Atlanta is winning and if you don’t believe me, check Donald Glover’s acceptance speech at the Golden Globes last night. Now, he may not have shouted out the group that is Atlanta royalty, Outkast, but Outkast is still winning in these streets. Armstrong State University is providing a course on Outkast taught by Professor Regina Bradley. Bradley, an Albany, Georgia native, created the course to teach students about how hip-hop can be used as a form of political expression.
But why Outkast? When Bradley was introduced to hip-hop studies, the classes never really took a deep dive into the southern hip-hop artists that she grew up listening to. So in the birthplace of Big Boi, Savannah, Georgia, she had to do it. Why? Because as told to Pigeons and Planes: "They raise intriguing questions about the significance of region as an influencer of creative expression. Outkast's experimentation in how they articulated and celebrated their southernness manifested in intriguing ways (i.e. literary and cultural metaphors, historical and social-economic influences of Atlanta as a center of southern progress and urbanity, etc). They had room to question and experiment with what is and what is not Black Southernness".
Bradley also values the role Outkast played in opening the door for so many southern rappers. Who can forget the 1995 Source Awards when Outkast won best new rap group and the crowd booed? Andre 3000 took to the mic and said one of the most memorable lines in hip-hop history ever, "The south got something to say!"
The course even has an interesting final exam. "Their final project is doing a paper that's 12-15 pages ... for what I call a "nerdy hip-hop review", she told Savannah Morning News." They'll take an album of their choice --- preferably an Outkast album --- and give a discussion of the themes and what they hear."
The class is definitely going to have a long list of students lining up to take it. Do they offer this course online? Just asking for a friend.