MULTI-MEDIA ART installation: Southern Relics, Assemblages, Light + Ambient Sound \\ SPOKEN WORD by DASAN AHANU \\ SOUTHERN RAP DJ SET with DJ DAMU \\ Banana Sandwiches \\ BAR
What I explore in this work are the characterizations of Southern Hip Hop that I perceive, read about and hear in the mainstream and ones I experienced growing up in the South. But mostly what it all means and what it instilled in me and many. You see, when I was discovering 'Kast, UGK, Goodie, Weezy, 8Ball and MJG, Bubba and more I was growing into my own person in a small town in South Carolina and subsequently as a college student in a slightly larger town in the Palmetto State. This music was the de facto soundtrack of my formative years. Rather than singing back hooks that seemed to be more in line with broader cultural aspirations around me (see shine, bling, etc.) I was drawn to, maybe even consumed by, the individual nuggets of truth and wisdom that transcended any sermon or lecture of the day. These lyrical gems were the spice of life—literally sprinkled throughout for anyone with the ear and palate to discern them. These words were born of place and they stick with me to this day.
“4Eva is a mighty long time.”
For 8 years, I made trips across the South to places of interest and collected dirt for shrines to lyrics I grew up with. It has been an ongoing pilgrimage.
“Hold On, Be Strong” is truly a Southern Hip Hop Journey that has lasted longer than 8 years. It is at least for now encapsulated in an installation of light, sound, and physical relics and assemblages. It is also all of the stories of meeting people during the barnstorming to get dirt and travel companions along for the ride. It is the devoted hands who have helped fabricate wood, metal, plexiglass, screen printing, vinyl and whatever could be sourced to form this tribute. It is the community who will speak into this body of work.
It is Hip Hop. And it's decidedly Southern.
– Dave Alsobrooks, 2023
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