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Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip Hop 

Exploding the stereotypes behind Southern rap

Wednesday, Jun 29 2005
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By Tamara Palmer

Back Beat Books (2005), $19.95

With a penchant for bombastic beats, chanted lyrics, and the kind of absurdly fleshy videos that would make Russ Meyer blush, Southern hip hop has been a hard pill for many of us to swallow -- especially if we don't spend our lives worried about 100-degree weather. Southern rap is more spectacle than art, its detractors would argue, more WWE steel-cage death match than modern-day griot ceremony. And though it is an obvious form of regionalism, Southern rap's defenders have offered little intellectual grist in defense of their critically beleaguered bone crushers and trick daddies -- until now. In her recently released Country Fried Soul: Adventures in Dirty South Hip Hop, frequent SF Weekly contributor Tamara Palmer tackles many of the stereotypes that are normally associated with Southern rap. One of Palmer's most interesting assertions: By testing out their tracks at strip clubs before releasing them as singles, Southern hip hop producers are actually empowering females in ways their NYC and West Coast counterparts never did. This is but one example of the unusual, fresh thinking that sets this book apart from its compatriots in the portentous, pseudo-academic field of hip hop theory. And though Adventures is far from the final word on the subject, it's a nice opening salvo in what is sure to be a long discussion amongst hip hop's reigning intelligentsia.

About The Author

Sam Chennault

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