"Welcome to the Dirty South" says Whole Foods. I don't know what they mean.

I’m not a frequent Whole Foods shopper, but I find myself in there once every month or two. This morning I was in one in Raleigh NC (one city over from my home) and large posters lining the main aisle in front of the cash registers proclaim “Welcome to the Dirty South” with accompanying pictures of farming and smaller text about eating local.

My first reaction was “who you calling dirty?” “Dirty South” sounds like they’re quoting something, but I’d never heard it as a phrase. A little googling and time on urban dictionary shows it is a phrase, near as I can tell just a sort of badass way of saying “The South”. Top results turned up a hip hop song from Texas.

I’ve lived in North Carolina for 20 years and before that I lived all my previous life in Virginia. I’m far from the hippest shopper at Whole Foods, but probably most people there are richer and older than me. If the posters sat wrong with me, I wonder if the marketing is a little tone deaf.

So what say you? Is “The Dirty South” a thing? is it a cool thing?

Here’s a picture of one of these signs taken from the “Whole Foods Chapel Hill” facebook page, and a link to their announcement for a local food fair. Based on the picture and the “Riding Dirty” phrase, it seems like some marketing intern hit upon the genius realization that plants grow in dirt, and co-opted the only two pop-culture phrases he or she could think of that included that word.

I’m 35 and I’m suitably familiar with both phrases, but it’s a lame pun and even if shoppers “get it” it won’t resonate with them. Also, I associate “riding dirty” and the “dirty south” with hip hop, and I associate whole foods with white hipsters*, so it feels a little cringe-worthy.

*I regularly ride my dorky little bike to Whole Foods to buy craft beer, and I’m a white hipster, so this is just how it is.

Welp, seems like “Dirty South” and “Riding Dirty” are well past their prime in the hip-hop game and have washed ashore all clean and tidy for the…opposite of hip-hop game.

I think it’s both clever and tone-deaf at the same time.

The fifth album by the fantastic Drive-By Truckers is called The Dirty South.

Dirty South = Deep South. So Texas can call itself the South all it wants to, but it ain’t The Dirty.

I would assume that ‘riding dirty’ involves not using a condom.

Dirty and food are not a good association in my mind, though this would be an appropriate campaign for Winn Dixie since they are dirty and in the south.

I’m guessing it’s a nod to farmers and/or organic produce.

No. At least not in GA. You’re holding.

Riding dirty means being in or driving a car with weed or another illicit drug in your possession.

I’m under the impression that Texans would rather not say that they’re part of “The South” at all.

Texas is happy just being Texas.

I’m pretty sure that the Dirty South, is, like, the ATL. But that nobody would call it that anymore unless they were way out of touch like me.

Dirty South is a DJ. Does no one at Whole Foods know how to google?

Seems to be more of a person than a thing, and judging by his internet presence, lots of people think he is cool. Dirty South (musician/DJ, filmmaker).

No, “Dirty South” is not known as the name of a DJ.It’s a genre of rap. Seriously…Outkast, Ludacris. You’ve heard of them right?

While having anal sex.
Yeah, “the dirty south” is something I never heard in 30 years of living there.

The term “dirty south”, as far as anyone knows, was coined by Atlanta rap group Goodie Mob on this song (NSFW) in 1995. (The group is best known for launching Cee-Lo Green’s career.) It quickly became an anthem for the entire Southern rap scene and thus became a term of regional pride.

Well considering the OP’s only working knowledge of this phrase comes from a Texas hip hop song, at least one Texan considers the state in the south. Plus all those other people who do, too. It’s south-ish, but not The Dirty. I don’t make the rules.

“As far as anyone knows”? Where did you get this? I can’t even remember the first time I’ve heard the term, considering I’ve been hearing since, oh, ever.

I’d stop listening to everyone in this thread except me, OP, and just know Dirty South refers to the Deep South and is not an insult. The end. Whether it’s cool is subjective, but I’ve known a great deal of Southerners to proudly introduce themselves as being from The Dirty. Yes, I know “dirt” is not generally a positive term. Just think of it as those cool kids using “bad” to mean “good,” and so forth.

Texas east of 45 is part of the South. Texas west of 45 is part of the West.