Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop

( 17 )

Overview

Rap music from New York and Los Angeles once ruled the charts, but nowadays the southern sound thoroughly dominates the radio, Billboard, and MTV. Coastal artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Ice-T call southern rap “garbage,” but they’re probably just jealous, as artists like Lil Wayne and T.I. still move millions of copies, and OutKast has the bestselling rap album of all time.

In Dirty South, author Ben Westhoff investigates the southern rap phenomenon, watching rappers “make ...

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Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop

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Overview

Rap music from New York and Los Angeles once ruled the charts, but nowadays the southern sound thoroughly dominates the radio, Billboard, and MTV. Coastal artists like Wu-Tang Clan, Nas, and Ice-T call southern rap “garbage,” but they’re probably just jealous, as artists like Lil Wayne and T.I. still move millions of copies, and OutKast has the bestselling rap album of all time.

In Dirty South, author Ben Westhoff investigates the southern rap phenomenon, watching rappers “make it rain” in a Houston strip club and partying with the 2 Live Crew’s Luke Campbell. Westhoff visits the gritty neighborhoods where T.I. and Lil Wayne grew up, kicks it with Big Boi in Atlanta, and speaks with artists like DJ Smurf and Ms. Peachez, dance-craze originators accused of setting back the black race fifty years. Acting both as investigative journalist and irreverent critic, Westhoff probes the celebrated-but-dark history of Houston label Rap-A-Lot Records, details the lethal rivalry between Atlanta MCs Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and gets venerable rapper Scarface to open up about his time in a mental institution. Dirty South features exclusive interviews with the genre’s most colorful players.

Westhoff has written a journalistic tour de force, the definitive account of the most vital musical culture of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Journalist and hip-hop enthusiast Westhoff delivers a fascinating exploration of the musical and personal terrain of what has come to be known as the Southern sound of rap by such artists as Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Ludacris. Westhoff convincingly details how Southern rap music—"party music, full of hypnotic hooks and sing-along choruses"—took over from dominant East Coast and West Coast rap styles by replacing "ormal rap structures and metaphor-heavy rhymes... in favor of chants, grunts and shouts." In fact, the beauty of Westhoff's descriptions of the genre as a whole and various songs in particular will make old fans as well as newbies want to search out and play classic CDs such as OutKast's "Aquemini" and "Kings of Crunk" by Lil Jon. And Westhoff's personal trips to the home bases of each artist he presents show how the personalities of the artists reinforce their music, which leads to scenes such as Lil Wayne's equally impassioned and hilarious defense of his fast-paced, workaholic lifestyle: "What am I supposed to do, take a vacation? This is the vacation right here." (May)
From the Publisher
"A fascinating exploration of the musical and personal terrain of what has come to be known as the Southern sound of rap." —Publishers Weekly

"Westhoff offers an excellent introduction to hip-hop in the South that will be informative and enjoyable for both newbies and those familiar with Southern hip-hop...A great introduction to Southern hip-hop, and a fun book for those familiar with the genre and its artists." —Library Journal

"Unprecedented in its research of the origins of Southern hip-hop, this gem is key to understanding the catalyst that caused the 21st Century Dirty South explosion."
The Source

"Dirty South is a must-read for anybody interested in hip-hop's ever growing role in America's cultural consciousness." —Forbes.com

"Packed with lively reporting and colorful social history...doesn't shy away from the bigger questions. Westhoff grapples with Southern rap's troubling racial politics and takes on the critics." —Rolling Stone

Library Journal
Journalist Westhoff offers an excellent introduction to hip-hop in the South that will be informative and enjoyable for both newbies and those familiar with Southern hip-hop. He includes chapters on the most influential and successful Southern artists, from Luke Campbell (who later joined 2 Live Crew) up to Gucci Mane and Soulja Boy. While the author is clearly a fan of Southern hip-hop and defends it against criticism and mockery, he is also critical of some of the music and of those who make it. Westhoff makes no attempt to hide the warts on the personalities he profiles. He also deserves credit for including not only the obvious choices like T.I. and Lil Wayne, but the less-well-known DJ Drama and DJ Smurf. Westhoff describes his experiences meeting and interviewing the book's subjects without emphasizing himself over his topic. VERDICT A great introduction to Southern hip-hop, and a fun book for those familiar with the genre and its artists. A good, potentially more approachable companion to Roni Sarig's exhaustive Third Coast.—Craig Shufelt, Fort McMurray P.L., Alta.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569766064
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/1/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 426,521
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ben Westhoff is a former staff writer for St. Louis’s Riverfront Times, whose work has also appeared in the Village Voice, Creative Loafing, Spin, and Pitchfork.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(16)

4 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    Read this one!

    Dirty South is a trip to the roots of southern hip-hop, based on dozens interviews with rappers in the south and beyond. Stories and histories are full of quotations from insiders and outsiders. Why did Westhoff write this book? He loves the music. Hip-hop brings him a joy that he doesn't get from other styles. Not a prissy critic or annoyed elder, not a member of the hip-hop world, but a lover of the music, he went to the sources (Houston/Memphis/Atlanta/New Orleans/Miami/St. Louis and many smaller towns) to see what he could find out from the people who made the music. Why should you read the book? If you listen to Lil Wayne, Outkast, Soulja Boy, Geto Boys, Aaliyah, Nelly, Scarface, UGK and Master P, read this book to hear their stories. If you know who put sex in rap, the meaning of screwed and chopped, autotuned, trap rap, crunk and syrup, read this book to learn more. If you don't know the music or the people who make it, come along for the ride through a unique culture, populated by unique individuals. Be sure to look at the photos.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Wazzup diz lil wayne

    Wazzup baby? Yo dis book grate lil wayne out young moolah babyyyyy

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Lil wayneand tyga and big sean are the best

    The best

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Apprentice den

    ~Medowclan

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    5letters YMCMB

    Young Money Cash Money Billionares Lil Wayne is the best rapper.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Anymous

    Lil wayne go st upid go stupid

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    B

    STOP an make that muthu f#@$%@! @#$ drop! Go stupid go stupid go stupid

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    5letters ymcmb

    Lil wayne is a beast. He has drake to back him up who is the hottest guy to ever walk the planet next to diggy simmond.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2012

    Lil Wayne

    This book is amazing... Just like Lil Wayne.

    - Deja Lenae Nicholson

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Bringitaroundtown

    Hey its girl bringitaroundtown yeah boi

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    A little bit of hip-hop history...

    Very good read for those that have a love not just for hip-hop but for music in general. Love reading books that leave me something more than I did when I started reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    People cant spell

    Just FYI its simmions not simmiond

    I dont care if it was a typo or not if u goona sit there and say sumthing about someone else u need to male sure u say it and spell it write

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    To all haters

    If yall niqqa hate lil wayne, go to hell. Young moola foreva.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2014

    CHEIF KEEF 4EVER

    #3hunna ONLY OTF GBE

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    boo

    you suck

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    Nice under wear

    I want his butthole!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    Pretty Girl

    Go stupid!!!!!!!Nuff...said!!!!!;)!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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