From Publishers Weekly
Journalist and hip-hop enthusiast Westhoff delivers a fascinating exploration of the musical and personal terrain of what has come to be known as the Southern sound of rap by such artists as Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, and Ludacris. Westhoff convincingly details how Southern rap music—"party music, full of hypnotic hooks and sing-along choruses"—took over from dominant East Coast and West Coast rap styles by replacing "normal rap structures and metaphor-heavy rhymes... in favor of chants, grunts and shouts." In fact, the beauty of Westhoff's descriptions of the genre as a whole and various songs in particular will make old fans as well as newbies want to search out and play classic CDs such as OutKast's "Aquemini" and "Kings of Crunk" by Lil Jon. And Westhoff's personal trips to the home bases of each artist he presents show how the personalities of the artists reinforce their music, which leads to scenes such as Lil Wayne's equally impassioned and hilarious defense of his fast-paced, workaholic lifestyle: "What am I supposed to do, take a vacation? This is the vacation right here." (May)
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"Unprecedented in its research of the origins of Southern Hip-Hop, this gem is key to understanding the catalyst that caused the 21st Century Dirty South explosion."
"Dirty South is packed with lively reporting and colorful social history. But [it] doesn't shy away from the bigger questions." -- Rolling Stone
"Dirty South is a must-read for anybody interested in hip-hop's ever-growing role in America's cultural consciousness." --Zack O'Malley Greenburg, Forbes"Even if you only barely recognize the names in the full title...you can still understand and enjoy Ben Westhoff's new book."
--Andrew Matson, Seattle Times "[A] consistently entertaining and enlightening chronicle of hip-hop below the Mason-Dixon line."
--Martin Caballero, Dig Boston
"A fascinating exploration of the musical and personal terrain of what has come to be known as the Southern sound of rap." Publishers Weekly
"Westhoff offers an excellent introduction to hip-hop in the South that will be informative and enjoyable for both newbies and those familiar with Southern hip-hop...A great introduction to Southern hip-hop, and a fun book for those familiar with the genre and its artists." Library Journal
"Packed with lively reporting and colorful social history...doesn't shy away from the bigger questions. Westhoff grapples with Southern rap's troubling racial politics and takes on the critics." Rolling Stone