“Often devalued for being too simplistic and focused on dance, southern hip hop is criticized as making a mockery of “real” hip hop, or lacking “lyricism”—calling into question the authenticity and intelligence of southern hip hop artists. Its defenders, however, promote southern hip hop as a deeply complex subgenre that both touches on relevant social issues and inspires listeners to dance—at the same time. In this course, we will examine the social and historical factors that contribute to these complex debates about the value of southern hip hop. We will consider the diverse perspectives of artists and music critics, as well as sociologists, linguists, musicologists, geographers, and historians. We will make critical connections between the ways in which race, class, gender, and place influence criticisms of southern hip hop. We will integrate guest speakers and virtual performances into the course content. And finally, we will communicate our thoughts on the value of southern hip hop through short essays.