Those beats you’re hearing, they’re Atlanta-made.

Not the music pumping throughout State Farm Arena hours before tip-off, that is usually a mix of hip-hop, trap and popular R&B songs that both the players like and fans are accustomed to hearing at sporting events. The music you hear during the game, well that’s much different. Those beats and baselines will come courtesy of Mr. Hanky this season. 

Music producer Mr. Hanky, an Atlanta native, is in charge of providing the beats during game play this season for the Atlanta Hawks. “The soundtrack is going to be extra amazing this year,” he said. Photo by Donnell Suggs/The Atlanta Voice

An Atlanta native, Hanky has become one of the industry’s most sought after producers, working with  such popular artists as Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame, Lil Wayne, Yo Gotti, and most recently on the track ‘Good Love’ with Usher and the City Girls. But he is most excited about working his first season with his hometown team. “This year’s team is probably one of the most exciting teams in the league,” he told The Atlanta Voice about an hour before tip-off Wednesday night. “We got one of the most exciting backcourts with Trae (Young) and DeJounte (Murray).” 

Hanky grew up cheering for the Hawks while attending Sky Haven Elementary School, Ronald E. McNair Junior High School and Ronald E. McNair High School. He’s a Hawks fan and now he gets to entertain fellow Hawks night after night this season. Walking around the arena before the game he said about the crowds making their way to their seats and the fans in jerseys and caps, “It feels like a playoff game tonight and it’s just the season opener. Driving up here, looking at the traffic outside, it’s crazy.”

Hanky has been making music “All my life,” he said. Both his mother and sister are trained musicians and he caught the bug for making beats a long time ago. He feels like as a native son he has to make every game feel like it’s a playoff game or big game through his music. “The soundtrack is going to extra amazing this year,” he said. “You can bet on that.” 

Asked what he wants to see from the fans this season, Hanky said, “Let’s get out and support the team. The clubs are packed every week, so we can pack this place too.” 

Wednesday’s game was sold out, and there’s a good chance it will be this way all week through Sunday. Hanky’s expectations are kind of high this season, remember he’s from Atlanta so this means a bit more for him. “Every night would be dope,” he said of sellouts and large energetic crowds. “Every night.”

Grand Opening

The Atlanta Hawks sold out their home opener against Houston Wednesday night.

The 2022-23 National Basketball Association season started Tuesday night, but in Atlanta, it began with the only game the Hawks fan would get to see the Rockets unless the two teams play in the NBA Finals next summer.

The Atlanta Hawks, no longer having to compete with Atlanta Braves postseason games following their National League Division series loss to Philadelphia, have a pair of home games this week against Orlando Friday night (7:30 p.m. tip-off) and Charlotte on Sunday (5 p.m.).

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Donnell began his career covering sports and news in Atlanta nearly two decades ago. Since then he has written for Atlanta Business Chronicle, The Southern Cross...