I haven’t seen any episodes of the show yet but from reading this and Rembert Browne’s piece (the only two things I’ve read at all about Atlanta), the show seems interesting enough.
The one thing that really seems to stand out, at least from what you wrote, is that it mainly deals with rap in 2016 as far from glamorous — possibly even a dead-end pursuit — which is on the mark for most aspiring rappers.
In this, I think some people (maybe some rappers, because who isn’t one these days?) will watch the show and identify much more with it than they might Empire or something to that effect.
That isn’t to say Empire is bad, or that the Get Down is bad (although most people I talked to seemed to suggest the show was unwatchable — a point I’m willing to concede, even though I liked some parts of it), but that very few people, particularly younger people, can relate to those shows.
In the grand scheme of things, what would be great is if we didn’t even look at something like Atlanta as a hip-hop show per se, but rather, something that uses hip-hop as a backdrop to examine a whole bunch of other things.
Again, I couldn’t say for certain how much the show accomplishes this, because I haven’t seen it. But Louie CK plays a comedian on Louie, and I wouldn’t say that show is particularly about comedy. Aziz Ansari is an actor on Master of None but that show isn’t really about acting.
I guess I’m just hoping Atlanta is about something… more. We’ll see.