Beginning in the late 1980s, southern hip-hop and rap effectively trumped contemporary R&B as the foremost popular urban music trend. A regional response to the then-burgeoning East and West Coast hip-hop scenes, purveyors of southern rap simultaneously surfaced in cities ranging from Atlanta and Miami to New Orleans, Memphis, and Houston. Although many older music fans downplay the significance and artistic credibility of the genre, southern rap—created by an MC, or rapper, and a DJ, or producer—has emerged as a primary motivator in the youth market, influencing fashion, language, the mass media, and other facets of commercial and popular culture. Similarly, southern rap artists have become avatars of pop culture in their own right, receiving consistent radio airplay, crossing over to film and television roles, and emerging as popular personalities in the marketing and advertising fields.
Up today, an academic article by new Southern Studies faculty member Brian Foster. His article “Everybody Gotta Have a Dream”: Rap-centered Aspirations among Young Black Males Involved in Rap Music Production – A Qualitative Study” was published in 2014 in Issues in Race and Ethnicity: An Interdisciplinary Global Journal.
In honor of our Friday conversation and concert with Marco Pavé and Alfred Banks, we’re going to share some articles by scholars who do work on hip hop. Up first, Zandria Robinson’s entry on “Crunk and Hip-Hop” for the Music volume of the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, published in 2008. Robinson is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rhodes College. Author of This Ain’t Chicago: Race, Class, and Regional Identity in the Post-Soul South, she was a professor of Southern Studies and Sociology at the Center from 2009 to 2012.
Fall 2016 Brown Bag Schedule The Fall 2016 Southern Studies Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series begins next week. All lectures take place in Barnard Observatory’s Tupelo Room from noon to 1 p.m., are free and open to the public, and occur most Wednesdays during the semester. Wednesday, Aug. 31: “The Culture of Breastfeeding. ”John… Read More >
The Center will present “Bar-b-que and Gumbo: Hip-Hop Politics in Two River Cities,” a discussion with Marco Pavé of Memphis and Alfred Banks of New Orleans as part of their River Kings Tour on Friday, September 2 at 2pm in Lamar Hall 326 on the UM campus. Kiese Laymon will moderate the conversation. Co-sponsors include the UM Department of Music, UM African American Studies Program, the UM Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and the Winter Institute.
First Center Documentary Workshop Introduces Filmmaking to Southern Studies Students The Center held its first Documentary Workshop for Southern Studies graduate students August 15-17. Over three days, incoming first years Rachel Childs and Victoria Deleone and second year Rebecca Lauck Cleary learned approaches to documentary fieldwork, how to compose and shoot an interview, and how… Read More >
The August/September #244 issue of Living Blues shines a spotlight on the state of the blues in Jackson, Mississippi. Supported by a generous grant from the Jackson Convention and Visitors Bureau, this special edition of LB documents an under-the-radar, yet thriving local scene—one whose influential roots run deep.
Speaking of Mississippi Stories, we wanted to remind everyone that there are several feature length SouthDocs* films available to view online: Mississippi Innocence by Joe York, The Toughest Job: William Winter’s Mississippi by the Emmy-winning Matthew Graves, and Rebels: James Meredith and the Integration of Ole Miss by Matthew Graves. Please share with friends, especially history teachers!
The Mississippi Stories website, launched in July 2016, seeks to tell the complex story of Mississippi and Mississippians through multiple forms of documentary practice: film, photography, oral history, and sound. The website presents work by students, staff, faculty, and alumni of the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, including Center institutes and partners Living Blues magazine, the Southern Documentary Project, and the Southern Foodways Alliance.