Tonight at Bookman/Bookwoman, writer Ben Westhoff reads from his book Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop. Here's a snippet to go with the video above:
“They sayin’ hip-hop’s dead,” rapped Ludacris on fellow Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo’s song, “Atlanta, GA.” “I say we kept it alive.” Others were content to let their success speak for itself. They knew that rap wasn’t dead. It had just acquired a new home base.
That "new home base," of course, would be the South. I talked to Ben about the book for this week's Scene, and I'll be introducing him at the reading tonight. Come for the trivia contest (prizes!), stay for the stories. For example, here are 8Ball and MJG explaining the term "pimpin' " as it relates to Memphis — part of which makes it into the book:
And so you know they live by the code, here's their song "Space Age Pimpin' ":
8Ball and MJG probably had their biggest moment when they collaborated with fellow Memphians Three 6 Mafia on "I Stay Fly," with a feature from Nashville's own Young Buck:
Westhoff dedicates one chapter of the book to Soulja Boy, and since — unbelievably — no one in a recent Scene staff meeting got the reference when I threw my arms out and went, "Superman, ooohhhh!" here's the video for "Crank That":
Apropos of nothing: Can you believe it's been eight years since "Hey Ya" came out? Dang.
See you tonight — 1713 21st Avenue South, 6 p.m.