Live From The Hip Hop Honors: Who's The Most Slept-On Southern Rapper?

Live From The Hip Hop Honors: Who's The Most Slept-On Southern Rapper?

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In anticipation of the 2010 VH1 Hip Hop Honors: The Dirty South, which airs on June 7, Complex and Miss Info have teamed with the network to celebrate this year's honorees with exclusive coverage.

Yesterday, the taping of VH1's Hip Hop Honors went down in New York City. While our homie Miss Info stayed busy asking the stars what their favorite Southern rap album was, Complex hit the red carpet and asked the stars to play alarm clock and let us know which Southern rapper we're all snoozing on. We spoke with rappers like Rick Ross, Paul Wall, and Bun B—as well as executives like J Prince of Rap-A-Lot Records, comedians like Eddie Griffin, and actresses like the super-sexy Taraji P. Henson. Hear their answers and find out which H-Town veteran, who you might not expect, won out...

rick-ross birdman

Rick Ross: It's a few. I'm a big fan of Birdman. I love the energy Birdman brings to the table. You hearing game from a dude who made $100 million plus. That's who I absorb my game from. That's one of my favorite lyricists. Fuck yeah! Birdman talking that talk. That's that talk the streets want to hear. He's most definitely a bawse!

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Luke JT Money

Luke Campbell: It has to be JT Money of the Poison Clan. He's not here and I wanted him to be here. I think he plays a very significant role in Southern hip hop. He was the first gangsta rapper in the South. There's none other than him. He influenced people like Biggie Smalls. Biggie told me that himself. He told me how much he listened to Poison Clan. It blew me away. We was in the studio doing "Bust A Nut" and he said, "Yo man, I love Poison Clan." Right then I got JT Money on the phone and let him talk to Big. I'm pretty sure they would have collaborated.

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J Prince Z-Rp

J Prince: Ohh, man. The most underrated Southern rapper has to be Z-Ro. Z-Ro is 2pac, Scarface, and he can sing, so he's a Luther Vandross—he's all those people in one. His skill is so diversified. Part of the reason he never got big, every time an album came out he had to go do some time. He never got the opportunity to put in the work that the other artists that's on the top put in. And until he do that, he'll still be at Ground Zero.

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chamillionaire ludacris

Chamillionaire: Ludacris. He just spits. He's on his 10th or 11th album, it's hard to make it there. People don't even realize, he's had a long career in this. He's put out a bunch of albums and he spits, man. I guess sometimes the content he did in the past was kind of comical. I think that's why people didn't take him as serious. I don't know. I think it's more of content thing. I think people want him to be more serious so they can take him more serious. But I think the times when he wasn't serious was the times when he was the greatest. Don't get it twisted, Luda is still a beast. Same with Busta. Busta used to do all the crazy videos but then he got more serious which is still dope. But back then, it was crazy. People tell you to get more serious and have more content and I guess he wants that respect now. But lyrically, you can't get on the same song as him. He'll rip you. He does it to everybody. He's done it to me!

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taraj rick ross

Taraji P. Henson: Ricky Ross. I'm a huge fan of his. I hate to compare him to Biggie Smalls, but he has that swag that Biggie had but he's from the South. There's a swag about him, a confidence that he brings to Southern rap.

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Juvenile Scarface

Juvenile: I'm going to say Scarface. Scarface had big albums but he don't get the props of a Biggie or a 2pac. But if you listen to the shit he was saying, and the content of what he was saying... I think a lot of people overlook him because his music was kind of slow, gloomy, and dark. He never catered to the clubs like that. I think he's the most underrated by far.

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paul_wall z-ro

Paul Wall: I think Z-Ro. I think The New York Times put him on the Most Underrated Rappers list. I think maybe because he's so non-commercial he doesn't get as much exposure as a lot of other artists. That's where a lot of underratedness comes from, when artists don't get as much exposure. He has his own unique style. It's incredible how he blends his melodies but also the way he spits his lyrics. His flow is incredible. He's extremely gangsta and extremely Texas. I'd describe it as Texas gangsta music.

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Eddie Griffin Big Boi

Eddie Griffin: Man, it's a toss up between Pimp C and Big Boi. Big Boi took the old-school funk that George Clinton laid on us from the Mothership Connection, then put a hip-hop twist on it that hasn't been outdone since. Pimp C left us so soon, before he ever got his accolades laid upon him. But in the underground, everybody know what time it is with Pimp C.

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mystikal fiend copy

Mystikal: I'ma say Fiend. He was a No Limit Solider. He just made bad contract moves. It became a bad situation. It doesn't say one thing about his talent. Fiend was original, unique, and strong. I call him Young Lion because his voice was so strong. That was a bad boy. Fiend still out here doing his thing, but he just ain't caught that break yet. But now that I'm home I think that's going to change, I'm not playing.

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bun-b 8ball mjg

Bun B: I think 8ball & MJG. They been right there with us along the way. You call me a legend, you got to call them legends. Anything I've done in my career, they've done as well. They've lasted just as long as we have. We came up in the same clubs, worked the same circuit, and walked the same road. If you add up all of my fans and all of 8ball & MJG fans, it'll come to an equal number. I just think they don't get enough credit. They're not just great rappers, but they're great writers. And they really created a strong movement in this game. Them and Suave House are a force to be reckoned with in this music industry. Hopefully, next year we'll get around to Dirty South part two and honor the people we missed this year.

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Willie D Z-Ro

Willie D: I would say Z-Ro. Without a doubt. The only difference between him and the guys out here doing it big is he hasn't had the exposure. Period. He's hasn't had the exposure, I don't know why but I just know it's not there. When it's there, the world gonna know. He's one of the world's best-kept hip-hop secrets. Believe me. He got the South on lock. When people finally figure it out they going to say, "Damn!"

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Tags: 8ball-mjg, bun-b, chamillionaire, j-prince, juvenile, paul-wall, rick-ross, scarface, taraji-p-henson, uncle-luke, z-ro
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