The Playlist Special: Top Artists Pick Their Personal Top 10

Cee Lo: Southern Hip-Hop

"I feel honored to have been part of the Southern rap movement," says R&B star (and Goodie Mob member) Cee Lo Green. "The bass was key: If a song makes my license plate rattle, you know it's doing something right."






Listen: Cee Lo's Top Southern Hip-Hop Songs

  • 1.
    "We Want Some Pussy" | 2 Live Crew, 1986

    It was provocative, but I'm wild and loose, so I can appreciate their honesty.

  • 2.
    "Space Age Pimpin'" | 8Ball and MJG, 1995

    I call these guys ghetto griots. They came from Memphis and became our first representatives of real Southern rap.

  • 3.
    "The Piz" | Kilo, 1991

    Kilo was an Atlanta pioneer. He introduced that "boyz in the hizzle" slang.

  • 4.
    "Action" | Poison Clan, 1992

    They were very vocabulous, full of analogies and wordplay.

  • 5.
    "Feel The Bass (Speaker Terror Upper)" | DJ Magic Mike and the Royal Posse, 1989

    The hardest and deepest bass you've ever heard. If you had a Granada or a Caprice Classic, with the Cerwin Vega speakers, it was rock & roll to be offensive with the bass. It was a hood way of saying, "Fuck you."

  • 6.
    "Sho Nuff" | Tela, 1996

    This is a skanky song with a nice, slow, sexy groove. It definitely was a crowd-pleaser in strip clubs like Nikki's.

  • 7.
    "Watch for the Hook" | Cool Breeze feat. Outkast, Goodie Mob and Witchdoctor, 1998

    This one is fast and hard – an East Coast kind of vibe. If there was any competition between those of us on this track, it was just friendly competition. Because everyone was rhyming so differently.

  • 8.
    "Stay Fly " | Three 6 Mafia, 2005

    I love how DJ Paul and Juicy J produce something so angry and urgent. And that beat! It's a sample of [Motown singer] Willie Hutch that they turned into something just tribal.

  • 9.
    "Cell Therapy" | Goodie Mob, 1995

    I'm very proud of this song. Busta Rhymes was in the same studio as us and said, "Hey, bubbas, I want to bless you all with some knowledge. Read this book." It was a copy of [conspiracy-theorist tome] Behold a Pale Horse. I must say we were heavily influenced by it. I think Goodie Mob helped usher in a new consciousness for Southern music, and this song was a part of that.

  • 10.
    "B.O.B." | OutKast, 2000

    This was just... mega. That image, that intensity, that urgency, that groove. It was like Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" but with more of a youthful feel to it. All of us working at the time in Atlanta grew because of Outkast's success.