[THROWBACK THURSDAY] “The South Did Rise Again”
The year is 1997 and variety is indeed the spice of life when it comes to Hip-Hop. Mainstream media had finally accepted the fact that this genre of music was not only becoming more diverse, but subgenres were developing rapidly.
This week we’ll be highlighting three albums from the 40 that will celebrate twenty years in the industry this year. With all the attention both good and bad going towards the east and west coasts, the South emerged as a champion and many artists began to stake their claims for Hip-Hop supremacy. Artists like OutKast, UGK, and Three 6 Mafia were making huge noise below the Mason-Dixon Line. For the true fans of this genre and culture, it was indeed refreshing to see this development come to fruition.
In February of 1997, No Limit Records released the fourth studio album under the flag of the tank and through a partnership with Priority Records. The Real Untouchables (TRU) consisted of Master P, C-Murder and Silkk the Shocker but as time went on, we would also see Mia X, Kane and Able and Mr. Serv-On join the fray. The double album boasted tracks by Beats by the Pound and featured a gumbo-like blend of Southern Hip-Hop and Gangsta Rap. Singles such as “I Always Feel Like…” and “FEDz” featured samples from R&B heavyweights such as Levert and Aaliyah just to name a few. The album was re-released in the same year, and it still serves as the most successful album released on No Limit as the project was certified 2x’s platinum.
In the fall of 1997, the world was introduced to Crunk and the genre would never be the same. A new subgenre of Hip-Hop, Lil’ Jon served up a new, energized type of music that was filled with shouted catchphrases and outstanding bass lines. If you were in a club setting around this time and “Get Crunk” or “Who Ya Wit” would come over the speakers, you could not help but jump and shout along with the Atlanta MC and his crew. This movement caused so much of a trend that Webster’s Dictionary came calling to officially define this term. Now that is noteworthy!!
Hot Boys-Get It How U Live!!
Call it being influenced or competitive, Cash Money Records emerged in 1997 with the début album from the Hot Boys. A quartet featuring B.G, Juvenile, Turk and Lil’ Wayne, the album reached 300k in sales rapidly. “Neighborhood Superstar” served as the featured single from the album and with production by Mannie Fresh, the quartet was indeed on fire and ran neck and neck along with No Limit Records, eventually taking over for the 99 and the 2000.
The author Jerry Miller
Aspiring entertainment writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I served as the Entertainment Editor for the largest African-American magazine in the city of Indianapolis.