Producer: DJ Irv / Derrick "Mellow Fellow" Ordogne & Dion Norman the Devious One
Album: N/A / Where They At
Label: Soulin / Sioul
DJ Jimi "Where They At"
TT Tucker & DJ Irv "Where Dey At"
The greatest New Orleans rap song is, in fact, two songs that are close to exactly same: TT Tucker & DJ Irv's "Where Dey At" and DJ Jimi's "Where They At." Doing little more than looping up "Drag Rap" and chanting "Where they at ho?" and other memorable vulgarities over it, the song(s) sparked a musical movement that still lives today. The story goes that TT Tucker and DJ Irv perfected and popularized the formula while working local clubs and with an out-the-trunk tape release. Then DJ Jimi polished it and took it throughout the South. Jimi's version became a staple on the Memphis scene that birthed Three 6 Mafia, and its influence over crunk-era Atlanta favorites like Lil Jon and the Ying Yang Twinz (who would repurpose Tucker's "Shake that ass Llke a salt shaker" chant) is undeniable.
Today their refrains may seem crude by traditional hip-hop standard—with repetitive lines like "Fuck David Duke!" and "Ride that dick a little harder / And a nigga might buy you a Starter!" respectively—but Tucker and Jimi connected deeply with local audiences and have had an immeasurable effect on New Orleans hip hop in the decades since. Hundreds, if not thousands, of bounce records that didn't make the cut here but are nonetheless huge hits borrowed their structure, and their cadences have been permanently burned into the brains and subsequently the flows of every rapper on this list that followed. No local rap scene owes as much to a pair of songs as New Orleans does to its two versions of "Where They At." It's hard to imagine many of today's biggest New Orleans rappers even existing without this original blueprint.