Young hip-hop fans attending Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia may have something to look forward to as they return to classes for the new semester: Languages, Literature and Philosophy professor Regina Bradley is offering a course titled "OutKast and the Rise of the Hip-Hop South”. Bradley told Savannah Morning News that the upper-level English course will explore the ways in which André 3000 and Big Boi’s "ideas about the South and southernness seep into other Southern writers.”
Bradley, a Georgia native who holds a Ph.D. and was a Nasir Jones fellow Harvard University’s Hiphop Archive & Research Institute, says the course will look at Outkast's music in the context of contemporary forms of political express such as the #BlackLivesMatter movement. "My areas of interest are African-American literature and popular culture,” she said. "I try to find ways to connect those… Often, students get most of their information, their outlook from how they engage in popular culture.”
Big Boi, who was born in Savannah, recently told Creative Loafing that the course had been brought to his attention by his aunt. "It’s an honor to be studied," he said. "I am originally from Savannah, and I remember Armstrong, so that is just super dope."
Bradley says that she hopes the course will be inviting to all students, even those previously unfamiliar with the duo's music. "“For the folks who are just as in love with Outkast as I am, I also want them to feel like they can contribute to the class — that’s particularly important,” she explained. " “I also don’t want to overlook or shun the folks who aren’t familiar with hip-hop at all. I'm pretty sure I have a couple of folks in there who have no clue who Outkast is or don’t listen to hip-hop at all, which is why they’re there — they want to learn something different.”