It wasn’t until around 1995 when southern rap started to stake it’s claim in Hip Hop. Pioneers like UGK brought the gold grills, slabs and southern pimpin’ to the game. Giving the industry and fans something new to analyze. Perception was that if you were in the south you couldn’t make it from the south, but OUTKAST challenged the status quo after linking up with WU-TANG and making a hit “Skew it on the Bar-B”! OUTKAST went on to win multiple Grammy awards catapulting the south to new heights. That provided the stepping stone needed for the next wave of southern artist such as SCARFACE, LIL WAYNE, LUDACRIS, T.I. who has helped to keep the south relevant and some would even say taking over the game. Now in 2012 the South is stronger than ever and growing! Their represented heavily by major players in the game and at the top of that list is LIL WAYNE, the self proclaimed “best rapper alive“. Confidence or cockiness even with JAY-Z still in the game. That is a bold statement, but a statement nonetheless and with JAY-Z getting up in age it’s only a matter of time until he has to pass the keys to the game. The door into the industry seems to be wide open in the south. Is that because of the new diversity being brought from the south? or is it that Hip Hop as it originated has lost it’s dominance as did others before.
The diversity that the southern artists bring to the Hip Hop table I believe is a gift and a curse. A gift of something new and innovating, especially when the tracks are laced with lyrics with a message and a curse of tainting what Hip Hop stood for if it’s neither rhyme nor reason.
Either way the south has made a stand and they don’t plan on going anywhere. Music is a way of life and an outlet to many, and the southern rappers are expressing themselves loud and clear. So maybe it’s not the emergence of southern rappers. It could be them taking back what once was essential theirs.