From Big Moe’s sultry harmonies to Lil Keke’s Southside swag, Houston rappers have heavily impacted today’s music scene. The Geto Boys informed the world that heavy spitters and storytellers lived in the South, while UGK blended church production and street melodies. The Bayou City’s sound can be admired by guests but never duplicated. Check out these classic rap songs every Houstonian Should Know.

 

  1. Mind Playing Tricks On Me – Geto Boys 

Legendary rap group Geto Boys highlighted mental health awareness in hip-hop’s early years. Released in 1991 and certified Gold by the RIAA, “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” became the lead single for their third studio album, We Can’t Be Stopped. The eerie track features piercing lyrics from Scarface and addresses paranoia, ego-tripping, and trauma in the ghetto.

 

  1. Southside - Lil Keke 

“Texas from the South, and Louisiana from the South, and Mississippi from the South, Atlanta Georgia from the South...”

This H-Town classic was an instant hit, that led with a South rollcall and made way for the “Southside” dance and fade. “Southside” was a hit single on Lil Keke’s Don’t Mess Wit Texas album. In 1998, the single spent 12 weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Charts.



  1. Big Moe - Just A Dog 

The late great Big Moe was a rapper and a singer from the Southside of Houston. 

In 1999, he released “Just A Dog” which instantly became a favorite song for DJs to play in Southern clubs. Big Moe’s unique flow and sound brought a natural groove to instrumentals that left Houston wanting more. 

 

  1. Down South - Mista Madd feat. Slim Thug & Yungstar

Did you know Mista Madd is Madd Hatta formerly from Houston radio’s 97.9 The Boxx? “Down South” was released in 1999 and had home-based guitar-strumming country-esque productions by Crazy C. “Down South” was independently released on Madd’s record label, Paid in Full Entertainment and included fire pack verses from Slim Thug and Yungstar. Mista Madd’s H-Town classic was remixed in 2019 by Houston’s new school rappers KenTheMan, LebraJolie, and OMB Bloodbath. 

 

  1. I Can Do That - Lil Flip 

Lil Flip’s “I Can Do That” was released in 2000 from his independent debut album, The Leprechaun. Lil Flip was only 18 when he caught the attention of DJ Screw who crowned him “The Freestyle King.” The success of his debut album caught the eyes of Columbia Records who gave him his first major-label contract. Lil Flip continued creating hits, releasing two certified Platinum albums back to back. 



  1. Still Tippin’ - Mike Jones feat. Slim Thug & Paul Wall 

Mike Jones came in 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, and bangin’ vibes of Houston’s SLAB culture, hypnotizing listeners to swang 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. 

 

  1. Mo City Don – Z-Ro 

“Mo City Don” was released in 2005 and quickly became a Houston anthem. The beat utilizes samples from Eric B. & Rakim’s “Paid in Full” track, which samples “Im Nin’Alu” by Israeli singer Ofra Haza, which Z-Ro beautifully chops into his sample production. Whether you’re new to Houston or visiting the city, go to a popular club or lounge and you will hear “Mo City Don” at least once. 

 

  1. Int’l 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, André 3000, and Three 6 Mafia to the mic. “Int’l Players Anthem” charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot-100, Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs, and Hot Rap Songs, and UGK’s 2007 self-titled album, Underground Kingz debuted at no. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 Chart.

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