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theatlantic:

The Blandification of Southern Rap

The seeds of the South’s undoing are starting to bloom. An oversized bed of regional pride is fertile ground for malignant growth, as weeds of “Southern” celebration choke out the smaller, fantastically unique, and local vegetation that nourished hip-hop for the past decade. As books by Roni Sarig and Ben Westhoff point out, what makes Southern rap so significant is not the idea of “the South.” It’s the local flavor of innovations like New Orleans bounce, Miami bass, and Houston’s chopped-and-screwed sound. Even within specific southern cities, hip-hop cultures are widely divergent. Chopped-and-screwed music is just one shred of Houston hip-hop, and Atlanta is perhaps the prime example of Southern diversity: Outkast’s evolution fromSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzik to ATLiens and beyond is entirely different from Lil Jon’s commitment to crunk and Gucci Mane’s leisurely swag and trap music.
The more the South is celebrated as a monolith, though, the more meaningless it becomes. When “Southern” rather than local identity becomes primary, rappers forget themselves and churn out records that sound like they could have been written by a Northern city-slicker. “The South” becomes synonymous with hackneyed forms of consumption, and “country folk” are identified by their love of soul food and Cadillacs rather than their multifaceted musical imagination.
Read more. [Image: Big K.R.I.T.]

theatlantic:

The Blandification of Southern Rap

The seeds of the South’s undoing are starting to bloom. An oversized bed of regional pride is fertile ground for malignant growth, as weeds of “Southern” celebration choke out the smaller, fantastically unique, and local vegetation that nourished hip-hop for the past decade. As books by Roni Sarig and Ben Westhoff point out, what makes Southern rap so significant is not the idea of “the South.” It’s the local flavor of innovations like New Orleans bounce, Miami bass, and Houston’s chopped-and-screwed sound. Even within specific southern cities, hip-hop cultures are widely divergent. Chopped-and-screwed music is just one shred of Houston hip-hop, and Atlanta is perhaps the prime example of Southern diversity: Outkast’s evolution fromSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzik to ATLiens and beyond is entirely different from Lil Jon’s commitment to crunk and Gucci Mane’s leisurely swag and trap music.

The more the South is celebrated as a monolith, though, the more meaningless it becomes. When “Southern” rather than local identity becomes primary, rappers forget themselves and churn out records that sound like they could have been written by a Northern city-slicker. “The South” becomes synonymous with hackneyed forms of consumption, and “country folk” are identified by their love of soul food and Cadillacs rather than their multifaceted musical imagination.

Read more. [Image: Big K.R.I.T.]

Filed under southern rap outkast krit gucci