Lists

The ten greatest Southern rappers of all time

Page 4 of 5

6. 8Ball & MJG While UGK was expanding on the Geto Boys sound in Texas, 8Ball & MJG were re-framing the gansta-rap sound to suit the Memphis pimp's perspective. The group first made waves with their 1993 gold release Comin' Out Hard, which plays at times like an instruction manual with tracks like "Pimps," which sets the record straight about one of the world's oldest professions, and "Armed Robbery," a vivid, almost cinematographic robbery tale set to the Mission Impossible theme.

5. Lil Wayne Though the quality of his music has taken a dip since his Carter series and Da Drought tapes heyday, Lil Wayne, thanks mostly to Drake and Nicki Minaj, his Young Money Cash Money Baby proteges, remains on top of the rap game. In his prime, Wayne brought the now ubiquitous stream-of-consciousness lyricism to the public eye, and he has been a champion of style-over-substance rap. Without Wayne, there is no A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, Future or Lil B, and though you can argue that these figures deprive hip-hop of its voice, you could just as easily argue that a dull lack of personality would beset the music without them.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Noah Hubbell