Kyshawn Wyman has long felt Atlantic City could be a big player in the music industry.
This past week, he got confirmation from some pioneers in the business.
“Atlanta was Atlantic City, we just made you all pay attention to us,” Grammy winner Jermaine Dupri told the local DJ better known as IamYoung Hitta and previously just Young Hitta.
The DJ drove 12-plus hours alone for a chance to hear from Dupri, Dallas Austin and Organized Noize’s Rico Wade at an event in Atlanta.
“I drove down to make new connections, connections I wouldn’t find just floating around Atlantic City ,” IamYoung Hitta told BreakingAC. “With Atlanta being the mecca of music right now, everybody who is somebody is either in Atlanta working with the majors or introducing new talent to the game.
What Hitta called his “leap of faith” was a good one, Wade told him.
“You just got to get on the radar,” he said. “Do what you did: drive 12 hours, make sure you know who you’re looking for.”
Hitta started his trip the day before his 27th birthday, and was able to book DJ gigs and networking events his whole trip.
“Being from Atlantic City — where most music executives think people don’t live — I wanted to shine some light on the talent we have back home, and hope to break new artists out in a new market with my resources.”
The talent here just needs to draw attention, they told him.
“That’s why I told Kris Kross to put their clothes on backwards,” Dupri said of the 1990s rap duo’s signature style.
“Atlanta was Atlantic City,” he said. “We were put in the position where we had to make records so good that people couldn’t ignore us.”
Hitta believes Atlantic City has that kind of talent.
“It’s a lot of dope talent not just music coming from Atlantic City,” he said. “It’s just a matter of the majors seeing and hearing what’s going on.”