To celebrate Atlanta United clinching a spot in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, rapper Waka Flocka Flame has released a new music video exclusively on the club’s YouTube channel.
Atlanta clinched a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Decision Day on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over FC Cincinnati.
“We’re excited to make the playoffs,” Atlanta United Team President Darren Eales said. “It’s amazing that Waka would do a song to inspire us in the fact that we made the playoffs. That’s our supporters, again, giving something to the club. So obviously, we want to give back to the supporters and we’re going to give it our all in the playoffs.”
The video features an unreleased track called “Dreads Shakin.” The Atlanta resident describes his record as “time machine music,” something his long-time music fans will recognize as vintage Waka.
“I just wanted to do a record that was full of energy for the fans,” Waka said.
The rapper has been a fan of Atlanta United since the club’s beginning. He attended the inaugural kit unveiling at the Tabernacle in 2016. At the event, Waka was formally introduced to Eales for the first time.
Waka even received an Atlanta United 2018 MLS Cup from Eales after the club won the league championship. His ring is featured in the music video.
“I’ve never met anyone with such passion for the club,” Eales said. “He’s been brilliant. He comes to games because he’s a true fan.”
As a sign of their mutual respect, Waka recruited Eales to star with him in the video. The video was produced entirely in-house by members of the Atlanta United digital team and was shot at the Children’s Healthcare Training Ground of Atlanta in Marietta, Georgia.
“Dreads Shakin” was written a few years ago but never released. Waka wanted the track to be full of energy, but also inclusive. At his shows, he sees people with dreads and people with no hair. With his music, he wants to welcome them all – and everyone in between.
“Atlanta United represents that togetherness like how I want to do with my record with my own twist,” Waka said. “This record just fully represents everything I’ve ever been through with music. Energy – straight energy. And that’s what Atlanta United brought to this city was straight energy.”
Given the energy of the song and its scribe, it made sense for Atlanta United to be a part of it. Over the past several months, as all of sports recover from a Covid year, Atlanta United has been embracing creative and inventive ways to reconnect with its fans, from the hiring of head coach Gonzalo Pineda to launching Eales’ TikTok account, to now providing a platform to highlight Atlanta’s trailblazing music scene.
“Obviously what happens on the pitch is what we’re focused on,” Eales said. “We want to be winning, we want to have success. But also, we want to entertain and have fun and give our supporters that look behind the curtain and an understanding of what happens at the club.”
As a fan himself, Waka feels more connected to Atlanta United than ever. His new music epitomizes the partnership between the club and its supporters, the singer and its crowd – bringing people closer in and letting them feel a part of something special.
And that's the connection and togetherness that Atlanta United was built on.
“Some people focus on one player – for Atlanta United, we’re united. The words, the name, the voice, the energy, the crowd – everything speaks for itself. That’s why it’s like the perfect name… Atlanta United.”
Check out the full video below or on Atlanta United's YouTube channel.