Southern Hip-Hop: Explored. Explained. Exalted.

On WABE’s Bottom of the Map podcast, music journalist Christina Lee and hip-hop scholar Dr. Regina N. Bradley delve into passionate explorations and paradigm-shifting critiques of the culture that they love, and its undeniable impact on the world that clearly loves it.

From Southern hip-hop’s connections to self-care, civil rights, marching bands, faith, feminism, business, fatherhood, and so much more, Bottom of the Map is the home for dope conversations that explore, explain and exalt Southern hip-hop.

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For more information about the podcast, its weekly newsletter and events, visit the Bottom of the Map site.

Featured Episode

A BOTM Freestyle – Respect, Plus a (Bigger) Check

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.

A BOTM Freestyle: Elevating the Power of Cultural Capital

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.

Self Care Motivation 101

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.

Between the World and Atlanta

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..

Goodie Bag

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!

No Label, No Limit

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.

Faith Is What You Make It

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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