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Music issue: Separate but equal

Atlanta's punk and hip-hop scenes may have more in common than it appears

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In the beginning, they segregated themselves: blacks on one side, whites on the other, just like the lunchroom cafeteria. But by the middle of the cover shoot for CL's 2008 Music Issue, Muffy, the black chick with the pink hair streaks, rose from her seat, walked intently toward Stephanie Luke, the white girl with the tattoos, and asked, "Aren't you in the Coathangers?"

Separated by sound, style and often race, punk rock and hip-hop seemingly bear little resemblance to one another. Beneath the surface, however, the parallels have always been evident. Birthed in the '70s out of similar senses of desperation and frustration, punks and rappers alike greeted the exclusionary status quo with a collective middle finger.

As Atlanta's rock scene bubbles up from the underground to garner national attention, a new crop of hip-hop talent follows closely behind. And the two may have more similarities than differences. Both are performance-driven, often holding shows in the same venues on the same night. Both bear the energy of their predecessors. And both are fun as hell. But as Atlanta punk rock and hip-hop come of age, each is undergoing its own identity crisis of sorts.

We attempted to make sense of some of that in this year's Music Issue. And in the process, we tried to find the common thread that sews both scenes together.

Turns out it may have been Muffy's dress. After complimenting Muffy on her red-and-black plaid jumper, Luke admitted she'd tried on the same one at Clothing Warehouse but it didn't quite fit. One size fits all? Maybe not. But at least they've both got good taste.

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