10 East Coast Rappers Who Embraced Southern Rap Early
A lot has changed since Outkast member and Atlanta native Andre 3000 famously proclaimed that "the south has something to say," at the 1995 Source Awards.
Recipients of the award for Best New Artist, Andre's words were in response to the underwhelming reception from the crowd of New Yorkers, but proved to be the calm before the storm that would be southern rap's arrival on the main stage.
Prior to Outkast, the south had produced noteworthy acts like Miami's 2 Live Crew, the Texas trio the Geto Boys, Memphis duo Eightball & MJG, and Atlanta producer Jermaine Dupri, but Big Boi and Andre 3000's arrival marked a change in the guard and how rap artists from the south were perceived by their coastal counterparts, particularly those in NYC.
Regarded as the Mecca and birthplace of hip-hop, New York City had dominated the rap scene throughout the 80s and 90s, producing some of the greatest and most successful artists of all-time.
Known for their reputation of producing the most skilled lyricists in rap, a badge the city wore with honor, rappers and rap fans out of the five boroughs would be slow to gravitate to the style of music emerging from the south, a slight that would be taken to heart by those below the Mason-Dixon line.
However, over the course of the decade following the 1995 Source Awards, the east coast would begin to embrace the south, with some of the hottest emcees out of New York collaborating with artists from the south, leading to some of the most timeless music hip-hop has to offer.
The Boombox highlights 10 rappers from the east coast who were among the earliest champions of southern rap, before it became the trend.