From the late '90s to the mid-2000's, being a rapper in Atlanta was a little like being a rock band in late '60s London: if you were the hottest thing in the city, you were probably also about to take over the world. Year after year, from Outkast to Ludacris to Lil Jon to T.I. to Young Jeezy, whoever ran the A soon enjoyed massive mainstream success. But ever since Gucci Mane fell short of extending his reign over ATL to the rest of the country, the disconnect between popularity in Atlanta and popularity throughout America has continued to widen.
2 Chainz has gotten further than anybody lately, but he's from the previous generation, actually older than T.I. or Jeezy. And his peak moment of mainstream exposure, when he could show up on 2 Broke Girls and the "Gangnam Style" remix, seems to have already passed by. Of the next generation, Future has been the most ubiquitous on urban radio, but he's still got a ways to go to make it up to the A-list.