“Music and rapping, that’s always been a gateway,” says the 21-year-old music producer, writer, and director behind the film. “Dancing, more than ever, is now a gateway to do something positive and using your time wisely as a young kid to avoid being in trouble.”
“HOTTLANTA” features a slew of up-and-coming talent, including Yummy Pearl and Runway Richy, as well as some visually arresting choreography and dance sequences.
“With this movie, the main thing I wanted to do was just make sure that the culture stays alive,” Mr. 2-17 says. “I wanted to make sure that it gets the credit it deserves and let everybody in Atlanta get their shine for what they did to contribute to the Atlanta dance movement whether it’s old or new.”
Mr. 2-17 believes part of the reason why viral dances resonate so deeply is because of the power of social media. “[And] you can translate that into money, and all other kinds of opportunities just by your social following,” he says.
As a kid growing up in East Atlanta, Mr. 2-17 remembers his Westside friends introducing him to “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” by Dem Franchize Boyz, and that being the first local dance that inspired him. In the course of the seven months it took him to complete “HOTTLANTA,” Mr. 2-17 said he felt the power of his influence which helped him confirm that he is glue for this current generation of ATL dance and music communities.
“Before, it was just the dancers and the rappers, but once I made ‘Walked In’ for Bankroll Fresh that’s when they started realizing, ‘Oh, we need these dancers. We need to have these dancers on call. We need to know who these dancers are,'” he says, adding that he didn’t make those connections happen without the guidance of Bankroll Fresh and Atlanta music impresario Coach K.
After the film’s premiere at the Plaza Theatre this month, the hope is that “HOTTLANTA”will spread like wildfire on the Internet while working the festival circuit before physical distribution.
“It’s just in our roots,” Mr. 2-17 says. “It’s in the culture of Atlanta to make these dances. It’s just what we do as far as Atlanta people, and it’s going to keep on happening.”
Peep the trailer for the film below: