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Spin: “Inside the Mind of the Dirty South.”

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Ben Westhoff and I e-mailed back and forth about Southern hip-hop and some of the ideas in his recent book Dirty South which I really can’t recommend enough. Most of the people reading this probably “know” a lot of the stuff Ben’s talking about in the book, but he frames it around some really great, up-close journalist type profiles and asserts a lot of the things we on the blogosphere have been talking about. One really cool thing is how he uses lots of quotes from hip-hop bloggers (including myself, but also Noz a bunch of times, Doc Zeus and others) and well, that’s really ballsy but also necessary I think and well, not a lot of writers would’ve thought to include “us” as sources, you know? Go buy it assholes!

There was indeed a bit of defiance in Luke Campbell’s booty jams; he said that New York hip-hop’s four elements had little to do with folks down in South Florida. “We didn’t write on the walls in Miami, we booty-shaked,” he told me. In fact, the broadest stereotype of Southern rap is that it’s about appealing to your body, instead of your mind. Though I personally believe there’s defiance built into that philosophy, saying it’s political is probably a stretch. But, still, in those early days, I wouldn’t say there was a contrarian impulse — or even an attempt to give the people what they needed, rather than what they wanted. Perhaps that’s another definition of conscious rap…

Written by Brandon

June 25th, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Posted in Spin, Spin column, the South

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