I don't think many people will make an argument that the South is where it's at as far has hip hop goes. The South's emergence reminds many of the West Coast's rise during the late 80s and early 90s. We saw the West come up, and people from the East Coast said these new ones were ruining the genre they once dominated. You can see the same thing going on, many say that the South is ruining hip hop. In my opinion, it is not the South in general, but "rappers" like, say, Soulja Boy and snap music whose lyrics are virtually nonexistent. Many in hip-hop are expecting an East Coast-Dirty South beef on the horizon similar to the East-West one that resulted in the deaths of Biggie and 2Pac. We can only hope that we never reach that point, and in the rap community, we see New Yorkers working with Southsiders, namely Fat Joe, which may prevent such a beef from happening. Anyways, what I thought I'd do was look at some of the more prominent cities in the South's hip hop community. First up, Houston.
Houston's rap scene is probably the most respectable in the South. The first notable album that came from a Houston act was 1990's The Geto Boys by none other than the Geto Boys. This group was notable because if their violent lyrics, and of course for bringing us the world's flyest midget, Buschwick Bill.
Now then, the man who most attribute Houston's rise in hip hop is Scarface. Face burst onto the scene in 1991 with Mr. Scarface Is Back, and never looked back. His 1994 LP The Diary is considered one of the best albums in history, and he was put in a class with others such as Nas, Jay-Z, Run DMC, Rakim, Biggie and GZA when it won the rare 5-mic album award from The Source magazine. Face was named president of Def Jam South in 2000, where he launched the career of one of the best to ever come out the South, Ludacris.
Since I am pressed for time, I can't go in depth about many other Houston rappers, but the area has produced UGK, Chamillionaire, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Lil Flip, Z-Ro, Chingo Bling and Devin the Dude.
I plan on making this a series, highlighting different cities and the rappers who came from it. I would have gone more in depth, but I've got to get ready for Lil Wayne hitting up Youngstown. Thanks for reading.