Southern Hip Hop's Hostile Takeover

Candy paint, big rims, icy jewelry, and dancing- you cannot forget dancing- all resonate with one place in the hip-hop community, the South. Presently, the South has taken over the Hip-Hop scene; it is clear, with artists like Young Thug, Future, and 2 Chainz, being on majority of the songs we hear on the radio. How did this happen? With the formation of “Rich Gang”, and the amount of rappers coming from Atlanta, the South is taking over quickly and efficiently by having multiple hits.

Up until this takeover, the Hip Hop community viewed the South as bottom feeders. This popularity surrounding the South is something that has never been seen. The East, West, and Midwest all have held the crown at some point and repeatedly over shadowed and shunned the South. For the most part southern rappers have been bad; however, this area has produced a few great M.C.’s. This group includes Outkast, Scarface, Pimp C, T.I, Ludacris, and a few more. However, this small portion of rappers cannot represent an entire demographic. This takeover; however, was anticipated. The South even created the genre Trap Music, a genre that is just as popular today as gangsta rap was in the early 90s.

Without a doubt, the biggest artist in this genre is Gucci Mane; he is even referred to as “The Godfather of Trap.” In the past few years, Gucci Mane’s success, along with a few other artists, foreshadowed the South's dominance we see today. With his simple lyrics and energetic sound, he brought Trap music to the surface and even breached into the white community creating a fan base there. Then comes Lil Wayne, the man previously dubbed as the “best rapper alive.” We all remember his dominant run from about 2005 to 2009. Within these four years, about 347 songs had him on as a feature. That is roughly 86 songs featured on per year and a good amount of them were hits. Not only that, his album The Carter 3 went platinum in only one week. With an overrated artist like Lil Wayne, whose metaphorical usage is looked at as profound when it is subpar at best, is a huge supporter of his area, and has seen an enormous amount of success; of course the South was bound to reach the top.

With his success, he became a big influence on up and coming rappers; for instance, the popular Young Thug. His style is reminiscent of one of Lil Wayne’s. Lil Wayne’s use, along with T-Pain's, of auto tune flooded the Hip-Hop community and influenced other artists to use it as well. Even Kanye, one of the most followed rappers today, began to use the effect in many of his songs. The South gained two weapons, auto tune and trap music. These are two of the most damaging aspects to ever enter the Hip Hop community. A$ap Rocky, one of the faces of New York, sounds like a rapper from the South. Him being an influence in the East only spreads the sound throughout. With many artists from different areas incorporating Trap music instrumentals into their music, including the dominant Drake, it opens the gate for more Southern rappers to join the scene and spread their music because Trap is from their area. We all remember the huge buzz surrounding Chicago due to GBE. Chicago rappers even have collaborations with Kanye, Drake, and Rick Ross; and even created the genre “Drill music” which was greatly influenced by Trap music.

The South's sound is the only sound people want to hear today. In order for Hip-Hop to get out of this weak state, the East, West, and Midwest have to find their own sound again and not hop onto the bandwagon. The reasons the mid 80s through the mid 90s are the golden age is because of the diversity that took place. Right now, we hear one sound, and that is from the South. As the South continues to rule over Hip Hop, I will like to thank you for not snitching.