Ben Westhoff – Dirty South

Posted on April 22, 2011 by


I received an email the other day about a book that was just written by an author named Ben Westhoff about Southern hip hop.  It definitely sounded interesting and I will be reading it soon, figured I would throw some info up here in case y’all were interested. Hit the jump for info and excerpts.

“Acting as both investigative journalist and irreverent critic, Ben Westhoff journeys across the southern United States in a small Hyundai to document the phenomenon of southern hip-hop. The exclusive interviews with the genre’s prominent players take many forms—watching rappers “make it rain” in a Houston strip club, partying with The 2 Live Crew’s Luke Campbell, visiting the gritty neighborhoods where T. I. and Lil Wayne grew up, and speaking with DJ Smurf and Ms. Peachez along the way. The celebrated but dark history of Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records, the lethal rivalry between Atlanta’s Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and the venerable Scarface’s memories from time in a mental institution are just a few of the textured and tricky subjects explored.”

“Ben Westhoff possesses the ear of a skilled hip-hop critic, the cadence of a poet, and the nerves of a pro boxer.  Dirty South  reveals not just the grit and spirit of Southern hip-hop, but the intensity of old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting–mixed with a dash of Gonzo journalism for good measure.” —Mara Shalhoup, author of  BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech
and the Black Mafia Family 
“Ben Westhoff brings journalism back to hip-hop, and hip-hop back to journalism, by reclaiming the lost art of reporting. As a result, Dirty South is a most fascinating trip through Southern hip-hop’s origins and current reign. Great book.” —Dan Charnas, author of The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip-Hop
“Journalist and hip-hop enthusiast Westhoff delivers a fascinating exploration… In fact, the beauty of Westhoff’s descriptions of the genre as a whole and various songs in particular will make old fans as well as newbies want to search out and play classic CDs such as OutKast’s ‘Aquemini’ and ‘Kings of Crunk’ by Lil Jon.” –Publishers Weekly
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