Many of us know Jermaine Dupri for his musical prowess. Not only does the chart-topping hip-hop artist count producing and songwriting among his talents, he’s also the host of a reality show, The Rap Game, on Lifetime.

But it turns out he has another passion: travel. “I enjoy the newness of seeing new things and the education you get from going to different places,” Dupri tells EBONY.

Although he cites Australia as his favorite international destination, the longtime Atlanta resident has a lot of love for his hometown. So naturally, we had to ask the unofficial mayor of the ATL to give us tips on how to avoid looking like a tourist and experiencing his city like a star.

Culture Shock

“This is really a city that defines the word ‘culture’ because it has so much. There are so many things that happen [here] that don’t happen in other cities. The culture goes from high to low.”

Jermaine Dupri


Have a Dream

“It’s important that you go to the Martin Luther King, Jr.  National Historic Site and the World of Coca-Cola. I think it’s important that people go to downtown Atlanta and just look at the history; what this city used to be when Dr. King was alive and what it’s turned into now.  We also have the largest aquarium in the United States, the Georgia Aquarium.”

Smoking Section

“Red Martini is one of the spots that people are really going to right now. Also, go to Compound if you come to Atlanta for the first time. [In addition], we have an explosion of hookah bar clubs now: Medusa Lounge, Xhale City and Istanblue.”

Veggie Tales

“Well, I’m vegan, so my food taste doesn’t apply to everyone, but I like  Cafe Sunflower: the soy chicken, the fried green tomatoes, the ravioli. Another place is called Viva La Vegan, and it has a lot of great food as well.”

Throw it in the Bag

“There’s a new area called The Shops Buckhead, and it’s kind of like our version of Rodeo Drive.”

Staying Power

“My favorite hotel in Atlanta is the St. Regis in Buckhead. I feel like it’s probably the best hotel in the city because it’s in a prime location, right across the street from Whole Foods and the Buckhead shops.”