The south is strange and everyone’s always known it. Maybe that’s why some of the best music has always bubbled up from it. People have their own ways of dealing with things, which isn’t exclusive to the south of course, but southern people don’t like change, as the cliché goes. As music generally does, southern music takes on a lot of the characteristics of the environment it’s created in. Think of the twang of old country, the sparse emptiness that can stand in for anything from countryside desolation to sheer heartbreak. Screwed and chopped rap, pitched to the point where every lazy bass rattle thumps with its own measured certainty. The unabashed euphoria of D4L, of New Orleans bounce music, of Soulja Boy and the great tradition of the barbecue. There’s a reason NYC rappers shunned melody in rap for so long while Future and Young Thug practically warbled their way into other dimensions. The south is aware of its strangeness, and it doesn’t make amends of concessions for it.