday between noon and 2 p.m. because you didn’t want to get caught in World Changers’ traffic.

You shopped at Shannon Mall religiously.

You partied at El Ranchero on Old National every Cinco de Mayo.

You still call 2 Chainz — Tity Boi.

You remember when Evander Holyfield still owned the house where Rick Ross currently resides.

You know you’re from S.W.A.T.S. if:

You remember when OutKast filmed “Benz or Beamer” at Big A Car Wash.

You remember when Hot 107.9 was Hot 97.5, Chris Lova Lova and Poon Daddy featuring La La Vazquez (Now La La Anthony) were on the radio and Birthday Bash was still at Lakewood Amphitheatre.

You remember when Bell Hill reunion used to be at Tucson Park.

You remember when MBK (My Brother’s Keeper) used to be in Westgate Shopping Center.

You remember when Red Lobster had a location on Campbellton Road.

You remember the movie theater and library were downstairs in Greenbriar Mall.

You got so fresh and so clean in your finest to attend the Mays and Douglass High School football or basketball game.

You remember when everyone was a customer of Eddie’s Gold Teeth and Omar did rims.

You were not officially a couple until you had your photos taken at Harry’s in Greenbriar Mall Flea Market or Old National Discount Mall.

You remember when Mike Roberts and Carol Blackman were the premier morning show on V-103 before Frank Ski and Wanda took the station to the next level.

You remember when the hottest Black movie filmed in Atlanta was Ice Cube’s The Players Club.

You remember when Metropolitan Parkway was Stewart Avenue, Joseph Lowery Boulevard was Ashby Street and Donald Lee Hollowell was Bankhead.

You purchased all your mixtapes and CDs from Big Oomp.

-additional reporting by yvette caslin and jana hicks. 


  1. Arthur McDonald on August 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    …you remember the first time another guy called you “shawty”….and the awkward silence that followed….

  2. Mike Shep on August 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    This is the worst article about the real Atlanta I’ve come across to this point. The contributing writers were obviously somewhere else when Atlanta was real, and just through in some things they thought would make them sound official. To the editors at Rolling Stones magazine, the next time you want to offer a story about the real Atlanta, please use people who were significant from this era. These contributors that you chose were not the ones. How do you mention the bankhead bounce before the yeek? How do you catergorize Chris Lova Lovuh and Poon in the swats portion when they and the radio were straight College Park. How do you not mention Zayre’s on Candler Rd, the Starlight Drive In, or Club XS… How do you not mention Grafiti’s at six flags or DJ Smurf, DJ Jelly, and MC Assault. No mention of the stray cats, and down by law… Football rivalries at Lakewood Stadium and so much more… Next time find some real writers that are going to represent Atlanta well… No knock on the talents and abilities of the writers… They were just out of their element on this one… Don’t you ever mention 2 Chainz in an article about real Atlanta… Come on Man…

  3. Mike Shep on August 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Did they even mention Peach’s Record stores or Camelot Music… Turtles? Man come on. Rolling stone if yall, and yes I said yall; want to redo this article and make it a me and my writing crew vs your writers type of article, we’ll gladly come in and show them how it’s done. Let me know.

    • Kay on August 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      U must be from the East write your own article. Each side had it’s own thing going on and I’m from the A as well. Sensitive brother from a side not rep’ed by anyone..ooh well! Who cares..

  4. Kim G on April 21, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I too am from Atlanta born and raise, and I remember most of what they are referring to in the article. It was a nostalgic, yet brief memory lane. Of course they can’t mention EVERYTHING historical about the A. However to learn the history of Atlanta you can visit the Atlanta History Center at any time to obtain more “real history” you are referring to such as Atlanta’s first name was Marthasville after Gov. Lumpkin’s daughter. The name Atlanta was called was Terminus which signified the ending of the rail system. Our first skyscraper the Equitable Building was only 8 stories high. Atlanta became incorporated as a city in 1847 if I still remember correctly. I have since moved to California, but it is still home to me. I would not get upset over an article however for providing just the tip of the iceberg of history which has such a great midst.