Buck Jump Time: New Orleans Rap

Of the countless rural and city centers that informed the rise of hiphop in the American South — Houston, Memphis, Miami, Atlanta — perhaps one of the most fascinating hiphop centers in the South is New Orleans. From Congo Square to its distinction as the birthplace of jazz, since its founding New Orleans has been a pivotal African diasporic center and home to vibrant and influential musical and cultural traditions. Often called the northern-most point of the Caribbean rather than the southern-most point of America, New Orleans' history has been fundamentally shaped by its cultural proximity and interaction with the Caribbean and, by extension, West Africa. In this unit, students will be provided with a basic introduction to the sights and sounds of New Orleans hiphop, the rise of the Cash Money and No Limit record labels, and the realities of extreme poverty, violence, creativity and innovation that informed the tradition.