“Atlanta”–New book with photos by Michael Schmelling.

All Photos by Michael Schmelling

In Michael Schmelling’s new book Atlanta to be released by Chronicle Books November 1 2010 there’s an interesting moment where Andre 3000 from Outkast tells the story of how he and Big Boi met Rico Wade at a stripmall hair salon in Atlanta. Stories and images like this from the sources of the burgeoning hip-hop scene creates a compelling portrait of how a chain of events timing and underground party scenes created a movement unbeknown even to the pioneers themselves.

With black and white portraits of Gucci Mane Shawty Lo The Dream and others Schmelling’s Atlanta tells the story of the city and the lives of young musicians creating new sounds and beats between 2007 and 2009.

“There were a thousand YouTube videos of kids dancing in their living rooms beats and songs were being made on PCs and uploaded to SoundClick or SpitYoGame. Something new was happening. And something new kept happening ” explains Schmelling about Atlanta.

Scenes from Atlanta.

The text of this amazing photo book is written by Kelefa Sanneh. He’s able to put things into historical perspective along with Schmelling’s underground images describing how Atlanta replaced New York City as the hip-hop capital “by default – the place where you could hear the next hit first the place where kids and grown folks alike still seemed excited about hip-hop the place where you could get the best mixtapes and taking readers inside its many subgenres.

From a youth culture perspective it’s like looking at a slice of history and the birth of a trend as one reviewer describes it “the heretofore-undocumented teen party scene – alcohol-free parties catering to the underage crowd typically thrown by promoters in skating rinks and parks after dark.”

Michael Schmelling will be available to talk about the southern city at the book release party at The Family bookstore and gallery November 4th from 7-9 p.m. located at 436 N. Fairfax Ave. Los Angeles CA.