Outkast is one of the best hip-hop groups of all time. With their impressive verbal skills, eclectic beats, and socially conscious approach, they made a huge impact on the world of music. Andre 3000 and Big Boi introduced a new, Southern style that effectively ushered in a new style of hip-hop, creating an excellent alternative to the tense atmosphere that had risen up in the rap world in the 1990s. Southern rappers wanted to rap about real things and their actual lives, instead of the the gangster style of the West Coast and the somewhat mafia-inspired style of the East Coast. Outkast were Southern brethren of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul‘s Native Tongues movement, taking their down-to-earth style and combining it with the Southern African American experience.
Now, a college professor is translating Outkast’s impact into a course at Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia. The professor, Regina Bradley, will be offering “OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South” as an advanced English course, with the goal to showcase the group’s “ideas about the South and southernness seep into other Southern writers.” Bradley has a Ph.D. and is a former Nasir Jones fellow at Harvard University’s Hiphop Archive & Research Institute, so she is literally a doctor of hip-hop. In an interview with the Savannah Morning News, Bradley explained that “My areas of interest are African-American literature and popular culture. I try to find ways to connect those… Often, students get most of their information, their outlook from how they engage in popular culture.”
Sounds like an amazing course! Big Boi himself has given his blessing, saying “It’s an honor to be studied. I am originally from Savannah, and I remember Armstrong, so that is just super dope.”
Super dope, indeed.
[H/T The Fader]