Grace Gipson on Outkast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South

26 Jun, 2021

Grace Gipson on Outkast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South

Grace Gipson published an article on Southern hip hop in Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society. The article specifically delves into the lineagee of hip hop in the South, including Outkast, trap music, and how hip hop plays into Black Southern identity formation.

Grace earned her in BA in Psychology and Biology from Clark Atlanta University where she graduated magna cum laude. Grace also received her MA in African American Studies at Georgia State University in May 2013. She received her PhD in African American Studies with a Designated Emphasis in New Media from the UC Berkeley and now serves as an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

From the article:

“The South got something to say!” This call to arms from Outkast member André Benjamin (better known as André 3000) best summarizes the frustration, the need to self-validate, and the opportunity to make Outkast’s presence known within the hip-hop landscape and the South. These words also resonate as a proclamation of resilience as well as another approach to how we understand the southern narrative.

In Chronicling Stankonia: The Rise of the Hip-Hop South, African American literature and southern hip-hop scholar Regina N. Bradley offers an intersectional examination of the contemporary southern Black and hip-hop identity via the Atlanta hip-hop rap duo Outkast. Bradley centers the musical and cultural work of Outkast (an acronym for “Operating under the Krooked American System Too Long”) and highlights their relevance to hip-hop and Southern (specifically Atlanta) culture.1 Coming from a post-Civil Rights lens, Bradley provides a multi-layered approach to the various southern experiences of obtaining the American Dream while Black.

Read the full piece here!