20 TV shows with the best soundtracks and music

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Aside from the collaboration with Migos for its season 1 intro, and the musical talent of its creator, Donald Glover, Atlanta consistently delivers stirring music that feels like it was made for the moment.

Also known as Childish Gambino, Glover sought to produce a show about the black experience in his hometown of Atlanta, but didn’t want to recreate the style and tone of Empire. Atlanta may be about an aspiring actor, whose stage name, Paper Boi, is also the name of his breakout single, but it offers a lot more than a grocery list of of the moment rappers.

The show doesn’t have a soundtrack so much as it has an musical identity, meant to mimic the underground rap scene Paper Boi and Glover’s character, Earn, are desperately trying to navigate.  Glover has an ear for music, obviously, but his gift transcends knowing “what’s hot” and borders on clairvoyant.

Season 1 made stars out of Migos, but season 2 is shaping up to offer as many, if not more, interesting contributions to the musical canon. From 2 Chainz to Jeezy to Gucci Mane to Curtis Mayfield, Atlanta is serving up an eclectic mix of music that pushes boundaries, just as the show does.

It listens like a master class in contemporary rap and R & B, but doesn’t sell out to the flashier or clichéd paradigms other musical shows after succumb to. You get your fair share of “featuring Migos,” for sure, but you also get Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar and OutKast. It’s impeccable in its timing and effect.