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.