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Boondock Kollage

Stories from the Hip Hop South


Regina N. Bradley

Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South is a collection of twelve short stories that addresses issues of race, place, and identity in the post–Civil Rights American South. Using historical, spectral, and hip hop infused fiction, Boondock Kollage critically engages readers to question the intersections of regionalism and black culture in current American society.

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Chapter 9: As Above So Below


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· 9 ·


My name is Janie but Mam, my great aunt, has called me Scoot since I would drag my butt across the floor to grab at cabinet knobs. “Tryna get somewhere fast,” she’d laugh. These days, I only answered to that name for her.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

Thunder smashes against the side of our house like fast fists on a plastic cafeteria tabletop during a beat battle. It slides down the wall into the crawlspace underneath the house. My boom box slides towards the edge of my dresser. I worry about the tape recording the radio. Any bump on the radio is a skip on the recording. This mixtape had to be perfect. The radio station is playing commercials. A man yells from the speakers.

“C’mon down and see Steelo at Big Baby’s car and rent-a-rim. Four rims or one I’ll get that deal done.” I have enough time to see if the thunder ruined my mixtape. The rewind button snaps down and whirs backward. No skipping.

“And now, your favorite jams back-to-back on southwest Georgia’s favorite station for hip hop and R&B HOT106.1.”

I tiptoe backwards to avoid bumping the dresser. A small creak at the tip of my toes makes me stop and look at the door. Mam has super hearing. She hates any type of movement during a thunderstorm. “Thunderstorms are time for...

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