Louisiana emcee and Cash Money label executive Birdman has recently professed that the South still does not get the credit it deserves concerning its profound impact on hip-hop culture.
During an appearance on the Renaissance Man podcast hosted by NBA legend Jalen Rose, the mogul (real name Bryan Williams) explained how the South kept hip-hop alive after the fall of the West Coast in the late 1990s.
Reflecting on last year’s HipHop50 celebrations, the businessman expressed his dissatisfaction at the level of respect shown to the South, stating, “Hip Hop 50, right? I still say that they don’t compliment the South enough for me, and I don’t respect that shit about what they doing in hip-hop, and I never will respect it ’cause the South paved a big wave of keeping hip-hop alive!”
Williams named Uncle Luke of Miami’s 2 Live Crew as a musical pioneer who doesn’t get recognised, explaining, “That man deserves a lot of respect for what he did! Luke was around before we was around. That man was huge! And he played a big part of Hip Hop when nothing was popping.”
He reiterated, “The South doesn’t get the respect that we deserve. That’s just my opinion and fuck who don’t like it.” Williams asserted that aside from Georgia, Southern states still don’t receive praise for their contribution to the culture.
During the HipHop50 celebrations last year, Uncle Luke took to Instagram to call out the event’s organisers and reassure his fans he was unscathed by their dismissal, writing, “Hip-hop fans from Florida. Don’t be upset they don’t recognise your favorite Floridian artists as part of hip-hop’s 50th-year celebrations. This industry has never considered us as hip-hop from the time I started Hip Hop in the South.”
He continued, “You can only imagine the names they called us. Country booty music trash, music. I can go on and on [about] the disrespect towards Florida hip-hop.”
He concluded, “Still to this day, we fight for our respect, and you have stood behind us every step of the way. We will continue fighting. There will be a day this year where we come together and celebrate Florida hip-hop artist from the top of the state to the bottom.”
You can watch Birdman talk about the disrespect and dismissal received by the South in the video below.