Mariel Semonte Orr was a natural leader who was smart, level-headed, and charismatic, according to all sources. Nearly all of the people who talked for this article agreed that Orr, also known as the Atlanta rapper Trouble, deserved a chance at the top of the rap game and would have soon received it.

Orr was shot and died in the early hours of June 5 in Conyers, an Atlanta suburb, after what authorities believe to have been a domestic quarrel. Before his friends, admirers, and family could witness him reach his full potential, he passed away at the age of 34 in a neighboring hospital a few hours later.

At the intersection of Norfolk Street and North Avenue, Orr’s close friends and colleagues gathered one month after his passing to mourn him. Rappers YB, Suwop, and Freeworld were all members of the group and were associated with the Troubles MMB record label. The three men, who were all in their early to mid-20s, claimed that Orr gave them self-confidence and counseled them to prioritise relationships over material success. Through a group chat, friends Doris Turner and MMB Smoke discussed Trouble’s campaign for financial literacy and the lessons he was learning about investing.

The late Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo’s sister Queen claims that Orr had a talent for bringing people together. She tells Rolling Stone that he was able to persuade the young lads to join him in doing something constructive rather than acting foolishly in the streets. A 23-year-old rapper named MMB Thuglife claims that Orr guided him away from a difficult road that includes an attempted murder conviction. He claims that as a true big brother, he has helped me through the street shit and the jail shit.

Atlanta does appear to have changed recently. The city’s hip-hop scene has recently been shaken by violent crimes, fatalities, and legal controversies. Included in this are the well-known gunshot deaths of Trouble, Atlanta rapper Archie Eversole, and Metro Boomin’s mother.

Eversole was shot in the jaw on March 25 and passed away nine days later at the age of 37. His 2002 hit, “We Ready,” became a well-known anthem for athletic events. He was murdered by his own brother, Police have claimed. And Leslie Joanne Wayne, who Metro Boomin referred to as his biggest inspiration, was fatally shot by her companion in what appeared to be a murder-suicide in early June.

The arrest of 28 members of the Atlanta rappers’ YSL collective, including Young Thug, who was brought into custody on May 9, and Gunna, who turned himself in to authorities two days later, disturbed Atlanta’s sense of order. Less than a week after their arrests, YSL rapper Lil Keed passed away peacefully.

Young Thug, one of the 28 defendants charged with conspiring to break the law governing RICO cases, is shown in

Young Thug

Booking photo.
via AP: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office

The Young Slime Life crew, also known as the Thugs Young Stoner Life record label but identified by Atlanta law enforcement as a street gang, is being sued on 56 counts of RICO. Gunna, Yak Gotti, and Quantavious Grier, a.k.a. Unfoonk, the older brother of Thugs-in-Harmony, have all been implicated in the case along with other rappers that are connected to YSL. Grier served 11 years of a life sentence for being convicted in 2007 for felony murder and armed robbery before being released from prison in 2019.

Nearly all of the defendants in case the RICO case are suspected of conspiring, and numerous others are said to have taken part in a criminal street gang. While some, including Yak Gotti and four other people, are charged with murder, others are only charged with possession of firearms or controlled substances. YSL affiliate Christian Eppinger, also known as Big Bhris, and shot an Atlanta police officer six times in February are also allegedly involved. In the RICO case, Eppinger is accused of 15 offenses, including attempted murder.

The rapper YFN Lucci, who is now detained in a Fulton County jail on RICO charges, and the YSL RICO case are both significant. In connection with a shooting that took place in a drive-by in December 2020 that left an Atlanta man dead, Lucci is accused with murder. Young Thug is currently accused by prosecutors of giving YSL affiliates permission to murder Lucci in jail. Lucci claims that he was stabbed in jail earlier this year.

The prosecution’s use of Young Thugs song lyrics from songs like Ski, Slatty, and others as prospective evidence in the case fuels controversy. In the song Bad Boy, which features the late musician Juice WLRD, the D.A.s office even makes the claim that Thug alluded to personally shooting at Luccis mother, who was shot in the leg when her house was allegedly shot up twice in a week.

When word spread that veteran Ludacris manager Chaka Zulu had been shot on June 26 outside a bar in the affluent Buckhead section of Atlanta, some of the city’s most well-known businesspeople began to believe that the city was in trouble. Several people have been slain and many others have been injured in violent episodes, including Lucci, Young Thug, Gunna, and Zulu. There are various perspectives on what should be done as the community struggles with its options.

You’ve got these young men attempting to match the standard set by these rappers, Omeretta the Great

Despite relocating to Los Angeles, Antonio L.A. Reid, who co-founded Atlanta’s illustrious LaFace Records in 1989 with Kenneth Babyface Edmonds, is still regarded as a founding father of the city’s music scene. When he lived in Atlanta in the 1990s, he never felt uncomfortable, but in recent months, he started to feel differently. He frequently travels to Atlanta on business. During a recent visit, he first observed cops manning Atlanta’s Waldorf Astoria. He tells Rolling Stone, “That worried me because that’s not how I remember Atlanta.”

Reid, who describes Zulu one of the kindest individuals he’s ever met, was extremely concerned by the shooting of Zulu. He described it as an omen that unfavorable change was on the horizon.

Chaka Zulu isn’t a common man. He claims he is not a troublemaker. He’s a decent man. And for the first time, that actually caused me to wonder about Atlanta.

The 1990s were a heyday for Atlanta and LaFace. The United States experienced continuous economic expansion throughout this time, and the city that hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996 experienced a moment in the spotlight on a global scale. Even though Atlanta’s music business was smaller, it was nevertheless capable of producing international stars like Kris Kross, TLC, Pink, Usher, and OutKast. Atlanta became a viable option to New York and Los Angeles for people pursuing careers in the music industry, particularly if you were young, Black, and talented. This was especially true with each crossover success story.

Atlanta’s population has been growing as a result of the city’s growing reputation as a hub for Black creatives. The Census Bureau reports that throughout the previous ten years, Police have claimed0. But the financial disparity between races and Police have claimed1 has also grown. The City Too Busy to Hate got so adept at spreading optimism that its economy didn’t benefit everyone.

Similar issues with high rates of random violence exist in other major American cities. Police have claimed3, primarily attributed to COVID’s financial struggles. Atlanta is still listed as one of six large cities with an Police have claimed4 as of June, according to a recent Fox News story.

T.I. claimed in an interview with Rolling Stone that the rise in violence might be due to newcomers failing to appreciate Atlanta’s cyclical nature. He claims that Atlanta has always been a location where you can do anything. Anything is at your disposal as long as you are aware of the game’s rules and behave like a participant. However, Atlanta has also always been a site where those who lack proper movement, who enter with excessive force or atrocious brutality, can make up for it with awful deceit.

While T.I. and Reid played major roles in Atlanta’s ascent to hip-hop fame, T.I. has also struggled with guns. In 2009, he was found guilty on federal weapons charges after attempting to buy unregistered machine guns from undercover investigators. In recent years, allegations of sexual misbehavior have been leveled against Reid and T.I. After the statutes of limitations in both cases ran out, prosecutors in Los Angeles and Las Vegas decided not to pursue T.I. with sexual assault for reported incidents from 2005 and 2010, respectively. Reid resigned as chairman of Epic Records in 2017 following allegations of sexual harassment made by female workers. (Both men strenuously refute the accusations.)

Everyone desires to become famous. Children “believe” they need to do something foolish to make the news. Street, Greg

Residents of metro Atlanta have previously complained that visitors, not natives, are typically the ones causing trouble. As part of pre-Olympics, Old Atlanta street lore, the tale of Police have claimed5, who arrived in Atlanta in the late 1980s and engaged in a turf battle with pre-existing drug gangs there, is still told. Police have claimed6 for rising crime when Hurricane Katrina caused citizens of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities to evacuate. Following the nationwide closure in spring 2020, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s decision to allow companies to reopen earlier than all other states in the country drew bipartisan condemnation from then-Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Police have claimed7 and, according to sources, even led to Police have claimed8 in Atlanta.

Not everyone assigns blame to foreigners; some conspiracies involve regional organizations. This includes rumors circulating about potential government targets, which are believed to be hip-hop celebrities because law enforcement perpetually portrays them as villains. Without providing any proof, Police have claimed9 asserted that a male Atlanta rapper is actively helping the city’s police department root out alleged criminal elements in the music business because he doesn’t like the way Atlanta has developed.

I’m truly sorry. Rapper Omeretta The Great, who was born in Atlanta a month before the 1996 Olympics, thinks that given the city’s low economic mobility, Atlanta has more to blame for the violence affecting the music industry than any other place. She claimed that there are many hoods in Atlanta. This is what happens when you cluster a lot of impoverished individuals who are essentially devoid of anything save guns and drugs.

Omeretta the Great image
Williams, Prince/Wireimage

Omeretta thinks that the music has an impact on Atlanta’s young, particularly those biggest inspiration0 who are growing up in poverty. These young men are making an effort to emulate what the rappers are saying. And they’re younger than when we started, she continues, carrying firearms and grinding at 12 and 13. Her aim is to achieve harmony in her music. Everyone is simply following the gangster path. I discuss street issues that are “not only” Bang-bang, kill-kill, and pop-a-Perc.

Ryan Cameron, a native of Bankhead and a prominent radio host in Atlanta, hosted the first morning program at Hot 97.5, the city’s first all-hip-hop station. Chaka Zulu, who was the station’s music director at the time, and a young Ludacris, Cameron’s former intern, were among the other employees. He witnessed Atlanta’s rise to prominence as a center of the music business and doesn’t think we’re in uncharted ground.

According to Cameron, the majority of Atlanta’s entertainment fads have been linked to violent crime, beginning with biggest inspiration1, who was found guilty of ordering the murder of his wife in 1992. biggest inspiration2. biggest inspiration3, according to Cameron, significantly impacted Atlanta’s nightlife in the 1990s. He represented numerous drug offenders, and many of those he was able to negotiate a deal with belonged to the community. Because the people who owned these clubs were connected to him, his murder destroyed the nightlife.

After Atlanta hosted Super Bowl XXXIV, Cameron continued by referencing the fatal biggest inspiration4 film from the 2000s. The high-profile murder forced the closure of a famous Buckhead bar area where locals and celebrities frequently partied until the early hours of the morning. Lamont Girdy and Anthony Wolf Jones, the latter serving as Sean Diddy Combs’ bodyguard, were both biggest inspiration5 three years later. Demetrius Big Meech Flenory, the head of Atlanta’s Black Mafia Family, also known as biggest inspiration6, was accused with the killings. Before you even get to the topics we’re discussing today, you have have three incidences, says Cameron. The entertainment industry and violence often coexist.

The majority of Atlanta’s entertainment trends include a violent component. Cameron Ryan

The issue is made worse by the development of multiple social media news accounts with an Atlanta focus whose tactics appear to be amplifying the mentality of local TV stations, “if it bleeds, it leads.” Since the public’s thirst for such information has given them followings in the hundreds of thousands, their crowdsourced and aggregated social posts of fact-based, but largely negative, violent incidents in the city spread.

T.I., a proud Bankhead representative who publicly transitioned from a budding young rap hustler to an O.G. Atlanta statesman, thinks that a big part of the issue is the public’s appetite for negativity and the need to stand out from the crowd without having earned it.

We have seen the risks of proceeding in this manner, he claims. However, people prefer dessert to vegetables. If you want to change the course of your career and are sick of standing by, but lack the morality, values, or patience to stick to the vegetables, you’re going to serve dessert. People will arrive and eat as you serve the dessert. They’ll eventually become ill. They’re going to vomit. And they won’t simply urinate where it’s appropriate; they’ll urinate on anyone and everyone nearby, wherever they are.


FilmMagic / Roy Rochlin

The main problem, says longtime hip-hop DJ Greg Street, an Atlanta radio personality since 1995, is that everyone is attempting to gain attention. Everyone desires to become famous. And youngsters “think,” he continued, “I’ve got to do something stupid to make the news.” I’m going to make news if I shoot someone out here. even if I’m discovered.

Eastside Atlanta native and 20-year music business veteran Nick Love has witnessed the changes firsthand, especially as a former vice president at Jeezys Corporate Thugs Entertainment. Love thinks that Governor Kemp’s decision to keep Georgia open during COVID attracted ambitious individuals who are not always well-behaved and feels that the violence is partially the product of attention-seeking out-of-towners. What you’re observing, according to Love, is an influx of idealistic individuals. Additionally, we did a great job of presenting the African-American dream.

Love agrees with Omeretta that the influence of street life may have permeated the creative form too profoundly. Even though these young men are not street, they go out of their way to crash out in order to give the impression that they are. The scariest part is that.

Dr. Joycelyn Wilson, an assistant professor of hip-hop studies at Georgia Tech, holds similar views. She believes some pupils instantly link rap with violence during open dialogues with them. According to Wilson, they are raised in a time when drugs, excessive materialism, and violence are celebrated. They also understand that Atlanta is the musical center.

Wilson doesn’t criticize the music, but cites T.I.’s album Paper Trail as an illustration of an Atlanta rapper who successfully combined realistic lyrics with warning tales of repercussion. She claims that we must provide kids with opportunity to discuss their surroundings. People must have access to possibilities for excellent mental wellness and health. And guns can’t be as readily available as they are now.

Governor Kemp’s recent approval of Georgia Senate Bill 319, often known as Constitutional Carry, which became biggest inspiration7 and gives reciprocity for gun owners in a number of other states where concealed carry permits have been given, has complicated Wilson’s position today. Republican remixes of Welcome to Atlanta might make a gunshot sound, if such a thing existed.

Reid, for one, rejects the notion that some of the biggest names in music are victims of real-life violence because of trap music. I’m unable to buy into the story. Are poets, correct? He claims that we communicate openly and see around corners. We don’t see the world through a white picket fence’s eyes. We lead distinct lives. And we should always discuss our lives, our struggles, our experiences, what’s real and even what makes us happy. We must embrace who we are.

Every time it has happened, the city’s culture and the residents who respect and care about the city have helped it get back on track, according to T.I.

Reid sounded upbeat about Atlanta while also clearly concerned, likening the changes to weather patterns. He wants to return to the city in November, but he is unsure of what he will find there. It appears as though the wind is blowing in a different direction. Do I have the resources necessary to alter the wind? I don’t believe so, he replies. But if I can change the perspectives of even one or ten individuals, I’ll be willing to do it in order to elevate our thinking, our achievements, and our aspirations.

Reid is unlikely to move back before the issue is resolved. Even though there have already been more recent industry-related shootings, such as those at T.I.’s bars biggest inspiration8 and biggest inspiration9, Tip is still positive about Atlanta’s future.

Every time it has happened, the city’s culture and the residents who appreciate and care about the city have helped it get back on track, according to the artist. This time, in my opinion, is no different.

At least the dialogue is continuing, with MMB Thuglife continuing to communicate with the ghost of Trouble as if the Edgewood rapper were still alive, from Buckhead to Bankhead. The little rapper, who goes by Little Trouble on Instagram, claims he still begs Skoob for assistance in the recording studio and is still confident that his older sibling will assist him in using the music he creates to share his own tale of surviving in the streets.

Thuglife claims that by working hard and transforming the streets into music, he can continue to build on his legacy and go far.

Love said that a combination of policy and prosecution will likely be the way to go. Atlantans must choose what they want to be as the city develops in the meantime. How would we like to age? He poses the question, “What do we want to be when Atlanta “hip-hop” culture is 50 or 60 “years” old?” Do we want to behave the same as our children? Alternatively, do we like to be regarded as a city that is still standing? were essential to this metropolis. Atlanta is hip thanks to us. Not just Delta and Home Depot. It features 2 Chainz, Jeezy, T.I., and Luda. Lil Baby is here. According to Love, that is what maintains the city’s vitality, openness, and distinctiveness.

Therefore, everyone must determine how we will develop and live together. And that conversation is not just among Black people; it involves the entire city.

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