In the late 1980’s Houston’s hip-hop scene went national when the Geto Boys began blasting their intense tracks. The success brought attention to the band’s work but it also cast a spotlight on one of the member’s disability. Bushwick Bill was born with dwarfism and is one of the few visibly disabled musicians to become famous and to address disability in his work. In fact, he put it right in the foreground.
That’s the subject of Charles Hughes‘ recent book, Why Bushwick Bill Matters (2021, University of Texas Press). Eight O’Clock Buzz sub host Andy Moore is in conversation with Hughes about the complicated symbolism of Bushwick Bill.
Hughes is Director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College and author of several works, including Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South (2015). He received his PhD in US History from UW-Madison in 2012, and is currently at work about the history of African-Americans in professional wrestling.