DJ Khaled protege Ace Hood recently shared his input on generating a regional buzz and what ultimately marks the difference between standards for Northern and Southern music.
When asked which region has the biggest influence on his tunes, Hood quickly credited his Florida roots.
“Mainly the south. I’m from Southern Florida but I listen to a lot of T.I. and [Lil] Wayne. I’m versatile in what I listen to though. I like Canibus and some other artists from up north. I think in the north, they’re big on tight lyrics and in the South it’s based on swagger and how slick lines can be slipped in, in clever ways.” (Rap-Up)
Last year, Mississippi rapper David Banner hit up SOHH to discuss the misconception of Southern artists’ lack of lyrical dexterity.
“People talk about the South not being about lyrics, well I don’t know when we were ever “not” rapping. That’s one of my gripes with people. Even with me recently, everybody has been acting like I’ve got this big epiphany or I was stupid or something. You’ve always had Bun B, Scarface, Andre 3000, I don’t know why people are coming up with this. You’ve always had Cee-lo Green. For every New York rapper that’s really lyrical, I can find you a Southern rapper that matches them. For every Southern rapper you say can’t rap, I can find the equivalent in New York. It’s funny because people would always talk about the Ying Yang Twins but I was like, Flavor Flav is New York’s Ying Yang Twins. So with me saying that, I can find you a Talib Kweli in the South.” (SOHH Guest Star)
In 2010, New Orleans rapper Jay Electronica called out New York’s RZA over remarks made about the South hip-hop scene.
“Particularly, RZA, I love RZA and I love the Wu-Tang, but I remember RZA — he said some real ridiculous stupid, ignorant things about the South,” Jay explained in an interview. “And he’s from Ohio or something like that about New York from another place. I don’t give a f*ck where you’re from, whether you were born and raised in Brooklyn, where’s your grandparents from? Where’s your great grandparents from? He was saying something to the effect of like, they were talking about the down South music and I think Lil Jon was big at the time — he was talking about the lyricism and quality of music. He was saying, ‘Yeah, we were doing this a long time ago,’ but then when you start talking about the intelligence level, which is a very unwise thing to do and is very disrespectful, because you’re running around saying all these things — this is the first time I’m ever saying this publicly too, peace on RZA he’s a great brother [but] also, RZA, you said some crazy wild sh*t…I put it in a record called ‘I Feel Good’ which I did a long, long time ago.” (The Most Influential)
RZA later came forward and clarified what he meant.
“I was speaking on the education level in the South, how brothers drop out … in the sixth grade — some of them because they have to go to work, some of them because of the poverty, some because they’re not interested in the education system… I was speaking on the education level in the South, how brothers drop out … in the sixth grade — some of them because they have to go to work, some of them because of the poverty, some because they’re not interested in the education system…If anybody got a question of what I say, they can ask me. I fear no man. I fear no MC’s talent,” he said. “But I definitely know when you young, you feel a certain way. At one point, we as Wu-Tang was like, ‘The whole industry is wack besides Wu-Tang.’ That was our energy, our spirit.” (MTV)
Check out some past Ace Hood footage below: