Old Magnolia Projects
The Magnolia Projects, officially the C.J. Peete Projects, also known as "Da Wild Magnolia", was one of the Housing Projects of New Orleans. As part of the ongoing redevelopment, the area has been renamed Harmony Oaks. The project was among the largest, housing approximately 2,100 people. It is infamous nationwide for both its legendary violent-crime rates as well as spawning a number of world-famous Hip Hop artists. They referred to it as "Magnolia: Home of the Soulja." At its height, the Magnolia projects had 1403 units.
Backstory and Context
The various New Orleans housing projects are most notable for being the launching ground for Bounce Music and New Orleans Rap. The most well-known artists to come out of the Magnolia Projects are Birdman, the late Magnolia Shorty, new known rapper going by the name of neno clavin Juvenile and Turk of the Hot Boys, a former rap group who started their careers on Cash Money Records, as well as rapper Jay Electronica. The label shot to fame in the late 1990s and still is popular today. Other popular artists from the area include Soulja Slim, and Mr. Marcelo. The district is often referred to as Magnolia or Nolia. The Magnolia has been the scene of Juvenile's hit song "Nolia Clap", a dance inspired solely by the Magnolia Projects. The Magnolia Projects has also been home to sculptor Willie Birch. The park on La Salle in the Projects, A.L. Davis Park, has long been a frequent site of brass band parades, and an important gathering site for Mardi Gras Indians tribes. Under the old name of "Shakespere Park" (originally commemorating New Orleans mayor Joseph A. Shakspeare) it is mentioned in the lyrics of Professor Longhair and Papa Celestin.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, the projects were often cited as among the country's most dangerous. To make it safer, the landlords began taking a harder line on policies, mandating a one-strike rule for residents when it comes to violating lease agreements.
The architecture of New Orleans public housing, NOLA.com, February 13, 2011.