King’s of the South
Sounds like such a straight forward title doesn’t it? As I start to put this together, you start to realize that the south is a large area with some very different sounds. Places as close as Georgia and Florida have completely different sounds. As you head west some, you start to move into Texas and come to the realization that it sounds nothing like the other two. I would say that the south may be the most diverse in sound.
As we start in Georgia, you’ve got the sounds of people like OutKast, Ludacris and T.I. Three extremely successful groups/artists. Great lyrics with a generally upbeat tempo. When it comes on in the club, you know people are moving out to the floor. All beats you can roll the windows down and just let it bump. These guys in this area aren’t afraid to mix it up either. Both Luda and OutKast have been known to spit some bars with some speed to them. T.I. will team up with some R&B artists for some amazing collabs. The variety coming out of the ATL is what really catches me. It’s not the same exact style being pumped out but it’s all really entertaining and lyrically, on point.
Now let’s get into my home state. Florida. When you think old school Miami to describe the feel, I’m going straight to 2 Live Crew, Trick Daddy and 69 Boyz. Nothing really defined the early Miami sound like that heavy bass line and booty shaking beat. While this is a ton of fun at the club, lyrically, wasn’t the deepest. Trick has definitely done some things that I feel are much better lyrically though. As we came out of that 90’s era, we started seeing some others emerge with some more lyrical skills to go along with some of that Miami beat. Rick Ross, for example. When you hear RR, he still has some of that down south beats going but lyrics that can tell a story. I do miss some good ol’ booty shaking music sometimes though. Something to be said for that.
Round it out to Texas. Top three that come to mind are Geto Boys, Scarface and Slim Thug. Old school Geto Boys and Scarface were not as interested in some banging beat that gets people moving in the club. They’re music was more focused on the lyrical side. Tell a story. Describe things in a way that your audience can feel it. Hard to talk about a lot of serious life situations and shake your ass at the same time. Slim starts to incorporate the progression of beats to back up story telling. If you know anything about the H, chopped and screwed is what they love. Take that beat and mix it up.
So how do you decide the king of the south? All three areas are all moving forward and changing. Improving their area sound and as long as that continues to happen, we, the listeners, win.