Classic Rap Songs Every Houstonian Should Know
From the sultry harmonies of Big Moe to the Southside swag of Lil Keke, Houston rappers have heavily influenced today’s music scene. The Geto Boys informed the world that big spitters and storytellers lived in the South, while the UGK mixed church production with street tunes. The sound of the Bayou City can be admired by guests but never reproduced. Check out these classic rap songs every Houstonian should know.
- Mind Playing Tricks On Me – Geto Boys
Legendary rap group Geto Boys highlighted mental health awareness in the early years of hip-hop. Released in 1991 and certified Gold by the RIAA, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” became the lead single from their third studio album, We can’t be stopped. The eerie track features piercing Scarface lyrics and addresses paranoia, ego-tripping and trauma in the ghetto.
- South Side – Lil Keke
“South Texas, South Louisiana and South Mississippi, Atlanta South Georgia…”
This H-Town classic was an instant hit, which led to a southern call and gave way to the dance and fade “Southside.” “Southside” was a hit single on Lil Keke Do not mess With Texas album. In 1998, the single spent 12 weeks on the US Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Charts.
- Big Moe – Just a Dog
The late great Big Moe was a rapper and singer from Southside Houston.
In 1999 he released “Just A Dog” which instantly became a favorite DJ song to play in Southern clubs. Big Moe’s unique flow and sound brought a natural groove to the instrumentals that left Houston wanting more.
- Down South – Mista Madd feat. Slim Thug & Yungstar
Did you know that Mista Madd is Madd Hatta, formerly of 97.9 The Boxx on Houston radio? “Down South” was released in 1999 and had country guitar productions by Crazy C. “Down South” was released independently on Madd’s label, Paid in Full Entertainment and featured fiery verses by Slim Thug and Yungstar. Mista Madd’s H-Town classic was remixed in 2019 by Houston new-school rappers KenTheMan, LebraJolie and OMB Bloodbath.
- I can do this – Lil Flip
Lil Flip’s “I Can Do That” was released in 2000 from his independent debut album, The Elf. Lil Flip was just 18 when he caught the eye of DJ Screw who crowned him “The Freestyle King”. The success of his first album attracted the attention of Columbia Records, which offered him his first contract with a major label. Lil Flip continued to create hits, releasing two Platinum-certified albums back-to-back.
- Still Tippin’ – Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall
Mike Jones came into the rap game with arrogance and vengeance, and he had the lyrics to back it up on his 2005 single “Still Tippin.” “Still Tippin” captured the slow, loud, hard-hitting vibes of Houston’s SLAB culture. , mesmerizing listeners to shake their cars on any boulevard. The track charted on the US Billboard Hot 100, US Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs, and US Rap Songs charts, and was certified RIAA Platinum in 2006.
- Mo City Don – Z-Ro
“Mo City Don” was released in 2005 and quickly became a Houston anthem. The beat uses samples from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Paid in Full” track, which samples Israeli singer Ofra Haza’s “Im Nin’Alu”, which Z-Ro incorporates beautifully into his sample production. Whether you’re new to Houston or just visiting the city, go to a popular club or lounge and you’ll hear “Mo City Don” at least once.
- International players anthem (I choose you) – UGK feat. Outkast & Three 6 Mafia
Released in 2007, “International Players Anthem” is the ultimate Southern collaboration. The track brought heavy hitters like Pimp C, Bun-B, Big Boi, Andre 3000 and Three 6 Mafia to the mic. “Int’l Players Anthem” charted on the US Billboard Hot-100, Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs, and UGK’s 2007 self-titled album, underground king debuted at no. 1 on the US Billboard 200.