History of Southern Rap:
While break dancing, graffiti and most importantly the music genre hip hop was all created on the east coast, New York City specifically, southern rap has held the reign of being the most influential since the beginning of the 2000s.
When hip hop first began the focus was on the East Coast and later the West Coast, but a few individuals slowly helped bring the attention to the south as southern rap is dominating popular culture.
From Luke Skywalker to J Prince to Master P, each individual in their respected state has had much contribution to hip hop, but what many do not know is the south has been producing hits since the 1980s.
While southern rappers have hailed from cities and states from all over the south, the Last Mr. Bigg of Alabama or David Banner of Mississippi, the most important states that have help with the growth southern rap are Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Georgia.
TEXAS Hip Hop and Rap
The credit for bringing true hip-hop to the south goes to the Houston hustler and entrepreneur, J Prince and his Rap-A-Lot imprint who put out acts like Geto Boys, Scarface, Z-Ro, Pimp C, Bun B, Devin The Dude, Juvenile, Do or Die, and even West Coast artist Yukmouth.
The Geto Boys was the first rap group to come out the south that was party or booty shaking music with the classic song of “Mind Playin Tricks On Me” that proved that there is more to southern rap than just club songs.
Scarface, “Now I Feel Ya”
One of the standout members of the Geto Boys, who featured Willie D, Bushwick Bill, and DJ Ready Red, was Scarface who many claimed to be one of the greatest rappers of all-time as he has produced numerous of solo albums and hits since the early 1990s with many receiving gold and platinum recognition.
Another standout rap group in Texas is UGK, a duo of Bun B and the late Pimp C, who hail from the small city of Port Arthur but has deep ties to the Houston music scene, almost to a point one would think they are from Houston.
Can be debated, but no rap group has as many underground hits than UGK with key songs like “Something Good”, “Pocket Full of Stones”, “Use Me Up”, “Diamonds & Wood”, “Front Back, Side to Side” and many more as the group has put out music since 1992.
After the Geto Boys and UGK created and established a Houston and Texas foundation within the southern the rap scene, Houston DJ’s of DJ Screw and DJ Michael “5000” Watts and OG Ron C became known for producing multiple artist out of their Screwed Up Click and Swisahouse brands.
DJ Screw, of Houston’s South Side, was the first to begin a true era of Houston and Texas rap as Rap-A-Lot brought Scarface and the Geto Boys but DJ Screw brought Houston and the nation dozens of rappers creating a new movement and shedding more light to Houston’s culture.
DJ Screw & Lil Keke, “Pimp Tha Pen”
Under DJ Screw the likes of Lil Keke, Z-Ro, Fat Pat, Big Moe, Big Hawk, Lil Flip, Big Pokey, ESG, Mr. 3-2 and many more first gained recognition through the Screw Tapes as many can say DJ Screw played a key part in the growth of southern hip hop.
While there was a rival between the North Side and South Side in Houston, DJ Screw’s S.U.C out of the South Side was on top but the North Side’s Swishahouse slowly began to come on the scene during the late 1990s.
Paul Wall & Chamillionaire, “N Luv Wit My Money”
On the city’s North Side, Swisha House, spearheaded by DJ Michael “5000” Watts and OG Ron C, led the wave of the Houston and Texas rap scene during the early 2000s with the breakout song “Still Tippin'” as Swishahouse has contributed to many artist careers like Slim Thug, J-Dawg, Paul Wall and Chamillionaire, and Mike Jones.
During the national rise of Swishahouse and the hit single “Still Tippin'”, Houston’s culture was exposed to the world and eventually led to being one of the country’s most influenced cultures, from Chopped and Screwed music to “Sippin’ On Syrup”.
While many know about the Screwed Up Click, Swishahouse, and Rap-A-Lot Records, but other companies and groups have contributed to the Houston and Texas hip hop scene like Suave House who consisted of Crime Boss and South Circle, Slim Thug’s Boss Hogg Outlawz, or the South Park Coalition.
Street Military, “Dead In A Year”
Outside of the main circles of Texas hip hop, like S.U.C or Rap-A-Lot, there were plenty of artist to contribute to the history of Texas rappers, artist like Big Mike, Wickett Crickett, Big Mello, Street Military, Klondike Kat, Ganksta Nip, K-Rino or the 5th Ward Boyz.
While Texas’ Houston region has had the most attention, DFW or Dallas-Fort Worth, Triple D and Funkytown, has had its share of rappers, especially during the 2000s with Twisted Black, Tum Tum, Chalie Boy, Mr Lucci and Mr Pookie, Big Tuck, Dorrough, Lil Wil and the single “My Dougie” and others.
Today’s Texas music scene still striving with Dallas’ Yella Beezy or many of the Houston legends, from Z-Ro to Slim Thug, still making relevant and good music, together with a new wave of Houston rappers like Sauce Walka or Maxo Kream.
Like the years of the “Still Tippin'” movement during the mid-2000s, Houston’s culture and the Texas rap scene is still the most influential in today’s era from the imitating of Sauce Walka’s and TSF’s lingo of “Sauce” or “Drip” to the popularize of “Sippin’ on Lean”.