BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
What’s cooler than being cool? How about taking a class that examines the lyrics of Outkast and other Southern hip-hop artists?
Beginning this month, students at Armstrong State University in Savannah can participate in the course, “Outkast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South” (sorry, it’s already full).
Dr. Regina Bradley, who teaches in the school’s Languages, Literature and Philosophy department and was a Nasir Jones (aka Nas) hip-hop fellow at Harvard University’s Hip-Hop Archive & Research Institute, told the Savannah Morning News that students will learn how Outkast’s distinctly southern lyrical flair “seep(s) into other Southern writers.”
Bradley plans to introduce the students to other hip-hop albums as well as explore the Black Lives Matter movement and the ways that hip-hop is used for political expression.
While the Outkast duo is rooted in Atlanta, Big Boi was born in Savannah (their “Aquemini” album features the song, “West Savannah”) and has occasionally tied work projects into the city, while André 3000 partnered with the Savannah College of Art and Design last summer for an exhibit spotlighting the creative jumpsuits he donned during the 2014 Outkast reunion tour .
Bradley told the Savannah paper that she is also working on a forthcoming book about Outkast.
“I'm pretty sure I have a couple of folks in there who have no clue who Outkast is or don’t listen to hip-hop at all, which is why they’re there — they want to learn something different,” she said.
Fans have clamored for years for Andre 3000 and Big Boi to release new music – their last musically creative endeavor, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” landed in 2003 – and the pair sparked a new round of rumors when they appeared together at September’s One Musicfest at Lakewood Amphitheatre .