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Respect The South – Who VH1 Should Have Honored

I know a thing or two about creating lists and the controversy that comes from them. So far be it for me to criticize somebody else’s picks. But as VH1 officially rolls out the honorees and performers for their 2010 Hip-Hop Honors show, I can’t help but think how I’d do it differently.

For the record, this isn’t a fuck-their-list-my-opinion-is-the-only-one-that-matters post. Nah, this is just how I would do it differently if I ran Hip-hop Honors.

First off, I’d like to commend the folks for honoring Hip-Hop’s Southern contribution. And while I’d love to see just an overall ceremony that includes ALL of rap’s regions, I know how these things work.

VH1 played it safe. Instead of honoring the massive amount of artists from the South, they honored business pioneers, producers and labels. So when they listed Jermaine Dupri, J. Prince, Master P, Organized Noize and Luke it saved them from having to make the hard decisions. It’s their way of including artists like OutKast and Goodie Mob under the “Organized Noize” tribute without having to choose between the two.

I’m not mad at that, but playing it safe makes for boring blogs, doesn’t it? So if I was in charge of VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors here are the five Southern acts that I’d pick. Who would you pick? —Rob Markman, The Deputy!

When Dre and Big Boi debuted in 1994 with Southernplayalistic… they were distinctly Southern, but they have since transcended any regional distinction. I guess selling over 16 million records would do that to you. Today, despite not having released an album in about four years, OutKast stands as not just southern ambassadors, but ambassadors for hip-hop as a whole.

I remember when I first got my hands on a homemade mixtape with “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” and rewinding it about fifty-leven times. Through the years Scarface has become one of my favorite rappers (he’s on my personal Top 5 Dead or Alive list). He’s been an inspiration for so many artists who have came after him that honoring him would be a no-brainer.

I won’t lie, being in New York I was late on Ball and G’s 1993 debut album Comin’ Out Hard. But when I finally heard it I was amazed. From “9 Little Millemeta Boys” to “Pimps In The House” the shit bangs from beginning to end. I know new school rappers would line-up to honor the Memphis-duo. Plus, it’ll give young Buck an excuse to leave the house.

VH1 got this right. From their independent hustle to their sexually driven lyrics to their constant use of 808s, Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew were pioneers in every sense of the word. Miami booty bass is still one of the most underrated hip-hop sounds.

This is a no brainer. Who didn’t want to be down with UGK? Bun B deserves his own day or something because he always put the group above his own solo career and we all know that’s not how rappers typically operate. When Pimp C was in jail, Bun was hollering UGK and has been even after the Pimp passed in 2007. Not only that, as veterans in the game, UGK have always embraced all the new Southern talent that their music has helped raise.


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