“The southern Black imagination reforms, revises, and reclaims spaces where Black people are present but unwelcome, underserved, or unseen.”
Rapper Pastor Troy gave me my first for-real lesson in southern Black geography back in 1999. I’d been living in Albany, Georgia, for about a year when Troy forcefully and confidently declared “ain’t no mo play in G-A” against a background of lower-pitched piano notes and rounds of gunfire and sonic booms. Troy’s declaration, also the name of the track, staked claim on multiple Gina Mae mixtapes. Them tapes had the sole mission of developing my budding Down South Georgia Guh status as I transitioned from the DMV to the Dirty South. If I was gonna do this down-south ish, I needed to be all in. Ain’t no room to play, ain’t no time to be shamed about where I’m from or where I live.