Bottom of the Map, a new podcast from WABE and PRX, is taking hip-hop conversation in a new direction. In each episode, Christina Lee and Dr. Regina N. Bradley delve into a passionate exploration of Southern hip-hop culture and its impact on the world. The result – an authentic and energetic conversation from true fans who appreciate the knock of a good 808 and also have the fandom, expertise and insider perspective to break down its significance.
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Christina Lee, Host
Christina Lee is a journalist based in Atlanta. She writes about hip-hop, with a focus on how it molds Atlanta’s cultural identity and impacts pop culture at large.
Christina graduated from the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism in 2008. Since then her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Billboard, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pitchfork and Complex.
In 2014, she won an Atlanta Press Club award for her co-write on the Creative Loafing cover story “Straight Outta Stankonia: OutKast’s Atlanta From Discography to Mythology.”
Dr. Regina N. Bradley, Host
Dr. Regina N. Bradley is an alumna Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow (Harvard University, Spring 2016) and an Assistant Professor of English and African Diaspora Studies at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. Her expertise and research interests include post-Civil Rights African American literature, hip hop culture, race and the contemporary U.S. South, and sound studies. Regina earned a B.A. in English from
Albany State University (GA), an M.A. in African American and African Diaspora Studies from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in African American Literature from Florida State University.Regina’s current book-length project,Chronicling Stankonia: OutKast and the Rise of the Hip Hop South(under contract, UNC Press), explores how Atlanta, GA hip hop duo OutKast influences conversations about the Black American South after the Civil Rights Movement.
Chronicling Stankonia stems from her critically acclaimed series OutKasted Conversations, a YouTube dialogue series about the impact of OutKast on popular culture. She is also the editor of a forthcoming collection of essays about OutKast for the University of Georgia Press. Regina’s work on popular culture and race is published in south: an interdisciplinary journal, Meridians, Comedy Studies, ADA, Journal of Ethnic American Literature, Palimpsest, and Current Musicology. Regina’s public scholarship is featured on a range of news media outlets including Washington Post, NPR, NewsOne, SoundingOut!, and Creative Loafing Atlanta.
In addition to her scholarship, Regina is an acclaimed fiction writer. Her first short story collection, Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South, was recently published by Peter Lang press. Regina’s short story “Beautiful Ones” was a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee in short fiction. Her other stories have been featured in Obsidian, Transition, and Oxford American. Regina’s fiction has been supported by the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop and the Tin House Summer Workshop. She is currently working on her first novel based on the short story “Beautiful Ones,”The Ghosts Come Home, about the disappearance of a Black teenage boy in Southwest Georgia.
The Production Team
Floyd Hall, Producer
Floyd Hall is a cultural producer, writer and documentarian from Atlanta, Georgia. His professional work often relates to the intersection of art, media and technology as platforms. As an artist he is interested in the process of how we come to define and design ourselves, and is passionate about how history, culture and art blend together to construct narratives of place.
He has worked across the media spectrum in a variety of roles and capacities, including strategy, research and production; his current and past work spans several industries, including Gaming, Brand Management, Nonprofit Arts, Social Change, Sporting Goods, Sports Media and Luxury Lifestyle.
Floyd counts the experiences of his Intown Atlanta upbringing, childhood summers spent in Augusta, Georgia and living in New York City as an adult as the primary influences on his life. Time spent in these locations gave him moments of clarity and insight about regional perspectives, the immigrant experience, how spaces influence patterns of life, and the imagination and ingenuity of different cultures.
Floyd is passionate about the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) disciplines and holds a BS in Mathematics from Morehouse College, a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and an MBA from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
He has supplementary training in Radio & Television Broadcasting, is a Hambidge Creative Residency Fellow and has presented as a guest lecturer at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Spelman College, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, the Hudgens Center for Art and Learning and is a media contributor to ArtsATL and ART PAPERS magazine.
Stephen Key, Production Editor
Stephen Key is a podcast producer and visual artist from Atlanta, Georgia. He has ten years of experience with producing and hosting a variety of podcasts and radio programs. He was the host of the award winning radio show “Blank Canvas Radio” on AM1690 “The Voice of The Arts”. Stephen produces the podcast Crazy Good Turns with former Home Depot CEO Frank Blake, which highlights the stories of people who achieve amazing things to help inspire listeners with empathy and action. Stephen also co-hosts, produces and helps instruct undergraduates at The Georgia Institute of Technology for the podcast Building Memories. This podcast is presented by The Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts and honors Atlanta’s richly diverse history and culture through spaces and places, but also through a recognition of some of the people who occupied them. Stephen is excited to be working with WABE producing StoryCorps and helping develop new podcasts.
How does the culture get paid what it’s worth? In this live episode we partnered with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs for its public arts program ELEVATE, where we talked with Ryan Wilson (co-owner of A3C Hip-Hop Festival and The Gathering Spot) and Janeé Bolden (Managing Editor of Bossip) about the value of Cultural Capital in the mainstream marketplace.
Can Cultural Capital combat Gentrification? For this episode we
partnered with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural
Affairs for its public arts program ELEVATE, where we had a
chance to talk about how Hip-Hop’s Cultural Capital is in
conversation with Political Capital and Financial Capital when big
neighborhood change is on the way. First up, we had a conversation with Renaldo
Nehemiah, who is a curator and stylist to hip-hop celebrities from Ludacris to
Migos to Jermaine Dupri. Later, we sat down with Ryan Gravel and Heather
Infantry of the non-profit Generator, about how a city blends culture, ideas,
and development to maintain a sense of place for everyone.
How do we overcome the grind and get to the hustle? In this episode we discuss the origins of Self Care and how that is reflected in the artists and music of Southern Hip-Hop. Regina and Christina share personal reflections on how they’ve tried to take better care of mind, body and spirit as they navigate their careers. Lastly, we visit Local Green Atlanta to learn how this restaurant is creating healthier Hip-Hop food culture.
Some bonus content this week. The stage
adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me is kicking off
its national tour in Atlanta this October! So, we’re taking a moment to discuss
the significance of the book, its adaptation for the stage and its connections
to hip-hop culture. The show is being brought to Atlanta by The Collective
Culture (Ronald B. Williams, J. Carter and Erin White). We sat down with Erin
and Ron for this conversation..
Is Drake stealing Southern sauce? Did Nelly cross the line? What if Ceelo never sang again? This week we address these and other burning questions as we revisit some segments of past episodes that kept our heads spinning, plus answer some fan questions from social media!
We start it off by touching on our “Sounds of Multiple Souths” episode and address Drake’s connection to Southern Hip-Hop and how that reflects in his music…and his beard (just as important). We also highlight a segment from our strip club episode (“Strip du Soleil: Make It Reign”) that was left out: Nelly and the “Tip Drill” controversy. To add to this, our “Black Ole Opry” episode was all about Lil Nas X, so it was only right to revisit the year he’s had and touch on a few new points.
Lastly, our #askBOTM Q&A had us pondering Southern Supergroups, Ceelo, and a few topics for the future!
Who still needs a record deal? Record labels have played an important role in how we think about Southern Hip-Hop. In this episode we discuss prominent labels, prominent deals, and whether it still means as much to be signed now as it did in the pre-digital era.
How does the spiritual coexist with the secular? We discuss how Southern Hip-Hop artists investigate their spiritual practices through religion, acts of faith and their music. Plus, we get a visit from the South’s favorite Pastor.
The episode starts with a look at the role of faith in the South, and the extent to which the hip-hop generation does (or doesn’t) feel welcome. Listening to Killer Mike and UGK, Cyhi the Prynce’s “No Dope on Sunday,” No Malice, Lecrae’s “Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination),” and more, we explore the idea of songs and verses as prayers to make sense of the world. Then, we talk to our good, good friend Lee Hale, a religion reporter who’s reported himself into a faith crisis. And we get story-time with Pastor Troy. We chop it up about the beginnings of his rap career, his controversial song “Vice Versa,” and his relationship with the original Pastor Troy: his father.
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