from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.

Wonderbread-white New Jersey cultural reporter Ben Westhoff embarked upon a journey into the heart of Dixie to extract stories that illuminate the precipitous rise of Southern Hip Hop. Not precisely a cultural critic, Westhoff employed candid interviews and embedded observation to attempt a description of the lives and worlds from which the genre emerged. The result is Dirty South: Outkast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop, recently out from Chicago Review Press, which he will be discussing at Garden District Books on Monday, May 2 at 6 p.m.

Armed with a Hyundai and a digital recorder, Westhoff traveled through the rough turf of Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Miami, tracking down the likes of Scarface, Trae, Big Boi, Juvenile, Lil Jon, Ludacris, and Luke Campbell, former 2 Live Crew provocateur and recent candidate for mayor of Miami (Westhoff pens an editorial of support for Campell’s campaign here). A St. Louis native, Westhoff cut his teeth doing rap reporting for the Riverfront Times during the renaissance there that included Nelly and J-Kwonn. He has written for the Village VoiceOxford American, Pitchfork, the Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, and NPR, and has won awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, the Missouri Press Association, and Religion Newswriters Association.

As a friend noted, given the venue, this event may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear old white ladies debate West Coast rapper Ice-T’s claim that Soulja Boy “single-handedly” killed hip hop.

Hand-in-Glove Conference Guide

Hand in Glove Conference Guide
Essay by Amy Mackie, edited by Bob Snead, designed by Erik Keisewetter

This beautiful book, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter of Constance for the Hand-in-Glove Conference, includes a guide to all of the conference happenings Oct 17-20, 2013, an informative map of the artist run spaces on and around St. Claude Ave, and an extensive essay by Amy Mackie about the history of self organized contemporary art [...]

Photo by Sophie Lvoff in WE'RE PREGNANT

We’re Pregnant
Words by Nathan Martin. Photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano.

We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers.

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The People Is Singular
Poems by Andy Young and Photographs by Salwa Rashad

The People Is Singular, by local poet Andy Young and Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, is a personal response to the Egyptian Revolution. Rashad’s vision includes everyday people—Muslims and Christians, young and old, the foregrounded and the peripheral. Her perspective is from inside the events as they unfolded. Andy Young, a New Orleans poet married to [...]

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Curtain Optional
by Brad and Jim Richard

In both poetry and prose, Brad Richard explores the influence of his father’s work on his own, as well as the experience of growing up as the son of an artist while becoming an artist himself. Jim Richard is a professor of painting at the University of New Orleans and has exhibited at the Solomon [...]


How to Rebuild a City
Edited by Anne Gisleson & Tristan Thompson w/ design and artistic direction by Catherine Burke

Beautifully designed, sometimes fun, always informative, How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a work in Progress, is a reflection of the many ways that New Orleanians have realized our way towards recovery, actively and creatively engaging with our communities.


Bitter Ink
by Brian Zeigler & Raymond “Moose” Jackson

BBoth originally from Detroit, cousins Brian Zeigler and Raymond “Moose” Jackson began collaborating while Brian was harboring Moose in Vermont during Katrina evacuation. While their doodling proclivities may have made them rustbelt exiles from the rest of their autoworker family, together they produce seductive aphorisms of wit and weirdness that provoke, confound and celebrate a [...]