Miami rapper Trina has shed light on the past misconceptions of Southern music and why rappers like T.I. and Rick Ross have helped garner respect for the region.
The “Diamond Princess” believes Southern rap was perceived as materialistic and non-influential.
“At first, people really did not take the South that seriously. It wasn’t considered real hip-hop – just fast music, a lot of up-tempo, booty-shaking dance music. Over the years, it has gotten stronger, and there are some Southern artists – Trick [Daddy], T.I., Ludacris, Lil’ Wayne, Rick Ross – that took what they believed in and turned it into a whole hip-hop genre. I’m really honored to be a part of that movement. There are so many different artists from different parts of the South that have different types of music. And now it’s taking over – and at first it wasn’t even considered!” (All Hip Hop)
Yesterday, Florida rapper Ace Hood also spoke on his music being heavily influenced by the South.
“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 skills.
“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 2009, New York rapper Saigon pointed out differences between Southern artists and his fellow New York emcees.
“All of us got caught up in the emergence of the South movement,” Sai said about the delay of New York rap newcomers. “All of us came on the scene when the South was really makin’ their move to take over. The record companies was like ‘F*ck the New York n*ggas, the South sh*t is where it’s at.’…All labels look at are radio spins really. If you can get a record up to 400, 500 spins on your own, they gonna come give you a record deal right away. They don’t even have to listen to the song, they just need to see how many spins you got.” (Q The Question)
Check out some past Trina footage below: