Here's How Beer and Tacos Became a Mainstay of the Atlanta Hip-Hop Scene

We talked to the team behind the groundbreaking event.

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Complex Original

Image via Complex Original

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While Atlanta is widely considered the epicenter of hip-hop in 2015, it's not just because of FutureMetro Boomin​, or Migos. There is a connection in the city among fans, promoters, artists, and more that helps drive the music to new heights. And while not one singular entity is responsible for the constant success out of Atlanta, the Beer and Tacos movement deserves shine for not only giving artists a spotlight in the city but for moving the culture forward. 

From its 2011 origins, Beer and Tacos always set out to be different from other parties or events in Atlanta. "The idea came up because we felt that there was a need for a true interactive organic gathering," the founder and CEO of Beer and Tacos, Meshack Watson, told Complex. "And even though I knew all the top promoters in the city, what better way to be organic by not using them and doing it with your friends in the first place?" That, in essence, is why Beer and Tacos has become so successful. It operates in its own unique way that has set it apart from the competition. "So we went against the norm. Instead of artists, we promoted food and drinks," Watson said. Beer and Tacos created an atmosphere that people wanted to be around, including artists. In the first month that the event was launched, Young Dro​, French Montana, Future, and 2 Chainz all made appearances.

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It was, and continues to be, the place to be. The evidence is there. Whether it's Travi$ Scott raging harder than ever at its BET Awards after party or DJ Drama bringing out T.I., Future, and A$AP Rocky on a random Wednesday back in 2012, there's no denying the juice that Beer and Tacos has. And it doesn't just stop at throwing a damn good party; it also stretches to helping artists get on in the city that by most accounts is running hip-hop.

From the inside, Watson knew Beer and Tacos had special leverage for new artists. Beyond just trying to be first on breaking an artist, the party gave rappers from the city a chance to shine. "Honestly, they was the first people to really give me a chance to rock on the stage when I first started rapping," Trinidad James said to Nardwuar back in 2013. 

With their biggest event to date—a show at Philips Arena—on the horizon, the team isn't ready to slow down. "It means a lot for the brand but more for the culture. I personally think it's a mirror image of it. We didn't buy our way into Philips Arena," Watson said. The Beer and Tacos team, which also includes the two other co-founders, Keith "KD" Fergus and Kamau "KD" Drakes, earned everything coming their way. The upcoming show at Philips Arena, which will feature performances from Post Malone, Ty Dolla $ign​,​ and more, isn't a plateau for the team but a sign of what they still accomplish. From the start the Beer and Tacos motto was "This is not a party, and we are not promoters." They had it correct from day one: Beer and Tacos is not a party—it's the party in Atlanta. 

Full details and ticket information for the Beer and Tacos event at Philips Arena on Nov. 28 can be found here

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