This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
avatar for Regina N. Bradley

Regina N. Bradley

Regina N. Bradley is an assistant professor of African American literature at Armstrong State University in Savannah, GA. She is also a spring 2016 Nasir Jones Hip-Hop Fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Bradley is working on her first book, Chronicling Stankonia: Recognizing America’s Hip Hop South, a study of how hip-hop updates conversations about race and agency in the post-Civil Rights South. She can be reached at redclayscholar.com.

“I’ll Call Before I Come: Sounding Pleasure in the Hip-Hop South”
This essay theorizes sonic pleasure politics, or the use of sound to identify and explore contemporary Southern Black women’s sexual identities. I argue that sonic pleasure politics are a useful framework for articulating contemporary Southern Black women’s agency. The history of sexual trauma associated with Black women’s bodies in the South hinders conversations around how Black women maneuver societal standards of respectability and personal freedom. There is little updated language in place to identify, let alone explore, how to engage Black women’s sexuality outside of violence. Using hip-hop group OutKast’s body of music, I explore how scripts of sexual pleasure are sonically constructed and implemented in their work as a pushback against the respectability politics set in place from the Civil Rights Movement and other previous eras. I am interested in identifying how OutKast’s use of women’s voices articulates a type of sonic erotic that instigates alternative representations of Black women’s bodies and narratives in Southern hip-hop culture. Reading sex as a genesis point of Southern Black women’s pleasure and empowerment is a difficult undertaking. It is necessary, however, for updating Southern Black women’s narratives that are a part of the post-Civil Rights (hip-hop) generation.

“The Producer’s Voice/Sounding Identity”
Since hip-hop music’s earliest years as a commercial genre, MCs have taken center stage and captured the majority of the audience’s attention. The distinctive voices and larger-than-life personalities of famous rappers are veritable brands that have become the focal point of the music industry and its marketing machinery. The full effect of an MC’s performance, however, depends on the work of behind-the-scenes producers, DJs, and other contributors. Therefore, in addition to considering what rappers are saying, it is important to find ways of acknowledging the significance of what rap producers and their audiences are doing. This panel seeks to better understand hip hop as music and as a site where audiences negotiate meaning and their own senses of identity. How do we recognize the “voice” of a producer working with pre-recorded samples? In what ways does a hip-hop beat contribute its own poetic content to a song’s lyrical meaning? And in what ways can we imagine audiences engaging a song—not only with respect to its lexical meaning—but also in terms of its sound? This panel seeks to offer answers to these and other questions, helping us to hear more clearly the producer’s voice and the sounding of identity in hip-hop and rap music.

Twitter Feed