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Shake That Laffy Taffy: From The Strip Clubs To The Charts

Atlanta's favorite pastime is not Major League Baseball, NFL football or NBA basketball. The legendary Dominique Wilkins may have been the Human Highlight Reel, Michael Vick may be a suntanned Superman, but neither one can hold a candle to a lovely young lady swinging around a pole.

Ying Yang Twins' D-Roc enjoys a lap dance

Frequenting strip clubs in Atlanta, such as Magic City, the Blue Flame, Body Tap and the now-defunct Gentleman's Club, has become almost a religion, making adult entertainment one of the most profitable businesses in the city — not so surprising when on any given night you might see a big balla like Young Jeezy come into a club and throw 10K in the air (that's known as "making it rain"). But it's not only the dancers that are coming up in the clubs — it's rappers too. The strip club has become the new place to break music.

"The strip clubs here is the main mixtape of Atlanta," says Jermaine Dupri, who cites such records as Bone Crusher's "Never Scared," the Youngbloodz's "Damn" and his own "Gotta Getcha" as records he broke in the strip clubs. "The strip club is our music tester."

"In a strip club, the ladies automatically let you know if it's a hit or not," says Trillville's Lil LA. Last year his group's songs "Neva Eva" and "Some Cut" exploded in the strip clubs before taking off nationally. "If they getting X amount of dollars to that song, you know it's a hit record."

"The DJs in the strip clubs — Super Friends, the Legion of Doom, all these different DJ crews — they'll let you know exactly what's poppin' in the club with your records," Dupri says. "They'll play it, they'll tell if you should go make something else or if it really worked. It's like a real system out here."

"We can always come and break a song at the strip club. You can call us the strip-club kings."

"The Ying Yang Twins make bootie-club music," one half of the duo, D-Roc, says while standing in front of the club Pin Ups. "Everybody else is following our path. We can always come and break a song at the strip club. You can call us the strip-club kings."

"It's the beat, it's the perception of what we are telling a female to do," his partner, Kaine, says of why their songs "Wait (The Whisper Song)," "Salt Shaker," "Whistle While You Twurk" and "Say I Yi Yi" are defined as strip-club songs.

"The lyrics be low-down and dirty — filthy!" yells D-Roc.

"That's the underground circuit of the South," Dupri explains. "All the real people are in [the strip clubs]. All the dope boys are in there, all the high rollers, all the people that are spending money, that buy CDs, that buy mixtapes, got the cars, jewelry, that whole lifestyle."

Dupri says he often goes to the strip clubs with his new records right off the press.

"I get $10,000 and stand in front of the stage and throw money all night and listen to my records and see if people nodding their heads," he says. "If people are doing extra [dancing] I say, 'Oh, we might be good.' I use that, come back to the office and say, 'In the streets we gonna be all right with these records. Let's get it going.' "


NEXT: The dances you need to know: the Yeek, the Snap Dance, the A-Town Stomp ...
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