Let the World Listen Right
The Mississippi Delta Hip-Hop Story

By Ali Colleen Neff

Foreword by William R. Ferris

208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 b&w illustrations,

978-1-60473-229-0 Cloth $65.00S

9781617030529 Paper $30.00D

9781604734805 Ebook $30.00

Cloth, $65.00

Paper, $30.00

Ebook 9781604734805, $30.00

A study of grass roots musical creation happening in the cradle of the blues

In the Mississippi Delta, creativity, community, and a rich expressive culture persist despite widespread poverty. Over five years of extensive work in the region, author Ali Colleen Neff collected a wealth of materials that demonstrate a vibrant musical scene.

Let the World Listen Right draws from classic studies of the blues as well as extensive ethnographic work to document the "changing same" of Delta music making. From the neighborhood juke joints of the contemporary Delta to the international hip-hop stage, this study traces the musical networks that join the region's African American communities to both traditional forms and new global styles.

The book features the words and describes performances of contemporary artists, including blues musicians, gospel singers, radio and club DJs, barroom toast-tellers, preachers, poets, and a spectrum of Delta hip-hop artists. Contemporary Delta hip-hop artists Jerome "TopNotch the Villain" Williams, Kimyata "Yata" Dear, and DA F.A.M. have contributed freestyle poetry, extensive interview materials, and their own commentaries. The book focuses particularly on the biography of TopNotch, whose hip-hop poetics emerge from a lifetime of schoolyard dozens and training in the gospel church.

Formerly a music writer for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the SF Weekly, and the East Bay Express, among others, Ali Colleen Neff is currently an instructor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

208 pages (approx.), 6 x 9 inches, 40 b&w illustrations,