I’m from West Tn. I’ve spent most of my adult life traveling the U.S. Every place I’ve visited/lived outside of the south, I’ve heard Southern Music catch slack. It is my opinion, there are “garbage” artists all over.
Every EastCoast rapper isn’t conscious.
Every WestCoast rapper isn’t gangsta’.
NY and surrounding states, have their own sound, yet no one ridicules their emulation of each other. It’s not looked at as more of the same. We all know a California MC the instant the beat rides… whether it be a hyphy mix or on some straight up NWA ish. Again, respect is given. Even if the song is about “ghost ridin’ yo whip”.
It becomes increasingly apparent there will always be a double standard on the south. Which is the history of our region, to fight for everything we have.
We are misrepresented and misunderstood. Few seldom give us the props we deserve. We fought to get our records spun.
We fought for acknowledgment.
We’re here World… and we’re not going anywhere.
You hear rappers everywhere spit lyrics involving hustling, money, sex, hood power, or growing up poor, black, and struggling. They also make music to dance to.
[see: Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Dr. Dre, etc.]
Perhaps it’s linguistics. I notice many people don’t hear what I’m saying but how I’m saying it. I’ve found myself measured by my twang/drawl and not the content of my statements. It’s a built in bias. I don’t always speak “American” English. I am proud of my dialect and vernacular. When a friend/relative calls, my accent and words immediately switch over. It is not any different from a foreigner, conversing in their native tongue.
My drawl does not make me a buffoon.
My drawl does not make me uneducated.
My drawl does not make me unpolished.
My drawl does not make me unintelligent.
My drawl does not make me a person who lives in horse manure
and NO, I do not desire sleeping with my 2nd cousin.
The very same people, other regions ridicule, are the individuals who watch out for and help each other. We are a generation who still “Yes Mam and No Sir” and would help an elderly gentleman/lady across the street. So again, there are wack artists everywhere and all music is not good music. I’ll take a good Dungeon Family track over Murder Inc, Rockafella, or G-Unit any day.
In the south, we know how to enjoy life. We’re not afraid to laugh out loud while slapping our knee buckled over. We will victory dance when good shit happens. Celebrate because sometimes life is too much about death/hate. We are not “too prissy” to sweat in the club. OUR music reflects that. It makes people forget themselves and lose it in music. They’re happy and free-like we are.
Often, others, mistake free for “acting country” which is frowned upon. But I crave being around unguarded others the more I live away. People without guises, sans smokescreens. Folks who smile if they like you and mean mug you, if they don’t.
Honest with a true sense of Character & Depth. It’s not a “slow lifestyle”. It living for the important things- family, friends, and community. Mostly, some humility.
I don’t want to go out and hear about hood life all the time. I lived that. I see it when I go home. I view it on the news. I read it in the paper. I don’t want to hear about being black everytime I’m in the club, I live that everyday. I see it in the faces of those I love most. I see it reflected at me in strangers and those who don’t want to put my change in my hand, i.e. touch my black skin.
When I go out with my peeps, I want to take everything the world has given me and pump it out my pores to a thumping bass line. Every negative charge I’ve retained that week, I want to rock, then bend my knees everytime the beat drops…
and snap my fingers.
Bobbing my head just won’t do.
So naysayers and nayhaters we won’t let you steal our pride. We are here and always will be. The irony is no matter where I live, you play us in your establishments and every region’s music has Our beats, featuring Our artists, flows switching over to Our cadence, bumping Our music down your city streets, speaking Our slang, and dressing in Our style….
Truth is you will talk like me and I won’t lose my accent. We have always been The South and have never changed our identity, even to get played or gain appreciation.
Said often duplicated…
Now what does that tell you?
“…cause Imma do me!”
“and I love it”
Southern People… coming to a City near you!
I woke up and seen the sun Sky High
by Kimberley Gladney©