Of the numerous hip-hop genres, southern rap is the most comprehensive style. Encompassing the broadest range of artists, rhythms, musical styles and lyrics, it distinguishes its sounds from East and West hip-hop, unfurling a brand new world of fashion, car culture, nightlife and unique lingo in its rhymes and an innovative instrumentation in its vibes.

In the late 80s, a new sound from the South swept the hip hop scene. Rooting its traces mainly in Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta and Houston, southern rap was largely linked to Miami’s booty rap. Bearing obvious elements of bass music anchored by rump-shaking sounds and straightforward lyrics, the new sound emerged as the extended third wheel after the explosion of hip-hop in the East and West Coast. The multi-million sales rappers of Los Angeles and New York found in the grooves of their Miami and Atlanta peers some true innovators.

Being a productive scene on its own, southern rap spread widely the bass, dance-floor sounds of Miami along with its slang lyrical content. Making the southern form of hip-hop distinct to everybody, it soon evolved to a national symbol of hard-partying extreme. Rhyming with thick regional accents, but following their own musical patterns, Tag Team, 69 Boyz, 2 Live Crew, and Freak Nasty were some of the artists who made huge hit singles with explicit lyrics. Inevitable, this caused protests for possible censorship across the U.S.

Atlanta was always considered the innovative center of southern rap. Atlanta artists based their sounds on the bass-heavy rap pattern, but they introduced a funkier style of southern rap incorporating elements of soul. This distinctive element was, almost religiously, applied by Arrested Development that was the first group to win a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and Best New Artist, and the prize of the Band of the Year by Rolling Stone magazine, in 1992. In the later years, Atlanta-based Outkast and Goodie Mob followed as members of Atlanta’s Organized Noize Productions.

New Orleans was, and still is, the profit-making center of southern rap. Master P’s record label, No Limit, is a money-spinning empire that is in the market since the late 90s. Although it does not really promote much more than West Coast G-funk and gangsta rap, No Limit has found an efficient way to boost product sales with assembly-line efficiency. Another New Orleans label, Mannie Fresh’s Cash Money, engaged in a totally innovative approach and managed to reinvent the southern bass sound hitting the singles with Juvenile.

Some of the popular artists that have made southern rap more popular with their hit singles in the charts are Outkast, Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, T.I. and Lil Jon. Despite the big hits and big money, southern rap has been criticized for over-exposure as it has happened with other hip-hop genres and with hip-hop in general. Often, rap artists produce their self-image as artists because they know that music would not be the same without their character. In rap, music and lyrics anchor the character because rap music talks about real facts. So, rap’s enemies accuse rappers that they just put on a big hat, a huge chain and try to make it to the South; they accuse them of acting like commodities, not like real artists. Well, if that was the case, then how all these ghetto people did it only with their voice, long before becoming commodities and wearing the big hat? Just asking.

By: Christina Pomoni

About the Author:

I work as a financial and investment advisor but my passion is writing, music and photography. Writing mostly about finance, business and music, being an amateur photographer and a professional dj, I am inspired from life.

Being a strong advocate of simplicity in life, I love my family, my partner and all the people that have stood by me with or without knowing. And I hope that someday, human nature will cease to be greedy and demanding realizing that the more we have the more we want and the more we satisfy our needs the more needs we create. And this is so needless after all.

Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • BlogMemes
  • Facebook
  • Fark
  • IndiaGram
  • MySpace
  • IndianPad
  • TwitThis

Posted in Rap Music by: Hip Hop Diva

Leave a Reply