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GA’s Most Wanted – Rd. 4, Hip-Hop Soul Reigns Supreme

If Usher is the king of R&B in Atlanta, Jermaine Dupri the mayor of the city, then call Monica the First Lady. Like Usher, when Atlanta first started to stake its claim as Motown South back in the early 90’s, Monica Denise Arnold was right in the thick of the action. At 15, her 1995 debut album Miss Thang was a multi-platinum success, thanks to hit singles “Don’t Take It Personal” and “Before You Walk Out Of My Life.” Over the years, Monica has drawn comparison to Whitey Houston for her potent pipes and Mary J. Blige for the stirring heartfelt emotions her vocals conjure up. Six albums and 15 years into her Grammy Award-winning career, Monica is still loved and recognized as a matriarch of music in her hometown. Don’t take it personal, young’ns, but y’all got some catching up to do.

While the former Murder Inc. artist was born in New Orleans, Louisiana he spent his formative years in Atlanta, where he grew up with fellow R&B star Ciara. Though his 2004 debut Southside boasted the catchy title track duet with label mate Ashanti, it wasn’t until his sophomore album, Street Love in 2007 that Lloyd became a major player in the ATL’s hip-hop/soul scene. Thanks to the Top 10 single, “You,” featuring Lil Wayne, the album went gold. Blessed with a distinct falsetto, he has matured delivering explicit relationship based lyrics. His contagious chorus on Young Money’s “Bedrock” helped the song become one of the biggest rap singles of 2009. He’s currently trying deliver the same success as the featured artist on new single from G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks, “Any Girl.”

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