It’s the 1995 Source Awards and you have two choices: Notorious B.I.G. “Representing for the borough?” or Andre 3000 “The south got something to say?” Who do you choose?
The diversity in hip hop has helped its advancement to becoming one of the most prominent genres in music. Although there are many components and elements stemming from the genre, there is the foremost discussion of the North vs. the South. Over recent years, the acculturation in hip hop has permitted the interconnection of two contrasting cultures.
The acculturation in hip hop can be broken down into three important strategies: Assimilation, Separation and Integration.
The formation of hip hop has been linked to the creative and innovative streets of New York. Despite the popularity of hip hop being in the Northern areas for nearly a decade, it finally made its way to the south. The Houston native hip hop group, Geto Boys, had immersed themselves into the music culture. From 1979-1989, the sound of hip hop in the south and the north were of great similarities.
The contrast between the northern and southern cultures, traditions and sounds became more transparent in the 90s. As the southern areas transformed their sounds to an increased degree of authenticity, the southern rap style hadn’t been taken as seriously as the northern areas by the masses. Southern rap was deemed as eccentric and outlandish to those that had not been accustomed to the southern culture.
As the West Coast vs. East Coast argument transpired, the south had been disregarded. At the 1995 Source Awards, it was clear that the northern areas were esteemed as hip-hop territory. At the award show, Andre 3000 accepted an award and spoke on behalf of Outkast. “The South got something to say,” he expressed as the crowd booed him for his comments.
During the mid 90s and early 2000s, the lyrical content and ruthless execution in northern areas allowed those locations to become substantial in hip hop.
In time, most situations typically grow on the average person. As rappers in the southern and northern areas continued to collaborate and emerge, the southern and northern cultures of hip hop have seemingly integrated. Outkast ft. Raekwon, Jay-Z featuring Big Boi, Killer Mike and Twista and a few others has created an atmosphere that allows the cultures in the south and the north to co-exist.
Luckily, it is not the 1995 Source Awards and we are able to enjoy our northern and southern hip hop songs, in peace.
Check out The North vs. The South playlist,