Written by James Berger.
Students at Armstrong State University, Savvanah, now have the opportunity to enrol in new class: ’OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South.’
Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) and Antwan Patton (Big Boi), make up the rap duo Outkast. They have been the pioneers of Atlanta, Georgia’s hip hop scene since their first album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, released in 1994.
Southern hip hop is often characterised as soulful, funk driven, smooth, and in many cases, such as that of OutKast, Goodie Mob, and Killer Mike, conscious with modern issues.
OutKast first appeared pioneering this sound in the mid-nineties with their first album: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. This shifted the focus of the hip hop charts which beforehand had been pretty much entirely dominated by the battle of East Coast vs West Coast. Here saw the birth of the Hip Hop South.
In ‘OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South’ one can expect to study the band’s lyrics, samples, techniques, and influence in their musical environment, and how other acts emerged concurrent with these styles, thus creating a distinct Dirty South sound.
The course will also deliberate ‘how pop culture shapes our experiences, gives us language and helps us work through questions.’ said the course lecturer, Regina Bradley, in a recent interview. Bradley is a professor in African American literature at the university, with a novel entitled ‘Chronicling Stankonia: OutKast and the Rise of the Hop Hop South’, soon to be released.
Big Boi, commenting on the news, said ‘It’s an honor to be studied’. The honouring of the duo is definitely not unfounded, with OutKast certainly being one of the most influential hip hop groups of all time and a huge part of the growth of the distinct ATL sound and its longevity – Atlanta still being one of the most significant cities of hip hop today.
Though OutKast no longer create music, their influence is still vastly relevant and Andre 3000 has continued to make numerous high calibre features, recently including the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Frank Ocean, Kanye West, and Erykah Badu.
Listen to OutKast’s West Savannah below: