Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
My Chemical Romance in 2012
My Chemical Romance, Run The Jewels, Pixies & Smashing Pumpkins To Headline Riot Fest 2021
The Chicago alt, punk, rock, rap and more festival returns to Douglas Park Sept. 17-19, 2021, with Coheed and Cambria, Taking Back Sunday, Lupe Fiasco, FEVER 333, K.Flay and more joining the first wave lineup
Yesterday, June 16, Riot Fest revealed the explosive first wave lineup for the next edition of their festival, now scheduled for 2021. My Chemical Romance, Run The Jewels, the Pixies and the Smashing Pumpkins will headline, with Sublime with Rome, Big Freedia, FEVER 333, K.Flay and many more also joining the initial billing.
The Chicago alt, rock, emo, punk, rap and more fest will return to Douglas Park on Sept. 17-19, 2021. The lineup announcement comes with the news the 2020 edition has been officially canceled due to COVID-19—ticket holders can request a refund or use their ticket in 2021.
Riot Fest 2021 is dedicated to making emo kids' dreams come true—in addition to the My Chemical Romance reunion set, Taking Back Sunday, Coheed and Cambria, New Found Glory, All-American Rejects, Simple Plan and Saves The Day will also play.
Chicago's own alt hip-hop hero Lupe Fiasco will perform his 2007 GRAMMY-nominated album, The Cool, in its entirety. Vic Mensa, Meg Myers, Toots and the Maytals, Best Coast and Alex G also bring sonic diversity to the stacked lineup.
The festival organizers also announced the addition of the first-ever Thursday Preview Party, featuring "mystery bands (including one who will only play Thursday), early access to merch, and an assortment of carnival rides and food to enjoy," according to the press release.
The Thursday party is a special benefit for fans who commit to the fest in the next 30 days, either with the purchase of 2021 tickets or 2020 ticketholders who hold the passes for 2021. Alternatively, 2020 ticketholders who want a refund or want to transfer their pass to a friend have 30 days to do; more info here.
Weekend passes for Riot Fest 2021 are currently on sale for $150. Ticketing info and the complete wave one lineup can be found on their website.
Today, My Chemical Romance, who was the only act previously announced to headline the 2020 fest, announced new 2021 dates for the North American leg of their reunion tour, which was set to take place this year. The emo vets played together for the first time in seven years in Los Angeles in December 2019, for a four-night run of sold-out shows.
Photo: ZIK Images/United Archives via Getty Images
15 Reissues And Archival Releases For Your Holiday Shopping List
2023 was a banner year for reissues and boxed sets; everyone from the Beatles to Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones got inspired expansions and repackagings. Here are 15 more to scoop up before 2023 gives way to 2024.
Across 2023, we've been treated to a shower of fantastic reissues, remixes and/or expansions. From the Beatles' Red and Blue albums, to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, to the Who's Who's Next, the list is far too massive to fit into a single article.
And, happily, it's not over yet: from now until Christmas, there are plenty more reissues to savor — whether they be mere vinyl represses, or lavish plumbings of the source material replete with outtakes.
As you prepare your holiday shopping list, don't sleep on these 15 reissues for the fellow music fanatic in your life — or pick up a bundle for yourself!
X-Ray Spex - Conscious Consumer (Vinyl Reissue)
Whether you view them through the lens of Black woman power or simply their unforgettable, snarling anthems, English punks X-Ray Spex made an indelible mark with their debut 1978 album, Germfree Adolescents.
Seventeen years later, they made a less-discussed reunion album, 1995's Conscious Consumer — which has been unavailable over the next 27 years. After you (re)visit Germfree Adolescents, pick up this special vinyl reissue, remastered from the original tape.
That's out Dec. 15; pre-order it here.
Fall Out Boy - Take This to Your Grave (20th Anniversary Edition)
Released the year before their breakthrough 2005 album From Under the Cork Tree — the one with "Dance, Dance" and "Sugar, We're Goin Down" on it — Fall Out Boy's Take This to Your Grave remains notable and earwormy. The 2004 album aged rather well, and contains fan favorites like "Dead on Arrival."
Revisit the two-time GRAMMY nominees' Myspace-era gem with its 20th anniversary edition, which features a 36-page coffee table book and two unreleased demos: "Colorado Song" and "Jakus Song." It's available Dec. 15.
Coheed and Cambria - Live at the Starland Ballroom
Coheed and Cambria is more than a long-running rock band; they're a sci-fi multimedia universe, as well as a preternaturally tight live band.
Proof positive of the latter is Live at the Starland Ballroom, a document of a performance at the Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, New Jersey, in 2004 — that hasn't been on vinyl until now. Grab it here; it dropped Nov. 24, for Record Store Day Black Friday.
Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark Demos
Joni Mitchell Archives – Vol. 3: The Asylum Years (1972–1975), from last October, is a terrific way to do just that; its unvarnished alternate versions strip away the '70s gloss to spellbinding effect.
Which is no exception regarding the Court and Spark demos, which got a standalone release for RSD Black Friday.
P!NK - TRUSTFALL (Deluxe Edition)
The dependable Pink returned in 2023 with the well-regarded TRUSTFALL, and it's already getting an expanded presentation.
Its Deluxe Edition is filled with six previously unheard live recordings from her 2023 Summer Carnival Stadium Tour. Therein, you can find two new singles, including "Dreaming," a collaboration with Marshmello and Sting. Pre-order it today.
Snoop Dogg - Doggystyle (30th Anniversary Edition)
After his star-making turn on Dr. Dre's The Chronic, 16-time GRAMMY nominee Snoop Dogg stepped out with his revolutionary, Dre-assisted debut album, Doggystyle.
Permeated with hedonistic, debaucherous fun, the 1993 classic only furthered G-funk's momentum as a force within hip-hop.
Revisit — or discover — the album via this 30-year anniversary reissue, available now on streaming and vinyl.
As per the latter, the record is available special color variants, including a gold foil cover and clear/cloudy blue vinyl via Walmart, a clear and black smoke vinyl via Amazon and a green and black smoke vinyl via indie retailers.
Alicia Keys - The Diary of Alicia Keys 20
Alicia Keys has scored an incredible 15 GRAMMYs and 31 nominations — and if that run didn't exactly begin with 2003's The Diary of Alicia Keys, that album certainly cemented her royalty.
Her heralded second album, which features classics like "Karma," "If I Was Your Woman"/"Walk On By" and "Diary," is being reissued on Dec. 1 — expanded to 24 tracks, and featuring an unreleased song, "Golden Child."
The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set)
Fifty-seven years has done nothing to dim the appeal of 1965's The Sound of Music — both the flick and its indelible soundtrack.
Re-immerse yourself in classics like "My Favorite Things" via The Sound of Music (Super Deluxe Edition Boxed Set), which arrives Dec. 1.
The box contains more than 40 previously unreleased tracks, collecting every musical element from the film for the first time, along with instrumentals for every song, demos and rare outtakes from the cast.
Furthermore, an audio Blu-ray features the full score in hi-res plus a new Dolby Atmos mix of the original soundtrack. And the whole shebang is housed in a 64-page hardbound book with liner notes from film preservationist Mike Matessino.
ABBA - The Visitors (Deluxe Edition)
With their eighth album, 1981's The Visitors, the Swedish masterminds — and five-time GRAMMY nominees — stepped away from lighter fare and examined themselves more deeply than ever.
The result was heralded as their most mature album to date — and has been repackaged before, with a Deluxe Edition in 2012.
This (quite belated) 40th anniversary edition continues its evolution in the marketplace. And better late than never: The Visitors was their final album until their 2021 farewell, Voyage, and on those terms alone, deserves reexamination.
Aretha Franklin - A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974
A Portrait of the Queen 1970-1974 compiles her first five albums of the 1970s: This Girl's In Love With You, Spirit in the Dark, Young Gifted and Black, Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), and Let Me In Your Life.
Each has been remastered from the analog master tapes. The vinyl version has a bonus disc of session alternates, outtakes & demos. Both CD and vinyl versions are packaged with booklets featuring sleeve notes by Gail Mitchell and David Nathan. Grab it on Dec. 1.
Fela Kuti - Box Set #6
From the great beyond, Fela Kuti has done music journalists a solid in simply numbering his boxes. But this isn't just any Kuti box: it's curated by the one and only Idris Elba, who turned in a monumental performance as Stringer Bell on "The Wire."
The fifth go-round contains the Afrobeat giant's albums Open & Close, Music of Many Colors, Stalemate, I Go Shout Plenty!!!, Live In Amsterdam (2xLP), and Opposite People. It includes a 24 page booklet featuring lyrics, commentaries by Afrobeat historian Chris May, and never-before-seen photos.
The box is only available in a limited edition of 5,000 worldwide, so act fast: it's also available on Dec. 1.
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love (The Baskerville Edition) / Hounds of Love (The Boxes of Lost Sea)
Kate Bush rocketed back into the public consciousness in 2022, via "Stranger Things." The lovefest continues unabated with these two editions of Hounds of Love, which features that signature song: "Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God.)
The Rolling Stones - December's Children (And Everybody's), Got Live If You Want It! And The Rolling Stones No. 2 (Vinyl Reissues)
These three '60s Stones albums have slipped between the cracks over the years — but if you love the world-renowned rock legends in its infancy, they're essential listens.
No. 2 is their second album from 1965; the same year's December's Children is the last of their early songs to lean heavily on covers; Got Live If You Want It! is an early live document capturing the early hysteria swarming around the band.
On Dec. 1, they're reissued on 180g vinyl; for more information and to order, visit here.
Pink Floyd - Atom Heart Mother (Special Edition)
No, it's not half as famous as The Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall — but 1970's lumpy Atom Heart Mother certainly has its partisans.
Rediscover a hidden corner of the Floyd catalog — the one between Ummagumma and Meddle — via this special edition, which features newly discovered live footage from more than half a century ago.
The Black Crowes - The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
After endless fraternal infighting, the Black Crowes are back — can they keep it together?
In the meantime, their second album, 1992's The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, remains a stellar slice of roots rock — as a sprawling, three-disc Super Deluxe Edition bears out. If you're a bird of this feather, don't miss it when it arrives on Dec. 15.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Firefly Music Festival
A Guide To Southern Hip-Hop: Definitive Releases, Artists & Subgenres From The Dirty South
A geographical region far larger than the coasts, the South stretches from Texas to Virginia and includes myriad subgenres. Home to Outkast, Big Freedia, Ludacris and many others, the Third Coast has something to say in its own language.
For decades, hip-hop was regulated to New York, even though its musical stylings traveled to neighboring cities such as Boston and Philadelphia. In those cities, hip-hop was a cultural production of the city’s individual sound and history, rather than that of an entire region.
The power of L.A.'s emergent style of gangsta rap was the first attempt by an outsider to change hip-hop. As L.A. rappers began to give those from NYC rappers a challenge, the surrounding cities were solidified under the East Coast banner.
Often lost in the retelling of hip-hop’s birth are cities, regions and states in between the coasts. This absence may be due to the concentration of record labels and media corporations on the East and West Coast, or ill-informed beliefs that classify sections of the nation as backwards.
But expressions of hip-hop are expansive, and its culture is well represented in the South. A geographical region far larger than the coasts, the South stretches from Texas to Virginia. Along state lines, hip-hop finds itself at the intersection of Southernness and Blackness, leading to the creation of myriad subgenres.
Hip-hop sound traveled to New Orleans, where bounce was born in the city’s housing projects, and to Memphis where it became buck and crunk. In Atlanta, snap and trap music reign supreme, while electronic bass booms along the beaches of Miami. In every state, hip-hop took on a new voice, new moniker, and new identity.
With each innovation, the sound was able to expand beyond state lines to a diverse, wide ranging language along the region. Instead of accommodating the voices of the East or the West, the South a.k.a. the Third Coast entered into hip-hop with something to say in its own language.
A Brief History Of Dirty South Hip-Hop
The birth of Southern hip-hop begins at the 1995 Source Awards, where Atlanta based hip-hop duo OutKast won Best New Artist and Best New Rap of the Year for their debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. As André 3000 and Big Boi walked on stage, they were put with a chorus of boos. Although the ceremony was held at the height of East vs. West Coast rivalry, the coasts agreed on a singular purpose: The South had no claim to hip-hop.
There’s one thing the coasts don’t know about Southerns, especially Black Southerners. When your people and community have been culturally, socially, and politically oppressed, a few boos don’t feel like much. This resistance was evident in André 3000’s impassioned delivery of an acceptance speech, that served not only as a rebuke of bicoastal elites but a reverent call to arms for every rapper in the Southern United States.
"It’s like this though. I’m tired of folks. You know what I’m saying? Close minded folks. You know what I’m saying? It’s like we got a demo tape and nobody wants to hear it. But it’s like this. The South got something to say. That’s all I got to say."
Those words, uttered by a young André 3000, echoed through the South. Although the Atlanta group was the first Southern group to achieve mainstream recognition for their work, the first Southern hip-hop group to reach commercial success was the Geto Boys from Houston. Texas — a state, which is often referred to as its country, an amalgamation of different regional dialects and sounds — laid the foundation for André’s charge.
After the duo left The Source Awards stage, they swore to Goodie Mob, another Atlanta based group in attendance, "One day they’re gonna have to f— with us." Months after the 1995 Source Awards, Goodie Mob released their own critically acclaimed debut, Soul Food. The album propelled Southern hip-hop to the masses, and featured a track entitled "Dirty South." The term, first used by Atlanta rapper Cool Breeze, gave a name to the burgeoning hip-hop movement south of the Mason-Dixon line.
Instead of rejecting the coastal elitism of hip-hop, the Dirty South embraced it — in fact they sold it. Rappers from the Dirty South did not emulate New York or L.A style; they reinterpreted and investigated cultural perceptions and stereotypes about being country, backwards, forgotten to the time and the nation. Southern rappers also interrogated America’s past, present and future. For Black Southerners — whose cultural hallmarks and cornerstones are distinctly entwined with remnants of the Confederacy, the Klan, and the Civil Rights movement — hip-hop gave the ability to document a region and people lost to the American consciousness.
The aesthetics of Southern hip-hop were rooted in the power and reclamation of things once thought to be country: Gold dental crowns evolved into grills; the four pack of oversized white tees from the dollar store became a nightlife staple; André 3000, Pastor Troy, Lil Jon and Ludacris reinterpreted the Confederate flag. The attire of strippers from across the South became the blueprint for women’s fashion. Cash Money introduced "Bling Bling" into the American consciousness.
While East Coast rap was heavily influenced by musical stylings of immigrants from the Caribbean with notes of funk and soul, rap in the Dirty South took inspiration from blues and gospel — genres birthed from hymns and psalms sung in the fields and plantations. The Dirty South brought their ancestors with them. Their rap style and delivery had an inherent country twang, an accent reminiscent of a period lost to time yet modern; its incorporation of rock 'n' roll, jazz, and funk embodied a contemporary Southern spirit.
If the introduction of West Coast rap struck fear in the East Coast, the South was a laughing stock, until the South started to sell in the early to mid 2000s. Some critics attribute the ascension of Southern hip-hop to the fatigue of the East vs. West Coast rivalry. Others say hip-hop was in need of a new start after the early passings of the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. Whether both claims are true or false, the Dirty South was the future.
Notable Southern Hip-Hop Artists & Labels
Atlanta: The epicenter of the Dirty South. In the early 1980s, Atlanta' hip-hop started to get its foothold with airplay on local radio stations, artists being signed to Miami-based record labels, and early success on the music charts and the GRAMMYs. Rapper Mo-Jo, club DJ King Edward J, and Peter "MC Shy D" Jones were among the first in the city’s hip-hop community. At the time Jones was signed to Luke Records, a Miami based record label started by Luke Campbell of the 2 Live Crew. The hyper localized scene benefited from the contributions of club DJs Kizzy Rock and DJ Smurf, who shifted Atlanta’s sound from a Miami bass derivative into a distinctive sound.
From the mid 1980s, a number of local record labels emerged: Ichiban Records and Wrap Records. However when Antonio "L.A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds moved to Atlanta in 1989, the local hip-hop scene changed. In the 1990s, their LaFace Records signed Goodie Mob, Outkast, producers Organized Noize, TLC, Usher, Xscape and others. Meanwhile, Jermaine Dupri founded So So Def record label. Under the direction of Lil Jon, the label’s A&R, the label signed Xscape, Da Brat, Jagged Edge, and more acts aligned with the R&B/hip-hop sound. As the signees of LaFace and So So Def Records triumphed, Def Jam Records hired Scarface of the Geto Boys to lead their Southern division, Def Jam South, which signed Ludacris.
As a solo artist Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz released "We Still Crunk Up!,""Put Yo Hood Up,""Kings of Crunk," and "Crunk Juice," a series of albums credited with bringing crunk into the mainstream. The popularity of crunk and dance music was heralded by Crime Mob, D4L, Dem Franchise Boyz, Soulja Boy and more who gave Atlanta hip-hop prominence not only in music but Internet culture.
New Orleans: In the aftermath of bounce music’s expansion in the early 1990s, Parkway Pumpkin’ Records was the holding place of New Orleans’ talent. Mystikal, known then as Mystikal Mike, was one of the label’s early signees. Along with Magnolia Slim, an architect of the New Orleans hip-hop sound. At the time, Parkway Pumpkin were free to record with other labels like Big Boy Records. When Master P moved back home from the Bay Area, his No Limit Records existed alongside local independent record labels like Cash Money, Take Fo’, Tombstone and Untouchable.
In a strategic business move, No Limit Records took Mystikal, Soulja Slim (formerly known as Magnolia Slim), and producer KLC from Parkway Pumpkin. As well as the signing of his family members C-Murder, Silkk the Shocker, Master P signed Mia X, the first lady of No Limit Records to the label. KLC, known as Craig S. Lawson, formed Beats by the Pound, the production behind No Limit Records. One of his first productions, Down South Hustlers, a compilation tape that featured New Orleans' first rap group New York Incorporated, signified No Limit Records attempt to exemplify Dirty South culture. Although No Limit Records secured a major label investment in 1996, Cash Money Records emerged in 1998 as a challenger with their new signees of Juvenile, Big Tymers, Hot Boys, and Lil Wayne with production by Mannie Fresh.
Memphis: At Club No Name, the first club in Memphis to play hip-hop, DJ Spanish Fly originated as one of the first creators to bring Memphis rap into shape. Although the patrons’ preference skewed towards electro, DJ Fly would incorporate his own preferences into mixes at Club No Name, Club Expo, and the Crystal Palace Skating Rink. His mixes maintained an ominous groove that included notes of electro but made room for moody rap. Though DJ Spanish Fly was among the first to evolve Memphis rap, DJ Squeeky defined the city’s sound with the insertion of a SP-1200 and Roland keyboard.
His influence can be heard in early mixtapes from DJ Paul and Juicy J. DJ Paul and Lord Infamous, his half brother formed the Serial Killaz. When the duo met with Juicy J, the three formed The Backyard Posse. Over time, the group added Koopsta Knicca, Crunchy Black, and Gangsta Boo. The six person group was renamed Three 6 Mafia and released their first album, Mystic Stylez under Prophet Records. Mystic Stylez also featured the female rapper La Chat and Project Pat, the brother of Juicy J. Shortly after their deal, the group parted ways with Prophet and formed their own label Hypnotize Minds. La Chat also released "Murder She Spoke," her debut album on the record label.
Under the direction of DJ Paul and Juicy J, the rappers under the Hypnotize Minds label achieved commercial and critical success, as well as an Academy Award for It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" for Hustle & Flow, a drama set in Memphis that follows DJay (played by Terrence Howard), a pimp and drug dealer with aspirations of becoming a rapper.
Miami: Before hip-hop migrated down from New York, Miami already had a DJ style. In Miami, the DJs would be "regulating": or "mic checkin','' where the DJ brought down the record for a short period of time and insert their own lyrics to remix the song in a similar fashion to reggae and dancehall DJs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, DJs would travel with their generators, turntables, speakers, and equipment to perform in public and private spaces across the city.
As local DJs put their spin on hip-hop, the city’s rappers energetic sound which came to be known as Miami bass, a diasporic influenced heavy bass sound that contained elements of electro and synthesizers were heard in the music of the Gucci Crew, Clay D, MC A.D.E., and the 2 Live Crew. The 2 Live Crewwas the first to bring the Miami bass sound to the mainstream. The group released their albums under then Skyywalker Records (now Luke Records), member Luther Campbell’s record label. Their success came at a cost. The sexually explicit nature of their lyrics resulted in a federal court obscenity trial, which established the precedent for censorship in music.
In the mid to late 1990s, Slip-n-Slide Records, a label founded by Ted Lucas, signed Trick Daddy, a Liberty City resident who thematically used the language of gangsta rap to speak about the struggles and challenges of living in a disenfranchised area. However, it was Trina who joined Trick Daddy on "Nann N—a," who put the city, its women, and women across the Dirty South with her as refuted Trick Daddy on his own track. "Da Baddest Bitch," her debut album released on Slip N Slide label put her in conversation with Lil' Kim and Foxy Brown as a contender for the Queen of hip-hop title.
Subgenres Of Southern Hip-Hop
For the past two decades, the Dirty South has been responsible for hip-hop’s expansion and evolution. The region has conducted a variety of sonic experiments and melodic sounds to produce an expansive lexicon that represents the conflict, tension, and joy about being Black in the South.
Southern hip-hop does not shy away from the underground, but rather embraces it. The music in itself is a contradiction: A track used for shaking ass at the strip clubs, while patrons eat chicken wings, can originate from a gospel beat. Because to be Black in the South, where your ancestors were once enslaved, is disorienting.
Bounce music: New Orleans has a vast musical history and structure: The chanting of the Mardi Gras Indians, the brass of the second line bands, and the expressiveness of parade culture cultivated a music of lively and celebration. When hip-hop arrived, it incorporated notes of the existing styles into a call-and-response formula over a series of rhythmic beats which invoked attendees into dance. Originating in the city's housing projects, this new style of bounce music took a new life in the city’s nightlife. Folks felt called to participate in the chanting, the hyper-localized lyrics, and high energy drum patterns familiar to second line culture. Although Big Freedia, is known as the Queen of Bounce Music, and rightfully so. The musician got their start working with Katey Red, "the first trans woman bounce artist."
Buck music: Within Memphis’ skating rinks and club cultures a dance music that ricocheted through the body, was born. Local DJs reinterpreted samples of soul and funk music, keyboard melodies of the Black church, with distinctive time signatures and cadences, on top of electronic-focused bass to give rise to a lexicon of dance styles including jookin’ and stomping. The heavy bass music stylings of Memphis also gave birth to trap and crunk, two styles most associated with Atlanta.
Crunk music: What would crunk music be without its patron saint Lil Jon? Although the rapper-producer cannot lay claim to the origins of the musical style, in the early 2000s, Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz brought crunk to popular culture. Known for its party-centered lyrics and uptempo rhythms, crunk music became synonymous with Atlanta’s club and strip culture. The shouting, the energetic call and response, the chanting; crunk became the loud, bold, vocal expression of the city’s youth and music culture. To be crunk was to be excited.
Snap music: Snap music, an Atlanta-based form of hip-hop, was ushered in by the rise of handheld technology and social media sites like YouTube in the early 2000s. In lieu of a snare or clap, a snap was inserted as a replacement, often complemented by a whistle. The songs, which shared components of crunk, were exemplified by an accompanying dance and uploaded to social media sites (in much the same way Gen Z does on TikTok).
Miami bass: Miami, the city of two Souths. One foot in the Southern United States, the other in the geographical South. The demographic, geographic, and cultural mix of Cuban and Haitian, as well as Southern Blackness, produced an eccentric style of hip-hop. Elongated bass built on layered rhythmic production, and short, repetitive phrases ushered in a shout and response style became hallmarks of Miami bass. Played around 125 beats per minute, the style flourished in Miami’s car scene as well as party and adult entertainment culture.
Trap music: If crunk and snap music were symbols of the jovial Atlanta, then trap emerged as a symbol of the city and Black America’s underground. In a nation where Black communities experienced the onslaught of War on Drugs policies and excessive policing, the only way towards economic freedom was to hustle, and the hymn of the hustle and struggle was trap. Embedded with the dark lyrical content, multilayered kick drums, hi hats and synthesized drums was the moodiness of the duffle bag boy trying to survive. Over time, a holy trinity of the Roland TR-808, snare rolls, and first hand experience gave birth to a style where dope boys could be referred to as kings.
Definitive Southern Hip-Hop Songs
Three 6 Mafia - "Tear Da Club Up '97" (1997): The conveying of electric bodies in movement can result in one of two ways. The first, a baby. The second, an ass whooping. The club is also a multifaceted place where you can meet the love of your life or the person (or people) who have been "talkin' that s—," as Three 6 Mafia say. This is the environment where "Tear Da Club Up" resides.
The song serves as a call to action. On a good night, the song is a declaration of celebration. On a bad night, an ominous premonition of what’s to come. "Tear Da Club Up" was banned in 17 states, but established the precedent for crunk anthems like "Knuck If You Buck," and the movement of club-esque songs that served a dual purpose for fighting.
"Tear Da Club Up" remains a reminder of what a night out looks like with Three 6 Mafia.
Gangsta Boo -"Where Dem Dollas At" (1998): In an industry, where the contributions of Black women are used to build the empires of men in hip-hop, Gangsta Boo refused to be silenced. She knew that the voices of young Black women and girls from the South, belonged at that table.
While Juicy J and DJ Paul used Three 6 Mafia to construct their own kingdom in the Third Coast, Gangsta Boo did not sit idly by. Her appearances on Three 6 Mafia's "Mystic Stylez" and "Enquiring Minds" were small glimpses of her power, but her christening was "Where Dem Dollas At." The Queen of Memphis had arrived.
Her presence made the appearance of Juicy J and DJ Paul irrelevant. Her lines became a chant, a psalm, a swift rebuke for every woman who had been taken advantage of by a man and needed a fierce reminder of their power. It made men in Memphis and hip-hop understand exactly what it meant to be a lady from the Third Coast: to endure, to preserve, and to hustle when the odds are against you. To this day if you hear a woman recite "Where Dem Dollas At," know she has conjured the spirit of Gangsta Boo and it would be best to return the money owed by you.
Trick Daddy feat. Trina - "Nann N—" (1998): Hip-hop has always encouraged the back and forth among emcees — the exchanging of verses, the pointed attention to detail, the eventual crescendo to eviscerate an opponent. There is a reason why battle rap is tethered to its name. Although the spirit of competition has always been omnipresent, the battles were always centered around men. Whenever a woman enters the battle and annihilates an opponent — as Roxanne Shanté did at the Battle for World Supremacy — the man still emerges as the victor. It was as if femininity was the deciding factor of who could win a battle or not. Until Trina came around.
That is not to say Trina was the first to win a one-on-one battle with a male MC. But, she is the first to utilize femininity in a pointed way to take down an opponent. The first half of "Nann N—" is an elongated list of the ways masculinity has empowered Trick Daddy. In the second half, Trina details the ways her femininity grants her access to things Trick Daddy could not even dream of. The deployment of her sly, viperous lines and sweet, Southern wit took apart Trick Daddy’s line bit by bit. Until she was left as the last person standing.
The positive reception and response to "Nann N—" placed Trina in conversation with the women rappers of that era, and laid the framework for the next generation of women rappers from the South.
Juvenile feat. Mannie Fresh & Lil Wayne - "Back That Azz Up" (1999): The opening notes of "Back That Azz Up" are all it takes for people to throw their booties in a series of fashions. Whether circular or up down, the song does not shake about the positionality of where you throw ass, as long as you are shaking it.
The holy trinity of Mannie Fresh, Juvenile and Lil Wayne not only introduced New Orleans bounce music into the mainstream, but jump started Cash Money Records' takeover of the 2000s. There is no greater party song, revered by people of all generations, genders, races, and creeds than "Back That Azz Up."
Crime Mob feat. Lil Scrappy - "Knuck If You Buck" (2004): For Black youth in the South, there are few outlets to express rage. Crunk music is emo music for Black people, and provides the language to release and move through the torments of being Black in America. For a group of teenagers from outside of Atlanta, Crime Mob were the originators of this type of youth-specific music.
The group, composed of M.I.G., Cyco Black, Princess, Lil' Jay, Diamond, and Killa C. were the voices of young Black Atlanta.
Recorded in a closet at producer Lil Jay’s house with a knockout track by his little sister, Princess, "Knuck If You Buck" became a rallying cry for Southern teens. With a beat inspired by a brawl at Lil Jay’s house and the stylings of DJ Paul and Juicy J, the song quickly became the group’s biggest hit.
"Yeah, we knuckin and buckin and ready to fight. I betcha I'ma throw them things, so haters best to think twice," became the go-to chant for a country-ass brawl. With the addition of Diamond’s delivery of "Bitch you irrelevant, step to my residence. Best to back up 'fore I fill you with lead," in the fourth line; the song solidified the pair (Diamond and Princess) as the breakout stars on the collective track.
Their presence welcomed women to the crunk fight. Where their verbal expressions of anger and violence were warmly received for over 15 years, generations of Black youth have sought solace in this song and whooped ass to it as well.
Southern Hip-Hop Artists On the Rise
If the Dirty South is the future, the future of Southern hip-hop is female. Jucee Froot, GloRilla, Doechii, Kaliii, KenTheMan, Monaleo, TiaCorine and Baby Tate are among the latest rappers to carry the Dirty South sound and aesthetic. Meanwhile, Saucy Santana and Lil Nas X are changing the South's presentation in terms of gender identity and expression.
Cultural and societal perceptions of the South have changed greatly, in due part to a new generation of entertainers who champion the South on a continual basis: Houston has found another champion in Megan Thee Stallion; Miami’s new voice is found in the City Girls; in Memphis, GloRilla is carrying on the legion of Gangsta Boo who died in January of this year; and Atlanta has a diverse array of women rappers that prove the city does not have one singular sound.
By the early 2000s, the classifier "Dirty South" became less of a communal touchstone and more of a marketing term by record labels in Atlanta. But it was less of a marked loss and more of a massive cultural shift.
By the mid 2000s, Southern rappers became the dominant voices in hip-hop, and largely took over pop culture. Evidenced by trap music migrating out of Atlanta to pop and genres across the world, the cultural exports of Southern hip-hop can also be found in streetwear and luxury fashion.Within the industry, Dirty South legends like Lil Wayne were honored at the Black Music Collective’s Recording Academy Honors during the 2023 GRAMMY Awards.
Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
8 Times Dance Stars Channeled Their Inner Punk Kid, From Deadmau5 & Gerard Way To Rezz & Silverstein
With the release of Rezz's new emo-loving EP, 'It's Not A Phase,' dig into eight songs that saw the dance and rock worlds collide.
At first glance, the worlds of rock and dance music might appear diametrically opposed. Dig a little deeper, though, and the two genres share more than just a love for all-black outfits.
In recent years, a wave of dance stars have embraced their inner mosher by collaborating with their favorite metal, post-hardcore, emo, and pop-punk artists, creating a mutant sound with a foot in both spaces. Just this month, Canada's dark bass maestro Rezz released a winkingly titled EP, It's Not A Phase, which channels the punk and metal she loved as a teen. (On release day, she posted an old photo in front of a My Chemical Romance poster, with the caption, "this one's for everyone who had an emo phase.")
The EP followed Illenium's self-titled album in April — which features several of the Denver producer's rock heroes — while the likes of Marshmello, Kayzo and Excision have also tried their hands at rock/dance collaborations. For DJ-producers who grew up on raw guitars and tear-the-house-down vocals, it's a natural next step.
Of course, this mixing of worlds is not just a recent phenomenon. For decades, dance artists have remixed, borrowed from, and occasionally collaborated with their rock counterparts. From the punkish ferocity of the Prodigy's 1997 album The Fat of the Land to Justice's Slipknot-sampling "Genesis" ten years later, the examples are endless.
In the decade since the EDM boom minted a new generation of superstars, crossover collaborations have increasingly positioned the dance artist in the lead. In honor of this phenomenon, we're head-banging our way through eight of the best.
deadmau5 feat. Gerard Way — "Professional Griefers" (2012)
Back in 2012, as EDM was taking over America, deadmau5 was busy touring an early iteration of his eye-popping 'Cube' show and preparing to release his sixth studio album, > album title goes here <. Ahead of the LP, the producer born Joel Zimmerman released "Professional Griefers," a hard-charging dance-rock stomper featuring My Chemical Romance vocalist Gerard Way.
While fans had already heard an instrumental version of the track in deadmau5's live shows, Way's vampy vocals brought the rock swagger, even as the production remained resolutely electronic. To celebrate the release, the collaborators appeared as gamers piloting a UFC battle between two giant mau5-headed robots in what Zimmerman told SPIN was "one of the highest-budget electronic music videos of all time." And yes, it's as extra as it sounds.
Steve Aoki feat. Fall Out Boy — "Back To Earth" (2014)
Steve Aoki is one of dance music's most voracious collaborators, teaming up with everyone from will.i.am to Louis Tomlinson to Backstreet Boys. He's also a punk rocker from way back, having jumped between hardcore bands as a singer and guitarist in his pre-fame life.
These passions have intersected throughout Aoki's DJ/producer career in his collaborations with Linkin Park and blink-182, as well as Rifoki, the straight-up hardcore band he formed with Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo of the Bloody Beetroots.
In 2014, Aoki joined forces with pop-punk favorites Fall Out Boy on "Back To Earth," which featured on his collab-stacked album, Neon Future I. In an interview with Billboard, Aoki explained that the band worked on their live instrumentation in a separate studio before he added the dance elements, and the result was "one of my favorite rock collaborations."
The Bloody Beetroots feat. Jason Butler — "Crash" (2017)
Like his friend and collaborator Steve Aoki, the Bloody Beetroots' masked leader Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo is a punk at heart. That raucous spirit was present on the breakout Aoki/Beetroots team-up, "Warp 1.9" (2009), then turned up to 11 in their aforementioned hardcore band, Rifoki.
In 2017, after a few years away from the limelight, Sir Rifo delivered the third Bloody Beetroots album, The Great Electronic Swindle, featuring guests like Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Greta Svabo Bech, and Australian rock band Jet.
On "Crash," the Italian producer hooked up with post-hardcore singer Jason Butler, of Letlive and Fever 333, to make a heavy, distorted and shouty head-banger that honors both of their styles. In true punk fashion, it's over and out in just over two minutes.
Kayzo & Underoath — "Wasted Space" (2018)
Few DJ-producers relish the opportunity to slam together dance music and rock quite like Houston-born Kayzo. For his 2019 album, Unleashed, the rising star secured some of his favorite metal, hardcore and pop-punk acts as guests, including Of Mice & Men, Boys of Fall, Blessthefall, and Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low.
One of the album's standouts, "Wasted Space," pairs Kayzo with Underoath, the Florida metalcore outfit who previously collaborated with Rezz on her 2019 release, "Falling." The collaboration is equal parts metal — with dueling vocalists Aaron Gillespie and Spencer Chamberlain at full-tilt — and shuddering bass drops built for an EDM main stage.
Marshmello feat. A Day To Remember — "Rescue Me" (2019)
Perma-helmeted producer Marshmello has enjoyed a whirlwind decade, with a famously prolific output that includes several dance and pop hits. In 2019, he surprised fans by announcing a team-up with Florida four-piece A Day To Remember, whose metalcore meets pop-punk sound is a far cry from Marshmello's usual vibe.
Their collaboration, "Rescue Me," finds an easy middle ground between crunching rock guitars, frontman Jeremy McKinnon's impassioned vocals, and Marshmello's skittering trap-pop beats. In an interview with Kerrang! Radio, McKinnon recalled his surprise at how quickly Marshmello shared the chorus on socials, adding that he wishes rock artists could be as spontaneous.
Illenium and All Time Low — "Back To You" (2023)
Hot on the heels of his first GRAMMY nomination in 2022, Denver-based phenom Illenium got back in the studio to make another album straight from the heart. The producer's self-titled fifth LP took inspiration from his teenage years listening to the likes of blink-182 and Linkin Park, while staying true to his own bass-heavy aesthetic.
Thanks to his stadium-filling stature, Illenium assembled a starry lineup of guests, including pop-punk royalty Avril Lavigne and Travis Barker on "Eyes Wide Shut" and metalcore band Motionless in White on "Nothing Ever After." Early fan favorite "Back To You" features the full force of pop-punkers All Time Low going up against Illenium's furious drops — and achieving perfect harmony.
Excision, Wooli, and The Devil Wears Prada — "Reasons" (2023)
Fellow bass lovers Excision and Wooli are frequently paired, whether they're going back-to-back as DJs or co-producing EPs like 2019's Evolution and 2023's Titans. This time around, the collaborators decided to try something outside their comfort zone, calling up Ohioan metalcore band The Devil Wears Prada to bring their distinctive grit to "Reasons."
In contrast to more pop-leaning entries on this list, "Reasons" is unapologetically heavy from the halfway mark, morphing back-and-forth from metalcore theatrics to hard-hitting wubs. In a statement, The Devil Wears Prada described this team-up as "uncharted territory" for the band, and their gamble paid off.
Rezz, Tim Henson, and Silverstein — "Dreamstate" (2023)
In a statement accompanying her new EP, It's Not A Phase, Rezz notes that she "grew up listening to bands exclusively, and over time developed an understanding of what it was about those songs that I loved."
That innate grasp of rock dynamics is on full display throughout Rezz's most vocal-driven release to date, with guest turns from the likes of Alice Glass, Johnny Goth, and Raven Gray. On "Dreamstate," Rezz embraces her inner emo kid with the help of Canadian post-hardcore band Silverstein and metal guitar prodigy Tim Henson, undergirding her guests' contributions with dark, stabbing bass.
"I listened to a bunch of Silverstein growing up, so it felt nostalgic to me," Rezz told Front Row Live Ent., before admitting that it was "the hardest song I've ever mixed." The extra sweat resulted in a one-of-a-kind collaboration, proving once again that dance music and rock are a potent mix — one with plenty of fuel left in the tank.