THIRD COAST fully explores the history of rap as it emerged out of the South through many crosscurrents. Sarig goes way back to the oral tradition of slaves in the South, field hollers, the blues and gospel, and connects the dots to early 20th century African American radio announcers who rhymed, testified and signified. Hosts like Jocko Henderson, Daddy-O and Poppa Stoppa actually spoke in rhyme, and their broadcasts reached way down into the Caribbean, “influencing Jamaica’s earliest toasters such as U-Roy and Sir Lord Comic to perform their rhythmic rhymes over reggae dubs.” It would be these toasters, then, who would influence and inspire the young Jamaican on his way to New York: Kool DJ Herc, aka the father of hip-hop. Sarig also notes the influence of musicians, poets, comedians and celebrities with roots in the South who continued with the toasting, boasting, signifying and rhyming: Rudy Ray Moore, Clarence “Blowfly” Reid, Muhammad Ali, the Last Poets, the Watts Prophets, Gil Scott-Heron and H. Rap Brown.
THIRD COAST is the most thorough, wide-ranging, and exhaustively researched book yet to examine the roots and development of Southern Hip Hop. Sarig follows rap’s history from Miami Bass to Houston’s Gangsta Goths, hitting on Memphis’ gangsta walk and New Orleans’ bounce music, and exploring Atlanta as the New Motown and Virginia as a no man’s land where studio wizards such as Timbaland and the Neptunes spun pop magic. On his journey through Dirty South Hip-Hop, Sarig explores how far recent hip-hop has come both sonically and culturally, focusing on the big players like OutKast, Missy Elliott, Ying Yang Twins, T.I., UGK, Eightball & MJG, Three 6 Mafia, Juvenile, Ludacris, and Lil Jon, exploring its roots, style, slang and influence, and considering its more recent genre-busting iterations like crunk.
The ’90s had artists talking East vs. West, but it’s now impossible to ignore the Third Coast.
Roni Sarig is the author of three books, including The Secret History of Rock: The Most Influential Bands You’ve Never Heard. His work has appeared in Vibe, Rolling Stone and Spin. He lives outside NYC.
THIRD COAST Chapter Listings
INTRO: What You People Know About the Dirty South?
Word Up: The African-American Oral Tradition. Go DJ, That’s My DJ: Jive Talking to Reggae Toasting. Raise Up, This One’s For You: Southern Rap Explosion. Southern Heritage. Social Music. Inversion. Southern strategy.Down to the Crossroads.
PART I: REGIONALISM AND EARLY CROSSCURRENTS
1. The Rise and Fall of Miami Bass:Soul Talking: Clarence Reid and Henry Stone. Hip-Hop Comes South. 2 Live is What We Are: Miami Bass Booms. As Nasty As They Wanna Be. Maximum Boom: Bass in the Car and on the Charts.
2. Houston and the Gangsta Goths: Texas Hip-Hop: Life on the Human Ranch. Houston Starts Making Trouble. Geto Boys Get a Grip. Southern Gangsta Can’t Be Stopped. The South’s True Underground Kings.
3. Memphis-Pimped Out or Bucked Up: Wheatstraw’s Gangster Blues. Memphis Gets Buck. Eightball & MJG: Pimps in the House.
4. New Orleans’ Soldiers in the Murder Capital:
In New Orleans, the Waters Rise, But So Do the People. From Calliope to Cali Hope, and Back. No Limit Tests the Limits.
Part II SYNTHESIS AND THE NEW SOUTH SENSIBILITY
5. Atlanta-Fusion and Family:
The Great Southern Crossroads. “Good Morning, Atlanta. We are Here.” Atlanta Originals. Young, Fly, and Flashy. L.A. and Babyface Move South. The TLC Tip. 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Birth of Southern-Identified Hip-Hop. Atlanta’s Bass Survivors. Up From the Dungeon. The Road to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Serving Up the Soul Food. Second Acts: The ATLiens are Still Standing.
6. Virginia-Transmissions from the Edge: Welcome to the Blank Slate. Untapped Market: Teddy Riley Comes to Town. When Timmy Met Missy. Good Ol’ Virginia: The Masters of Urban Pop.
7. Atlanta as the New Motown: The Dungeon Family Move to the Front of the Bus. LaFace’s Golden Era. Bombs Over the Dungeon Family. J.D. Welcomes You to Atlanta. Ludacris Disturbs the Peace. Laface’s Legacy. To Camelot Like Campbellton. Kings of the South. The Beatles of Hip-Hop.
8. Hip-Hop’s Ruralization: The Twice-Marginalized Rural South. Hip-Hop Sings the Blues. Mississippi Burning. Hollers from the Cotton Fields. Portrait of a White Boy. OutKast’s Nappy Children. Sweet Home Cackalacky. Black Cowboys in Nashville.
PART III: WHAT GOES AROUND
9. Bounce Music-From Buck Jump to Bling Bling:
The Spirit of New Orleans. Buck Jumpin’ in the Big Easy. Triggerman’s Unlikely Getaway. Bounce Baby Bounce. Cash Money Gets its Roll On. Cash Money in Slow Motion.
10. Crunk Gets Crunk: Back in Memphis, Paul & Juicy Tear Da Club Up. Gette’m Crunk in the Crab Bucket. The Making of Lil’ Jon. Crunk’s Hidden Codes. Crunk Gets Crunk. Crunk’s Fellow Travelers: Pastor Troy, Oomp Camp. Ying Yang in the Booty Clubs. Miami Becomes a Hip-Hop City (Again). Down South (of the Border) Hip-Hop.
11. Houston Reprise-The Turn of the Screw: Things is Slower in the South. The Southside’s Screwed-Up Empire. The North Also Rises. Lone Star Shining.
Bryan “Baby” Williams
Cecil “DC” Glenn
Charles Young Jr. Charles Young Sr.
Clarence “Blowfly” Reid
Dee Dee Murray
Devin the Dude
DJ Magic Mike
Fresh Kid Ice
James McCauley (DXJ)
Jamilla Bell (Jack the Rapper’s daughter) Jason Geter
Joe “DJ PappaWheelie” Gonzalez
John “J-Dogg” Shaw Juicy J,
Kawan “KP” Prather
Leatrice Pierre (Timbaland’s mom)
brothers & mom,
Luther Campbell Malice
Matt “SoReal” Sonzala MC ADE
Melvin ‘Magoo’ Barcliff Michael Watts
Mike “Mr. Collipark/DJ Smurf” Crooms
Prophet (Nappy Roots)
Rob “Mac” McDowell Robert Shaw
Ronald “Slim” Williams
Tony MF Rock (aka Woodchuck)