4. UGK UGK (Underground Kingz) was the first Texas act to capitalize on the buzz that Geto Boys generated with We Can't Be Stopped. And while they saw relatively limited success (three gold records) compared to what later Southern acts would see, UGK, along with 8Ball & MJG, was essential listening for later, best-selling MCs like Ludacris, T.I. And Nelly. Pimp C's death from a drug overdose in 2007 is one of hip-hop's great tragedies, but Bun B continues to make music to this day, both as a solo artist and as a respected guest on tracks by some of the South's brightest up-and-comers.
3. DJ Screw Few artists can ever say they created something totally unique completely by themselves, but chopping-and-screwing, as its name suggests, can be attributed entirely to DJ Screw. Screw's slowed-down style began to gain local traction in the early '90s, when the DJ would take small money orders to create his now-legendary tapes. The immense popularity of these tapes brought not only a Houston hip-hop renaissance, but a paradigm shift in culture and substance abuse; screwed music vibes unmistakably with the high from promethazine and codeine (aka syrup, purple drink, lean) that found mainstream consumption with Screw's 2000 death, in which the drug is thought to be a cause. Since then, chopped-and-screwed versions of major-label albums have gone on to sell tens of thousands of copies and can still be found on sites like Datpiff, where aspiring screwheads hope to recapture the flame that began more than twenty years back with this one DJ.