New Book! THIRD COAST: Outkast, Timbaland and How Hip Hop Became a Southern Thing by Roni Sarig (May 07)

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.


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.


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.


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.


Al Kapone
Allen Johnston
Andre Benjamin
Anthony Murray
Betty Wright
Big Boi
Big Oomp
Big Rube
Big Sam
Billy Hines
Bo Crane
Boss King
Bryan “Baby” Williams
Bubba Sparxxx
Bun B
Cecil “DC” Glenn
Chad Hugo
Charles Young Jr. Charles Young Sr.
Chuck D
Clarence “Blowfly” Reid
Crunchy Black
Da Brat
David Banner
David Noller
Dee Dee Murray
Devin Steel
Devin the Dude
Disco Rick
DJ Chill
DJ Jubilee
DJ Laz
DJ Magic Mike
DJ Paul
DJ Strez
Earl Mackie
Freddy Hydro
Fresh Kid Ice
Gangsta Pat
Gene Griffin
Gregory D
Henry Stone
Ian Burke
James McCauley (DXJ)
Jamilla Bell (Jack the Rapper’s daughter) Jason Geter
Jason Orr
Jazze Pha
Jermaine Dupri
Jimmy Brown
Joe “DJ PappaWheelie” Gonzalez
John Abbey
John “J-Dogg” Shaw Juicy J,
Kawan “KP” Prather
King J
KLC Knottz
L Rocc
Leatrice Pierre (Timbaland’s mom)
Lil Bo
Lil Flip
Lil Jon
Lil Jon’s
brothers & mom,
Lil Scrappy
Lil Troy
Luther Campbell Malice
Mannie Fresh
Matt “SoReal” Sonzala MC ADE
MC Shy-D
Melvin ‘Magoo’ Barcliff Michael Watts
Mike “Mr. Collipark/DJ Smurf” Crooms
Mike Clark
Missy Elliott
Mr. DJ
Mr. Mixx
Mz. Vet
Neil Case
Nick Scarfo
Orville Hall
Pastor Troy
Pharrell Williams
Pretty Tony
Prophet (Nappy Roots)
Pusha T
Ray Murray
Ready Red
Rico Wade
Rob “Mac” McDowell Robert Shaw
Ronald “Slim” Williams
Ryan Camron
Sleepy Brown
Steve Gottlieb
Ted Lucas
Teddy Riley
Tom Bowker
Tony Mercedes
Tony MF Rock (aka Woodchuck)
Trick Daddy
Wayne Briggs
Wes Philips
Willie D

Vesta: Distant Lover

The industry’s obsession with the fluffy ingenue obscures grown women singers into the land of independents which gets richer everyday. Luckily for Vesta she started her career at a time when there was more appreciation for the Old School singer. Whitney Houston, Regina Belle, and Anita Baker were other singers in that ’80’s class to know the difference between singing and relying on a machine-operated image to distract from vocal expectations. “Don’t Blow A Good Thing” and “Congratulations” are Black R and B anthems reminiscent of their time period and tireless sentiments about lost love. When other performers with less lung power arrived Vesta kept performing on the Black theater circuit and released music intermittently. Distant Lover goes back to the classic material most soul singers have studied at some point to sharpen their craft. Cover songs are dreadful when there is no balance between individual personality and original integrity which Vesta accomplishes well in this collection. Ms. Williams’ clean pipes poses well as another Williams (Deniece), matching her high notes on “Free” but using her own subtle phrasing in the delivery of words. Marvin Gaye’s tortured torch bearing “Distant Lover” is transformed into a heavenly confession of devotion by Williams’ replacement of angst with felicity. No frills production and luxury from the pure voice enlivens this great songlist gingerly chosen by a singer of great worth who puts in her own panache without plucking the music from its roots.

Check out Vesta on the web:

Could It Be I’m Falling In Love:

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Carl Thomas’ New CD “So Much Better” Coming Soon


New York, NY Mar 23, 2007 Chicago native and platinum-selling R&B star, Carl Thomas gave us R&B music that was reminiscent of the golden days of Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, and Otis Redding but with a modern day edge. Who could forget the cinematic Emotional released in 2000 that made any serious R&B crooner step up their game. Now he’s back and under the tutelage of the legendary music man Jheryl Busby’s Umbrella Recordings and Hit maker Mike City’s Unsung Entertainment for a one- off deal with his new soulful disc So Much Better set for release in the summer of 2007.

The new single from So Much Better, “2 Pieces,” is already having success at radio as the #1 most added single at Urban AC. On “2 Pieces” Thomas expresses raw intensity on the track with sweet lyrics about the woman he loves. “Baby I can’t take the thought of losing you/cause I know that it would break, break my heart in 2 pieces.”
In addition to releasing the new disc on his label, Unsung Entertainment’s Mike City is the producer that gave us Carl Thomas’ stellar hits “I Wish” and “You Ain’t Right” from Emotional and has produced seven songs on So Much Better. Other producers on the disc include: Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis with Big Jim Wright, Brian Michael Cox, and up and coming producing team, Pitch Black. Guest features include: Brandy, Dave Hollister, and Lalah Hathaway.

“In addition to being collaborators, Carl and I are long- time friends. We decided that while he was in between deals we would do an album together which would be released on my Unsung Entertainment label. Thanks to Carl and Mr. Busby, who gave us the one-off deal, on his Umbrella Recordings imprint, I am able to launch my label with a major star,” states Mike City.

On So Much Better, Carl Thomas keeps it sweet, but with an edge of street on “Another You” which serves as an aural testimonial to the object of his desire. The melodic and hypnotic sounds of “Something About You,” sounds like nothing else currently blaring from the radio. Featuring vocals from Brandy, “Something About You” is a timeless song that embraces the best of pop and soul.

Umbrella Recordings’ first release was on five decade diva Patti Labelle where she released her first gospel album, The Gospel According to Patti Labelle which has been in the Top 5 on Billboard’s “Top Gospel Albums” chart for 14 weeks and held the number one spot for 10 weeks.

“To have Carl Thomas as our second release is truly a blessing.” says Busby, “He is the ultimate male soul singer of the day and we are very pleased that he decided to help his friend and do a one off deal with us. I am certain that this record will help to further cultivate his career and solidify his growth for his next deal.”

For the latest news on Carl Thomas be sure to check out his myspace page

The Hypeman Cometh:Flavor Flav


William Drayton’s performance alter ego Flavor Flav became the biggest star of reality TV last year with the hugely successful Flavor of Love. A house full of women vying for his affections created the right amount of drama to keep viewers interested in TV’s first Black bachelor’s search for love. The show came on the heels of Flav’s romance with the tall blond Brigitte Nielsen on “The Surreal Life.” Flavor of Love spawned the current first Black bachelorette reality show starring the equally entertaining New York and her stern but funny mother Sister Patterson. Flav’s trademark phrase “Flavor Flavvvvvvvvv” entered pop culture but not without criticism. His dark skin, Viking-inspired crowns, gold-toothed grin and hip-hop inspired speech fascinated viewers and made some of them decide that he was too much of a minstrel and misogynist.

Messageboards posted insults aimed at Flav’s complexion that invoked images of the disgraceful Black memorabilia positioned throughout Spike Lee’s “Bamboozled.” To these viewers the absence of Boris Kodjoe or LL Cool J-type looks disqualified Flav’s pursuit of love and reduced the women of the show to desperate victims. He was again casted into the role of a public enemy scorned in some ways for what he once said in song for “being too Black.”

Television was always driven by the need to promote something and the man and women of Flavor Of Love used this fact as the motivation for doing the show. Since the show’s end some of the women have attained their own 15 minutes of fame particularly the new reality TV star New York. Flavor’s eventual choice of a mate, Delisshus has moved on in the media world as a fixture at hip urban events. The jester-like hypeman who laid the foundation for future famous hypeman including Eminem’s best friend Proof has returned to touring with his legendary hip-hop band Public Enemy. PE had the honor last year of its pioneering work Fear Of A Black Planet being entered into the National Recording Archive.

The artwork from the album grabbed critical eyes in the industry and art direction on hip-hop albums gained a new importance. Their prominence as the most-successful politically inclined rap group seemed to be in contradiction with Flavor’s television career but both gigs require amounts of humorous charisma and a tad of the fantastic. Beyond Flavor Flav’s stage persona there is musical talent that can play several instruments and still rhyme silly over hip-hop beats. After years of stops and starts the native of Long Island, New York finally released a passionate solo album with music for Old School hip-hop fans, Country and Western lovers and all the urban music fans in between. Now touring North America Flav took the time to answer some questions about his solo jaunt and accusations of crass cooning.

What were you trying to do with the album?

The main thing I was trying to do with these album was to show all different sides of Flav I am a musician I can play instruments.

I heard you play eleven instruments?

I play over eleven but that’s cool. I play over fourteen different instruments and self-taught also you know when I grew-up in church I was in the choir and I could sing a little bit. That’s just a talent I wanted to express to the world you know I am a musician. I’m into all kinds of music so that’s why my album has different kinds of music on it. You got rap stuff, R and B stuff, then on the end of it you even got country-western. The last one’s called “Hotter Than Ice” and I do like country music but see music is a universal message and I want my album to be universal so that’s why I did not put the same kind of jams for my record I wanted to put all different kinds of jams on this record so that way I can sell it to all different kinds of audiences instead of just catering to one audience.

I noticed you had different kinds of sounds one song sounded like the early Bum Rush The Show material.

A lot of people think my album has no direction the world ain’t got no direction either. So once the world gets direction I’ll put out an album that has direction till then while the world is mixed up I’ll put out an album that’s mixed out. At least I can sell it to everybody instead of just one audience.

Who did the production on the album? I could tell that some of it was live instruments and some of it was samples and stuff.

Which is today’s music and not only that Public Enemy we were the first to ever sample. We were the first ones to put out samples in our music. I’m thinking of going back to basics. I produced the whole album but at the same time I had other people come in and produce as well. On “Two Wrongs Don’t Make It Right” “Bridge Of Pain” all of these are different producers. But then again it was my production money that put it out there so I’m the producer.

What made you decide to put out the album independently? It would seem with the success of your TV show you could grab a major deal.

I’ve been signed to record companies and all record companies have made money off of me. I feel that it’s my turn to make some off of me I wanted to wait until I was really scott free so I could sell this album myself and make my own doggone money.

You said this was going to be your only solo album because you wanted it to be a collector’s item does that still stand?

Definitely that still stands but I’m still working on another Public Enemy album with my partner Chuck D and The Bomb Squad we’re putting The Bomb Squad back together for the first time in years. We’re going to come out with this next Public Enemy album and I guarantee it’s going to be a banger.

How was the European Tour you just came back from and what is going with PE?

I know that Public Enemy is going to do a North American tour

How do you feel about the criticisms of Flavor of Love that it’s a lot of cooning and the women are degrading themselves by fawning over you?

I just want to say that everybody is entitled to their own opinions not only that everyone’s opinion is to be respected by Flavor Flav even if they have the wrong opinion. Let me say this my purpose of doing TV is I’m looking forward to a TV career. I’m looking forward to a movie career that’s why I moved to LA in the first place. Now with this TV show Flavor Of Love I am the bachelor on TV so I’m going to have to pick and choose from girls. Girls that came on my show you gotta remember I didn’t put them there they put themselves there. And every time you seen disagreements in the house fighting and brawls and all of that they were not fighting over Flavor Flav that was personality conflict.

You got a bunch of different personalities for the first time in one house ever yes you gonna have conflicts. So that’s why I’m saying people right now have the wrong perception of Flav when it comes to the Flavor Of Love only thing I’ve tried to do is mediate. I tried to be the mediator of the conflicts. I don’t really like violence. To all of the people that don’t understand hopefully one day they will understand.

How do feel about today’s hip-hop?

Today’s hip-hop is in all different kinds of directions because that’s how we’re living. It’s not just in one direction anymore it’s all mixed-up right now. Rap music has taken its own course and it’s up to us to put it back on course. I’m proud of all the music artists congratulations to all you new artist making records welcome aboard.

What are you most proud of about your album?

That it’s done and it’s out. I’ve been trying to come out with a solo album since 1990 but I worked on this album for about two years.