The South Got Somethin’ To Say!

As part of the NYU: Music Industry Essentials Program I am part of here is one of my assignments talking about the rise of Southern Hip Hop/Rap. Check out the playlist links below and read the article. #MusicUproject

Click here to listen on Apple Music, listen on Tidal, and click below listen on Spotify.

Hip Hop origins started in The Bronx, New York in the late ’70s and early ’80s. By the mid-’90s, the genre was dominated by East Coast and West Coast-based rappers. However, Southern-based artists were essentially the overlooked underdogs, but would soon be the trailblazing leaders ushering a generation into soulful, yet eclectic sounds. According to BET”s Making documentary, during the 1995 Source Awards for Rap-Hip Hop artists held at Madison Square Garden in New York, Rap duo, OutKast, won for best new rap group for their debut album “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.  

Some felt like they finally had representation in the Hip Hop genre because groups like OutKast had music that reflected their Southern environments, cruising through the city during Freak-Nik, in the car, with bass bumping synths, strings, snares, chopped and screwed soulful grooves. Although the group won they were booed by the audience while they accepted the award. During the acceptance speech, OutKast member, André 3000 said, “But it’s like this though, I’m tired of folks them closed-minded folks, it’s like we gotta demo tape but don’t nobody want to hear it. But it’s like this: the South got something to say, that’s all I got to say!” 

This prophetic declaration was echoed around the world and was the catalyst for Southern artists to become award-winning millionaires and dominate the Hip Hop/Rap charts for the 99’ and 2000s through the snap, crunk, bass, bounce, twerk, and trap music eras that came from the South are still felt in 2021. Many Southern producers such as Georgia’s Lil’ Jon, Virginia’s Timbaland, Missy Elliott, The Neptunes: Pharrell & Chad Hugo, Louisiana’s Lil’ Wayne, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Master P, and DJ Khaled, Tennessee’s Juicy J and Miami’s Uncle Luke and North Carolina’s Little Brother’s influence dominated the Hip Hop-Rap scenes in the late nineties and early aughts. Some producers even started to create their own record labels such as Georgia-based, SO SO DEF Records lead by producer Jermaine Dupri. Louisiana-based NO LIMIT Records lead by Percy “Master P” Miller and CASH MONEY Records lead by Brian “Birdman/Baby” Williams and Tennessee-based HYPNOTIZE MINDS, lead by Three 6 Mafia’s, DJ Paul and Juicy J and Texas-based UGK Records, lead by rap duo UGK. 

Southern Hip Hop producers and artists have paved the way for modern Hip Hop chart-toppers. DJ Screw, Gucci Mane, T.I., Jeezy, Ludacris, 2 Chainz, Lil Jon, Trina, Left Eye, Missy Elliott, The Ying Yang Twins, and Travis Porter, helped pave the way for artists like Migos, Future, Travis Scott, Young Thug, City Girls, Megan Thee Stallion, and more!

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