Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South

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SKU: 9781469661964 Categories: ,

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Description

This vibrant book pulses with the beats of a new American South, probing the ways music, literature, and film have remixed southern identities for a post-civil rights generation. For scholar and critic Regina N. Bradley, Outkast’s work is the touchstone, a blend of funk, gospel, and hip-hop developed in conjunction with the work of other culture creators–including T.I., Kiese Laymon, and Jesmyn Ward. This work, Bradley argues, helps define new cultural possibilities for black southerners who came of age in the 1980s and 1990s and have used hip-hop culture to buffer themselves from the historical narratives and expectations of the civil rights era. Andre 3000, Big Boi, and a wider community of creators emerge as founding theoreticians of the hip-hop South, framing a larger question of how the region fits into not only hip-hop culture but also contemporary American society as a whole.

Chronicling Stankonia reflects the ways that culture, race, and southernness intersect in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Although part of southern hip-hop culture remains attached to the past, Bradley demonstrates how younger southerners use the music to embrace the possibility of multiple Souths, multiple narratives, and multiple points of entry to contemporary southern black identity.

Additional information

Weight0.5 lbs
Dimensions9.3 × 6.1 × 1 in
Book Author

Date Published

February 22, 2021

Format

Paperback

Language

English

Pages

136

Publisher

The University of North Carolina Press

Year Published

2021

1 review for Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South

  1. Raymond Williams

    rtw0613 (verified owner)

    Chronicling Stankonia is about how Southern hip-hop artists impacted the broader music culture as well as pop culture based on or referencing the South. Regina Bradley highlights OutKast as one of the key groups that made Southern hip-hop popular and were also “founding theoreticians of the hip-hop South”. OutKast member André Benjamin, aka André 3000, made his history-making statement “The South got something to say” at the 1995 Source Awards and it rallied other Southern hip-hop artists “to self-validate their music”. It has also been referenced in several nonfiction books that make the argument that the South is important to America, Bradley coining them “theoreticians” rings true.

    What I liked about the book is that it introduced me, someone who isn’t a rap connoisseur, to a plethora of Southern hip-hop songs that I did not know of prior. Chapter 1 was very helpful in this effort, I found a few songs that I like. What I struggled with was connecting hip-hop elements to the broader pop culture. For example, several chapters discuss Southern hip-hop’s influence on books, movies, and tv. It was easy for me to agree with the author’s thesis when she referenced those pieces I had read and watched prior such as Kiese Laymon’s Long Division and the tv show and film, Underground and Django Unchained respectively. I struggled with her analysis of the books I had not read, such as The Known World and Men We Reaped. This is not to say her argument was not effective, just that I had to take her word for it mostly instead of comparing it to my frame of reference.

    I found her final chapter on trap rap music and how it has been used in the grieving process to be very interesting and powerful. It’s one of the stronger chapters in the book, in my opinion.

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