Over the years Atlanta’s trap stars have taken over the South’s spotlight. Gucci Mane, T.I., Waka Flocka, Big Kuntry King— through mixtapes and commercial hits, Atlanta’s heavyweights have found a way to take over Southern hip-hop. But what about the third coast rhyme slingers that exist outside of Atlanta, has everyone forgotten about them?
Before Atlanta took center stage, Texas was home of screwed music and home of Southern hip-hop. With Swisha House pushing their Sunday Night Chopped & Screwed Mix on Houston’s 97.9 The Box, artists like Z-Ro, Lil Keke, Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci, Big Moe, Fat Pat, and the rest of the Screwed Up Click, including the late DJ Screw and Big Hawk, had the rap game on lock. I remember when “25 Lighters,” “Chillin’ Wit My Broad,” and “Southside” used to be the songs that made Tinsel Town and any other Houston club go crazy. UGK was that slow riding, windows down, wheels spinning group that anybody in the South, including Georgia, would rock to. So the question is, what happened to Southern rap outside Atlanta?
While UGK has definitely staked their claim on the charts over the last four years by taking the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Rap Album charts with UGK 4 Life in 2009 and Underground Kingz in 2007, it seems like everyone’s forgotten about the rest of Texas and what the third coast has to offer.
Mr. Pookie & Mr. Lucci were one of the dopest duos to come out of the Southside of Dallas/Forthworth, and “Smokin’ Marijuana” help put them on the map. “I can feel it in the back of my mind/it’s like Mary Jane came at the right time … Mary Jane to the brain/I’m in love wit chu b*tch.” Everytime that song comes on I can’t help but move my hand from left to right and snap when the beat drops. There’s no doubt that record’s a classic. So if lil’ ol’ me can recognize and remember Texas’ relevance to hip-hop, why can’t anyone else?
Atlanta’s had hip-hop as a culture, as a music industry, as a way of life under its 33/84 geographical belt for the last seven years at minimum, but that doesn’t mean its distant cousin four states away has to be neglected, does it? —Amber McKynzie