Ali Colleen Neff is a Communication Studies Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina who has lived and conducted ethnography in the Mississippi Delta for the past four years. This blog is a chronicle of her work, primarily with musicians in Clarksdale, Mississippi.
She is currently working on a documentary about the relationship of Delta hip-hop to the blues with co-directors Brian Graves (another UNC grad student) and Top Notch the Villain, a Clarksdale-based rapper who is also the main character of the film. Brian has done extensive documentary work with the Gullah in his home of James Island, South Carolina. Top Notch (a.k.a. Jerome Williams) is an accomplished freestyle rapper who is very well-regarded by his community.
This work was made possible through a grant from the Center for the Study of the American South Summer Research Circle grant.