Despite Atlanta’s Black Hollywood tag, it’s still probably more accurate to describe the city as “the nation’s hip-hop capital.” Hip-hop is such a major influencer in the city that keen observers have noted its critical impact in helping to secure a victory for Keisha Lance Bottoms in her contentious mayoral run-off against Mary Norwood. Bottoms was even gifted with her very own hip-hop song by underground Atlanta rapper, Top Notch, to help her along.
“I was blown away. I was like ‘has he been going to the forums?’ He’s got it all. I mean he really paid attention,” Bottoms, who doesn’t know the rapper, said at a recent media roundtable, which was attended by NewsOne, and held as her inauguration after-party got into full swing at Atlanta City Hall on January 2.
Committed to community and making Atlanta flourish.”
Considering how deep the rapper goes into Bottoms’ background, even including in the rap how she met her husband and that she has four children, it is surprising she still doesn’t know him. But lyrics like “Committed to community and making Atlanta flourish/And recognized by all of her peers for public service,” as well as “Keisha is a member of the state bar of Georgia/Magna cum laude Delta Sigma Theta Sorority,” show an engagement that Bottoms feels is critical for any politician to reach young people, whom she says is an increasingly important part of the electorate that can’t be ignored.
“This is the first major election in this city where we’ve had to engage a certain age group and demographic in a way that most of us didn’t know how to do it,” the daughter of the late R&B recording artist Major Lance explained. Bottoms has credited her success to some of her key team supporters who are also former music executives. They, she shared, helped her score points on Instagram.
“I think that, when the final analysis is done on this election, you will see that people showed up, particularly young people, that don’t normally engage,” she shared moments earlier. “And when you have an election that’s decided by less than 900 votes like our election was, it really speaks to the power of the voices in our community that often go unheard.”
And Atlanta’s hip-hop community, whose representatives very publicly included Killer Mike and T.I., celebrated her victory. On YouTube, DJ Suede, the Remix God, known as @remixgodsuede on social media, unleashed “Mayor Keisha Bottoms Theme Song (Atlanta Mayor)” December 6, the very next day after the run-off election. Even as Norwood refused to concede to Bottoms, the video included a loop of her saying “she beat us” to a hip-hop beat. Even before the results were certified, hip-hop never doubted that Bottoms would be victorious.
Of all the songs, the one presented to the newly elected Mayor Bottoms during her December 6 appearance on The Ryan Cameron Morning Show with Wanda Smith?on Atlanta’s top-rated urban station V-103, hours after her December 5 victory, is perhaps her favorite.
“Atlanta showed up at the polls and they turned it out [we turned it out].”
Titled “Atlanta Got a Mayor Named Keisha” and adapted to the tune of Cash Out’s “Smoking on that Keisha,” some of the lyrics from Ryan Cameron, with Wanda Smith on the echo, include “Black Girl Magic so high you cannot see her [cannot see her] and “Atlanta showed up at the polls and they turned it out [we turned it out]/Southside showed up at the polls and they turned it out [they turned it out].”
“I think the song just really was a reflection of the energy and the excitement. “Atlanta Got a Mayor Named Keisha,” Bottoms smiled as she discussed the song with the media roundtable.
“That’s way bigger than me,” the mommy mayor made clear. “That’s something that all of us can embrace and have embraced. So it was cool. But, for all the Keishas out there, I think it was even better.”