#TBT: Relive ATL At Its Finest With Milk Fam Brandon Tan
Depending on who you are, your first association to Georgia’s capital will either be a reference to Bravo’s Real Housewives of Atlanta or a reminiscent nod to the impressive number of hip hop and R&B artists who hail from ATL. Ranging from iconic talents such as T.I., Usher and TLC to current chart-toppers like Lil Yachty and 6LACK, Atlanta’s contributions to the music industry are indisputable, and yet often overlooked. In the latest leg of its collaborative series dubbed ‘3:AM,’ Reebok chose to shed an uncommon light to the rampant creative ecosystem that Atlanta charges.
The project, dedicating a limited-edition pack of footwear to the expressive essence of a particular city, picked Atlanta for its second hault. Doing so, the company teamed up with LVRN (Love Renaissance) for its collaboration. LVRN, a creative collective partnered with Interscope Records, serves as a staple for the city in its commitment to not only develop a hub of talent in Atlanta, but to also keep it there. Though the studio’s neon mantra hangs bright on a wall of luscious greenery reading, “You’re safe here,” the mission rings clearer LVRN’s actions—We belong here.
Touching upon the off-center position that LVRN occupies on the map of the music and entertainment landscape, co-founder Justice Baiden comments that the collective’s location, though not LA nor New York, hasn’t really been an attribute to any adversity that they have faced. Baiden reasons, “The talent and resources have always been here. It just never stays. People feel like the natural progression is to move to LA or New York once you’ve made it in your city rather than to develop something there.” This speaks accurately to the habit of artists abandoning their native cities for the creative capitals that have monopolized talent on the East and West coasts. LVRN’s mission is to do the exact opposite: to remain rooted in its origins and foster a space where creativity can advance in place without the pressure of being exported. “The only time we even go to LA or New York is for press. They expect us to come to them. What’s amazing about this opportunity with Reebok is that we got you to come to us,” expresses Baiden with a breath of both pride and faith in the future of the city.
Reebok took us along with LVRN and artist FRKO RICO on a two-day tour of Atlanta to discover the outlets of creativity that power the city with innumerable sources of inspiration. Fresh upon landing, the tour started with some roller skating at the iconic Cascade skating rink, which shares a part of Atlanta’s rich history. The perfectly appropriate, though moderately exhausting, first stop on the trip was followed by a celebratory dinner, seating a table of the young movers and shakers that shape the city, as well as the pioneers behind the collaboration. The following day was packed with activities around Atlanta that would convert any newcomer into a bonafide local; including a bike tour around parts of town which prove fundamental to the city’s creative scene, a visit to legendary custom-jewelry shop, Icebox, that is frequented by the biggest rappers and artists around the world, a tour of the studios at LVRN with a surprise visit by D.R.A.M. and lastly, a massive party to celebrate the newly released collection in a warehouse space that shook Atlanta to beats curated by SimiHaze and Sheck Wes. Check the photo diary above for images of Reebok Classics’ 3:AM Atlanta tour.
Images courtesy of Brandon Tan
Stay tuned to Milk for more travel diaries.