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Rick Ross Names His 10 Essential Southern Rap Tracks

The Bawse on songs by Outkast, Trick Daddy, UGK and more greats

Rick Ross
Kyle Gustafson / For The Washington Post
May 13, 2014 4:15 PM ET

Rick Ross is from Miami, but his music draws on influences from Houston, Atlanta, New Orleans and more – a rich blend of sounds that has made him one of the biggest southern rappers in recent memory. "I came in the game in '06, and I've never lost," Ross says. "We're un-fucking-touchable Jedi, man."

The 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

1. UGK, "Hi Life"
When I was in the streets, I related to this record so much. I was looking for a way to escape and get away from the everyday struggles I had, and this song let me get in that moment and clear my mind – it's chill as shit. Rest in peace, Pimp C.

2. Outkast, "Crumblin' Erb"
Back on my weed shit! Outkast's first album is one of my favorites. When I put that bitch in, I couldn't get past "Crumblin' Erb" for a month.

3. Juvenile, "Ha"
So raw. When I first saw the video, I said, "Them niggas are powerful." I saw the hunger, a young motherfucker with that passion.

4. 2 Live Crew, "Banned in the U.S.A."
This shit is just fun. Motherfuckers runnin' around the house with pretty bitches and bandanas, drinking, partying. So necessary.

5. TRU, "No Limit Soldiers"
Master P wrote the blueprint to show a motherfucker how to build a conglomerate and take over the streets. Fuck all your rules – that's what No Limit represented.

6. Eight Ball & MJG, "Comin' Out Hard"
That's that Memphis fly playa pimp shit, that cognac – smooth, real smooth. Something to smoke to with the window cracked, letting your girl feel the breeze so she gets goosebumps behind her neck.

7. Trick Daddy, "Nann Nigga"
Miami's own! This record spoke for motherfuckers around the world that lived the lifestyle that we live – and it's where Trick Daddy introduced Trina to the game.

8. B.G. feat. Hot Boys and Big Tymers, "Bling Bling"
When I saw these guys from the middle of the projects with helicopters and Rolls Royces, it was like they were saying, "Let's get this money. Let's shine. You could do it, too."

9. Geto Boys, "Mind Playing Tricks On Me"
Just think about Scarface and all the timeless classics he brought to the game. What he did with songs like this was big. Shout out to Houston – Geto Boys, Rap-a-Lot, DJ Screw, Fat Pat, the list goes on.

10. Three 6 Mafia, "Tear Da Club Up"
I have to end this list with Three 6. Those were the early days of true independence. Salute them homies, and RIP to Lord Infamous.​

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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