Big Shoes To Fill

Ya’ll remember what happened the last time T.I.P. got locked up. Flipparachi supposedly started claiming the “King of the South” title at his shows, probably thinking T.I. was “out of sight and out of mind.” You know the story from there.

Well, with Mr. Harris incarcerated and probably facing a bigger fight this time around I found it interesting that no one is bothering to snatch what could become a vacated title. Is it out of respect for the man’s situation, or is it because, no one really ain’t interested in that shit?

When T.I. came out making those bold claims seven years ago he ruffled feathers because it meant something. It meant that this young’n was demanding to be said in the same sentence as Outkast, Goodie Mob, UGK, 8Ball & MJG, South Circle, Triple Six Mafia, Screwed Up Click and Geto Boys. It meant that he planned on making his Grand Hustle imprint/clique on par with, if not better than No Limit, Rap-A-Lot, Suave House, Dungeon Family, Hypnotized Minds/Prophet Posse and Cash Money. It meant that he was naming himself the leader of a new movement that included folks like Killer Mike, Field Mob, Ludacris, Swisha House, Bubba Sparxxx, Juvenile, Youngbloodz, Lil Jon, David Banner, Playa Fly, Trick Daddy and a gang of other very dope MC’s that were focused on being raw on the mic and providing a voice that was constantly being overlooked.

Over the past few years, most of those names, including T.I., have pretty much moved on to “bigger and better things” as they say. Either that or they got older grown and figured becoming Kings of their households and personal lives was more important. Shied, when you think about it, T.I. hardly claims “King of the South” anymore either. Which once again makes me ask, is the “King of the South” title worth having anymore? Because hell, if anyone was to come out now and say “I AM THE NEW KING OF THE SOUTH!” would it really be a statement worth making.

The South, just like Black folks after the Civil Rights movements of the past has been assimilated into the mainstream. Drugs, cars, jewelry and strippers have become the prominent subjects in a genre of music that used to touch on everything from police brutality to gun control to loyalty to government corruption to religion to family values to relationships. Because of that change for the worst, its rarely looked at as “different.” It doesn’t garner alot of attention anymore, its just kinda, heard but not listened to. For every person that berates the music that comes out of the South, there are two who try to copy it and three who figure they have to “switch to Southpaw” (what does that even mean?) when ever they get featured on a Southern artist’s song.

The South used to be more than just a sound that was easy to copy. It was an attitude, an aesthetic. It was a culmination of East Coast freestyling and West Coast lifestyling seen through the eyes of a Southerner. Except, instead of finding different ways to say the same shit, cats were indeed, saying different shit.

Nowadays, it sounds like the South is almost exclusively synomous with dumb shit like making it rain, poppin’ pills and trickin’ on hoes. Like Pimp C said, hardly any social commentary. “Swag” means more than lyrics and money is buying respect.

Once again, I ask, is the “King of the South” title worth having anymore? Does anyone want to be considered the emperor of an empire that ain’t hardly saying shit anymore? Is the scarcity of quality material the reason why nobody is anxious to do what Flip did and said back in ’04, this time around?

Just as I was wrapping this up, I came across a new song from Petey Pablo, saying that he was gonna hold the crown until T.I. got back. I like some of Petey’s shit, but I don’t know about that one.

But yeah, Lil’ Boosie, with a little more maturity, could be next, if he wanted to. Oh yeah, Trae’s new album Life Goes On drops today. He sounds like he is a worthy crown holder, if he even wants the title. What ya’ll think?

  • the world famous bp

    I feel you bruh bruh. At the end of the day cats are way more concerned with greed and foolishness than art. It takes great creativity and responsibility to call yourself King or the best and really mean it.

  • N.O. 4 life

    on the real there are only a handful of artists that we really mess wit…i dont know how these other dudes survive…

    king of the south means nothing

    • QT

      I work with a lot of these artist that they mentioned and I always ask them Why would you call somebody king thats a human just like you anyways thats something an ass kisser or a follower does.And they’ll be like fuck dude he’s not king of shit and then kiss his ass to the public.

      Q.T. has spoken

      Myspace.com/qhj1

  • Castro

    Lil Boosie? Are you serious? The only way he would be king of the south is if any of the dozens of other rappers from the south decided they dont want it.

  • http://houstonsoreal.blogspot.com MattSonzala

    Trae and Grit Boys are coming real with it.

  • dsddssd

    fuck king of the south…

    pay attention to the “king of the beasts..”

    witchdoctor drops today and its already album of the year.

  • Krb

    LUDA

  • Durty

    To me the only King of the South were , MLK JR, Meggar Evars. Cus really ah real King can’t be incarcerated, he gotta be assassinated……

    • k.a.

      was MLK never arrested? hmmmmmmm……

  • og bobby j

    1st off scarface is the king and i dont care what TI calls him self.

    Having said that, the best and most consitant rapper from the south is Luda. He is raw and he sells records.

    I nominate Luda

    Weezy (when he is spitting fire and not kissing men) can be the prince

  • QT

    Why would you call somebody king thats a human just like you anyways thats something an ass kisser or a follower does.

    Q.T. has spoken

    Myspace.com/qhj1

  • smog

    i dont hate but if lil boosie starts claiming king of the south im gonna move to the atl from the chi and take shit over, good point about the king of the south shit, the other thing about the south becoming more in mainstream of rap is that all the different parts of the south, atl, n.o., housten have all got there own things now, and all are compeaten for the top, for just the plain king of rap, not just the south, but like i said, at the same time now that the south is more mainstream, there is no more unified south that outkast mentioned when then said that they got something to say there are different parts, like there is detriot, chi and st louis,

  • Gamma

    YALL NIGGAS IS CRAZY THE TRUE KING OF THE SOUTH WAS NEVER TI IT STILL BELONGS TO ANDRE 3000 TELL ME IM LYING NOBODY HAS BLENDED ALL OF THE SOUTHS STYLES LIKE HIM HE CAN GO OFF ON EVERYTHING AND HE’S STILL DOWN TO EARTH AND A COOL DUDE HE PREJECTS THE SOUTH IN THE RIGHT WAY NOBODY CAN DO WHAT HE DO OH YEA AND MY NIGGA CE LO GREEN THESE NEW NIGGAS IS JUST NEW NIGGAS DOPE BOYS AND ROCK STAR WANNA BE’S NIGGAS WEARING PREP SHIT LIKE THE GO TO A PRIVATE SCHOOL AND THEY AIN’T FINISH HIGH SCHOOL TOU FEEL ME? DOWN HERE WE JAM SOUTHERN RAP TUNES YOU CAN RIDE TO EVERY SONG ON THEY CD TI IS MY NIGGA AND IT’S ALOT OF GOOD NIGGAS IN THE BUT IF YOU DONT KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE MUSIC AND THE FEEL IN THE SOUTH THAN YOU WOULD NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IM TALKING ABOUT BUT THATS JUST HOW I FEEL.

  • GMAN

    switch to southpaw is a boxing term did u ever see the rocky when he had to switch his style up thats south paw

    • http://www.xxlmag.com MGG

      GMAN, I know what the term means in theory. When I ask “what does that even mean”…I am asking what exactly is Fat Joe saying when he says that on songs like “Make It Rain.” Is he saying “let me dumb my shit down,” “let me rap about some foolishness”? I’m speaking to the idea that “switching to southpaw” often gets a equated to dumbing down, which is wack to me.

  • Ghost

    Co-sign this post. And for that matter, what relevance does the self appointed title of “King” have in the modern mainstream illustrated by maurice here? Regardless of region. When you have one cat claiming this shit based on who knows what, you have 50 others who can rip it ten times better than the supposed King. King = marketability, not really skill anymore. Where’s Biggie when you need him?

  • BK Cyph

    No matter what T.I. say, SCARFACE is the KING OF THE SOUTH! No Face has always said that he doesnt want that title, but shit, who’s blueprint is everyone workin’ off of?!?

    Plus he got a new album coming?!? DAMN!

  • Dizzle

    Durty, Kings don’t go unless they assasinated or overthrown. TIP aint witnessed either one. Resptect the CrownHolder-Respect this Hustle

  • Elvis

    Elvis is the king of the south.

  • krb

    i guess so-call trap rappers is goin to go after the tittle!

  • Smoove

    king of the south…it really doesnt mean anything…i think once TI claimed it, everybody was just like, “Ok, you can be king of the south cus that shit aint really worth arguing over.” when it comes down to it, the Hip Hop community decides who’s “king”, and not the artists…and i think were at the point where people call TI the “king of the south” just because they were used to hearing him say it and they went along with it, (even if they thought other southern rappers were better.) the music’s watered down because of the money, and we all know that the public loves to hear that “party & bullshit”; rappers think that the only way to win is to follow this method, then you get what you have today, where every song on the radio sounds just like the one that played before it.

    but there are young cats out there who can work their way to being called “king”…I could see myself calling Wayne king, if the Carter 3 is a classic album (or at least has some classic material.)

  • http://myspace.com/djmydas DJ Mydas

    first of all, southpaw in boxing does not mean to switch your style up. it’s a reference to a left-handed boxer, as in marvin hagler. when fat joe says it, he’s saying that you can’t sell records when you’re on a southern beat with that same east coast flow. don’t get mad at the south for their style, switch your own style up so that you can stay contemporary and relevant in today’s market, which i think fat joe has proven. this has nothing to do with “dumbing down”. see jay for that.

  • Gooch

    Nobody really cares anymore because the South sold out. It’s the same thing that happened up North in the late 90s heading into the first few years of the new millennium. Only difference up here was that Hip-Hop as a mainstream cultural force was only just starting to peak, and there really wasn’t any competition. Until cats up here started getting dumb sloppy with it and people stopped caring. Then you had everyone looking elsewhere for pure organic hip-hop, and they found it in the South. Now the South has, as you said assimilated, and it’s lost its luster. Everyone following trends down there, just like up here in NY. Rhyme over the same beats, the same tired ass lyrics, same cliched themes. Now i’m not saying the shit is not enjoyable to some degree, because i am a fan of Southern rap and I particularly like a lot of the shit that comes out now. But that’s on a purely aesthetic level, when I’m purposely not reading too far into it. I’d be lying if i said I felt the shit was breaking any new ground. But still, just because it’s enjoyable, and let’s face it the kids love it, doesn’t mean anyone cares about it beyond their ringtone or itune download of the day. So that in a nutshell sums up why nobody would care about the King of the South throne, just like nobody in NY cares about the King of NY throne.

  • fixda

    Luda is the king of the south

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Southern rap has to get back to basics or it’s OV.

    Damn, T.I. Just… damn.

    But that picture of him putting the turkey in the oven with the biscuit in his back pocket is actually pretty cool. Just a classic example of “when keeping it real goes wrong.”

    Yo Garland, you know who would be a good candidate – if they weren’t also locked up?

    Mystikal. But, well… damn.

    Southern Hip-Hop is taking over the state pen.

  • Gutta

    FIRST, T.I. WAS NEVER THE KING OF THE SOUTH, THAT WAS JUST A MARKETING SCHEME TO GET HIS NAME OUT THERE. SECOND, THE KING OF THE SOUTH WAS AND IS SCARFACE BECAUSE HE WAS THE FIRST SOTHERN RAPPER THAT SHOWED VERSATILITY AND EVEN NOW FACE WOULD EAT ALOT OF THESE NEWCOMERS. IF SOMEONE IS BOLD ENOUGH TO CALL THEMSELVES THE K.O.S. I WOULD HAVE TO PUT MY MONEY ON LUDA OR WEEZY. LUDA BECAUSE HE HAS THE PUBLIC BEEF WIT T.I. AND LUDA IS NICE NO MATTER HOW MUCH STREET CRED HE MAY LACK. WEEZY BECAUSE HOW CAN U BE THE BEST RAPPER ALIVE AND NOT BE THE MAN IN YOUR OWN REGION?? AND I GUESS YOU COULD THROW JEEZY OR BUN B IN THAT MIX BECAUSE THEY ALL GO HARD IN THE BOOTH AND ARE SUCCESSFULL ARTISTS. BUT OUT OF EVERYONE I WOULD HAVE TO SAY WEEZY JUST FOR SHOCK VALUE IF THEY WERE EVERY TO GO AT EACH ON WAX.

  • NoMamesBuey

    skills-wise, The King of The South = Phonte of Little Brother.

    the top producer/DJ of the South = DJ Premier

    *smh* at the majority of South cats not recognizing their greatest talent

  • King of da South

    DONT SLEEP ON YOUNG BUCK, DUDE’S DA REALEST NIGGA OUT

  • King of da South

    DONT SLEEP ON YOUNG BUCK, DUDE’S DA REALEST NIGGA OUT

  • Luda305

    luda is the best candidate cause he is a good business man n he there for his artist… also the dude kill remixes and freestyles and sells and is one of the only southern rapper respected everywhere

  • yeh right

    there is no “king of the south”, that’s foolishness. If you know anything about marketing the south will play out just like the west coast. Music companies were desperate and grabbed a hold of anything new and fresh to encourage you to buy rap. Yes, NY is down right now but hold you breathe because trust me we shall return. How can you go from Beanie to little boosie, Jay z to Hurricane…c’mon now people let’s keep it real. The south came, it saw but now it’s going. going……..almost gone.

  • CHICAGO “G”

    nobody really cares about the king of the south or any of the king titles but if you ask me why not let the people name you king instead of being self proclaimed… T.I. was never king of nothing he gave himself that title and weak minded individuals bought it if there has to be a king of the south it’s andre 3000 or face because the king title is not based on who is hot now but it is based on a career body of work and T.I. just was never on that level but he’s aiight…

  • JD3

    fuck all this king of the south, king of new york, king of west coast bullshit. nobody is the king of anything. no rapper owns universal or sony bmg so they aint the king of shit. not everybody likes these so called kings some of yall are naming. i think the media and people who think they know everything about hip hop needs to stop trying to “crown” these rappers. rappers aint running anything

  • steve

    TRAE?? LIL BOOSIE!!!?? are you out of your fucking mind?!?! that post was full of good points and then all validity just FLEW out the door at the end. i’m hoping there was an unfelt level of sarcasm in those last questions. my god..

  • T.R.E.Y.

    switching around those analogies Sickamore used a while ago, this’s Weezy’s big chance.

    if Tip ended up bein’ the Biggie to Wayne’s Jay? Carter III‘s Wayne’s chance to take over shit. i got some doubts but having ‘Ye on his team’s gotta give him a possible boost.

    i know dude’s on that Best Rapper Alive shit, not King of the South, but still. as for Jeezy unless he switches it up next time around i can definitely see him suffering from Curtis-style played-out syndrome.

  • T.R.E.Y.

    LOL@the dude sayin’ Phonte and Houstonpremo.

    and i like Phonte and Premo but c’mon now. relevance right now? skills compared to some of the dudes killin’ it right now? crazybackpackids.

  • http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop Crocker

    I’ma be the next King Of The South…

    http://www.myspace.com/crockerishiphop

  • M’Ro

    If the title didn’t mean anything why the HELL ya’ll talkin’ about it. THAT’S WHAT WRONG with our people today, always ready to bring the next one down. The only reason the title mean something is because TI made it mean something. When are brothers going to unify, and look at the bigger picture. TI has help to open doors for other young & upcoming artist. Every time you bring one brother down, you are making it bad for the whole rap industry. Pretty soon no one will respect or want listen to rap. Rock, Country, & Pop artist don’t degrade each other. Hell, every rock band ain’t great, but they get hella love & support, and they get PAID up the ying yang. So keep hatin’ on each other, keep taking a step back and see if the Labels keep supporting our rap artist. If a rapper have great talent such as TI, that should make other rappers step their game up, and they to can enjoy the fruits of their labor.

  • http://www.writersblockmedia.net R.E.

    The Birdman’s gonna be the new king of the south, South Peezy. I’ll break it down later. To be continue…

  • http://www.clmnews.com/Entertainment_Sub_Pages/Music/Music.html ISAIDIT

    you made a good point. who really cares. plus it’s hard to claim the title when most southern rappers can’t rap period! but check out clmnews.com for more updates on the man T.I. and other artists

  • http://www.myspace.com/southcrack nt1

    remember, there is a problem when a king feels he has to tell people that he is king.

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  • http://cnn.com byrd

    MAN JUST TO HEAR EVERYONE UPSET THAT T.I. SAYS HE IS THE KING OF THE SOUTH WELL IN HIS MIND MAYBE HE IS BUT I WILL SAY ONE THING WHO EVER IS HIS LAWYER I NEED HIM TO REP ME CAUSE TO DO A YEAR AND A DAY ON SOME 25 TO LIFE CHARGES AND TO ME THE ONLY REASON T.I. IS GETTING THE WORK IS HE DOES HAVE A SWAG ABOUT HIM THAT I LIKE AND I THINK HIS LAWYER PUT HIM TO WORK BEFORE HE WENT TO DO HIS TIME SO THAT HE COULD GET PAID BUT AS OF TODAY T.I. IS TELLING IT LIKE IS IS HIS PAPERTRAIL SHIT IS OFF THE BRICKS AND EVEN IF EVERYONE HATES ON HIM THAN DAM K.WEST MUST BE FEELING LIKE KING OF ALL KINGS UNTIL JAY DROP THE SHIT THAT NO ONE HAS ALL YALL KNOW JAY GOING TO COME WITH AN 2009 ALBUM THAT IS GOING TO MAKE THIS KING SHIT NOT EVEN WORTH TALKING ABOUT IT………….