Well, Gotty™ isn’t the only smarty pants in the Crew who gets to speak at prestigious colleges. This Friday, yours truly will be at Tulane University from 1:30 to 3:30 to be a part of the discussion of Bounce and Hip-Hop in New Orleans for the EMP Pop Regional Conference.
Here’s the fancy shmancy press release:
“The South” has a hold on the cultural imagination as tangled as its musical geography: it represents tradition even as its musical pasts are repurposed for tourism and new genres emerge from cross-pollinations. John Hiatt sings to an imaginary rider, “so when you’re feelin’ down and out / Come on, baby, drive South,” as if the entire region is a balm for modernity. Where is this romanticized South? It depends on who’s asking and who’s driving. Are they headed to the Upper, Mid-, Deep or Gulf South, to Appalachia or the Delta? Are musics still aligned with geography or specific sites? Along Southern roads lie the elusive roots of many American genres and a host of sonic signatures: Nashville and Memphis, Macon and Athens and the A-T-L, Lafayette and New Orleans, Muscle Shoals and North Mississippi. Yet “the South” still signifies as roots Americana to some outsiders or backwards and bigoted to some others. We’ll do the South by driving straight into its tensions: tradition vs. modernity, faith vs. transgression, racial nostalgia vs. new immigrant populations, authenticity vs. performance.
The EMP Pop Conference, launched in 2002, joins academics, critics, performers, and dedicated fans in a rare common discussion. This year, there are five regional conferences meeting on the same weekend as repercussions of a decade’s worth of musical exchange.
So yeah, it’s sort of a big deal, and like Gotty, my mom didn’t really think I did anything important until she heard I’d be speaking at Tulane. So there’s that.
Also on the panel will be our very own new writer, Holly, who has been working hard to jump start the NOLA Hip-Hop Archive at Tulane as well. She’s been basically hitting the ground and interviewing every rapper of any importance ever in NOLA and archiving the footage for a digital museum – with a goal of putting together a physical archive. It’s definitely something to check out and support.
With that said, if you’re out in NOLA, stop by Tulane on Friday and come see yours truly babble on incoherently and possibly quote Soulja Slim or something.