Dirty South, also referred to as Southern hip-hop, Southern rap, or Down South, is a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in the southern United States. The most important Dirty South’s hometowns are Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, Houston, and Miami. It can be understood as a response to the two dominant currents of hip-hop in the 1980s on the American East and West coasts.
Southern hip-hop had a hard time competing, especially in its early days. Many Dirty South artists were unable to win over major labels. Their songs first appeared on mixtapes or small independent labels before the Down South became known to a large audience with stars like Lil Wayne. Today, Southern Hip-Hop unites the top acts of the scene and is formative for numerous sub-types of Hip-Hop that have emerged from it, such as Bounce, Snap and Crunk. Stylistically, the Dirty South is strongly influenced by electronic music. The typical instruments are drum machine, synthesizer, turntable, sampler. In Crunk, keyboard and various effect devices are often used to create “robotic voices”, such as the vocoder.
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