The Southern Way: UGK 's Top 12 Disciples
On April 26, 1988, 23 years ago today, UGK kicked off a long and influential career with the release of their cassette-only debut, The Southern Way. It's impossible to overstate the duo's Texas-sized influence on Southern rap.
As showcased on seminal albums like Ridin' Dirty and Super Tight, Bun B and Pimp C's slow-rolling, tough-talking grooves continue to define Dirty South soundscapes today. For proof, look no further than this list of UGK disciples, followers, and admirers.
Chamillionaire: You can make a case for every Houston rapper from the last decade being on this list. UGK's influence is evident on records of the Houston triumvirate Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Chamillionaire. Cham typifies the hustle and flow of Bun and Pimp. Besides, C. Butler was moving butts with his melodic singing way before Cham made it his trademark.
Lupe Fiasco: More admirer than follower, Lupe Fiasco has long talked about UGK's influence on Chi-town hip-hop. "They were the dynamic duo," Lupe told Peter Rosenberg at a Bun B release party. "They were the soundtrack for my neighborhood where I grew up."
Slim Thug:Thugga's DIY attitude and crusty rhymes hearken to UGK circa 90s. Thugga drags his deep, thick Texas drawl through the same themes heard on UGK's early work.
Yelawolf: Yelawolf gets his experimental side from OutKast, his hair from exotic dancers, and his zest from OutKast's Lone Star State contemporaries UGK. When he finally got the official stamp of approval on "Good to Go," off his Trunk Muzik 0-60 mixtape, he sped up his rhymes in a bid to out-perform Bun B. That was purely out of respect for his idol.
Rick Ross: Rozay has built his career on stretching snowflakes atop 808s, and chat boards will forever debate the authenticity of his drug raps. The influence of Scarface and UGK on his music, however, cannot be denied. Pimp and Bun were rhyming about that Perivian white while Rick was still a Correctional Officer in Florida.
Young Buck: Buck Marley is among a new generation of rappers who honed their craft by studying UGK's catalog. Buck showcased a combination of grit and flair on his debut, Straight Outta Cashville, something UGK perfected with their yin-yan approach.