Three decades into its history, hip-hop is the dominant music of the mass culture and permeates all neighborhoods from shore to shore, so now it is entirely possible for a promising new hip-hop talent such as Josh Sallee to emerge from the suburbs of Bixby, OK.
But Sallee's microphone skill would be considered exceptional regardless of geographic or sociological origin.
Having opened for rising alt-hip-hop acts such as Kendrick Lamar and The Cool Kids as well as mainstreamers including Mac Miller and Big K.R.I.T., Sallee is proving to the national players that hip-hop can thrive on the Plains.
During summer 2011, when Sallee released “So Chill,” the first single from his debut album, “Return to Sender,” it received 1,500 hits in the first hour after he tweeted the track.
Much of the credit goes to Sallee's impressive lyrical flow, a mile-a-minute stream that is just as mellifluous when the rapper is freestyling.
Consider that Sallee
“It's kind of a cultural thing, because I grew up playing basketball, and hip-hop and basketball are hand-in-hand,” said Sallee, who was invited to Kevin Durant's house to perform for the Oklahoma City Thunder star.
“And so in high school, I got into freestyling, at parties with my friends or when I'm driving in my car. Then once I got to school, I wasn't actually doing it my first two years of college — I didn't rap at all.
“But then I was like, ‘I'll put some videos up on YouTube,'
And yet, Sallee is prepared to stay in Oklahoma. While temptations abound for uprooting his act and lighting out for a bigger market, and the challenges are great, Sallee wants to build a sizable audience in his home state, and then celebrate his Oklahoma roots on a grand scale.
“I want them to think, ‘This kid really has a chance to give Oklahoma a voice (in hip-hop) in some ways,'