AHH’s Top 10 Southern Hip-Hop Albums of All-Time

Lately, Southern Hip-Hop has been anything but hospitable. The beef between Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane is still on people’s minds. Lil Wayne’s current controversies over his Emmett Till lyrics and his claiming to be intimate with Chris Bosh’s wife have left many scratching their heads.

AllHipHop.com decided to look back at some of the South’s finer Hip-Hop moments by creating a list of its greatest LPs.  These great pieces of work have stood the test of time, brought attention to amazing talent, and changed rap forever and for the better.

Andre 3000 once famously proclaimed, “The South got something to say,” and he was right.  So, without further adieu, here are the albums that speak up the most: The 10 Greatest Southern Hip-Hop Albums of All-Time.


Master P - Ghetto D (1997)

10). Ghetto D –  Master P (1997)

It is no secret that Master P is not in the upper echelon of skilled rappers.  However, this album is still very important to southern rap.  On Ghetto D, more so than any other No Limit release, Percy Miller and company combine elements of East (Bad Boy’s jacking of popular tunes) and West (Death Row’s hardcore content) to create something significant for the South.  And for that reason alone, it has earned a place in Hip-Hop history.


9). Back for the First Time – Ludacris (2000)

Ludacris’ first Def Jam album is actually a repackaged version of his independently released Incognegro with the addition of four new tracks.  The fact that most of the music is being re-released is a testament to the quality of Luda’s material.  And the added songs, especially “Southern Hospitality,” proved that the former Atlanta disc jockey could hold his own in the big leagues.  In the span of thirteen years, Ludacris has clearly lived up to his potential and then some by reaching legendary status as a rapper.

Eightball & MJG

8). In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1 – Eightball & MJG (1999)

The beats use live instruments instead of samples, and the lyrics come across as an audio autobiography.  “Paid Dues,” for example, plays like their version of EPMD’s “Please Listen to My Demo” with the two Memphis rappers reliving their come-up in rap.  When Eightball starts the second verse with, “A C-note for a concert, I know that sounds preposterous/ N***a, we didn’t have a pot to piss/ So we got on stage and rocked the b***h,” it’s hard not to be moved.


7). 400 Degreez – Juvenile (1998)

Prior to Lil Wayne’s ascent, this was the LP that all of Cash Money’s albums were compared to.  And for good reason: multiplatinum sales, hit singles, original flows, and a producer, Mannie Fresh, who lived up to his name.  The project also not only showcased Juvenile’s rapping talent, but also served as a stage for the rest of the label’s roster to shine as well.  400 Degreez proved that the $30 million dollar distribution deal Universal had with Cash Money was worth every penny.

Devin tha Dude

6). Just Tryin’ ta Live – Devin the Dude (2002)

“Who’s That Man Moma?” finds Devin the Dude rapping about young children in the crowd at his Hip-Hop show and “Lacville ’79” has him giving props to a lemon.  With these things in mind,  know that Mr. Copeland takes conventional Hip-Hop topics and gives them his own personal touch with humor and honesty to a fault in 16 songs.  The result is a funny, endearing, and crude collection of records that cohesively form one of the most amazing (and overlooked) albums that the Hip-Hop genre has produced.


5). Trap Muzik – T.I. (2003)

This album justifies T.I. calling himself, “King of the South.”  The theme of hustling is nothing new to Hip-Hop, but T.I. explains it in such detail that the content still manages to come across as unique.  And rather than glorify the trap, he encourages listeners to learn from the error of his ways.  Additionally, the album’s production does an excellent job of complementing T.I.‘s delivery and supporting his claims to be, “a legend in my own time” and “a prophet in my own rhymes.”


4). Ridin’ Dirty – UGK (1996)

Bun B and Pimp C have a helluva project with Ridin’ Dirty.  It masterfully combines the vibes of soul music with the gritty realities of the tough Texas streets.  “One Day” is about how fragile life is, while “Murder” depicts violence at level that would even make Martin Scorsese cringe.  And those are just the first two songs.  By the end, it’s no surprise that this album is hailed as a classic, or that it has influenced so many emcees since its release.


3). The Fix – Scarface (2002)

During Scarface’s stint as the President of Def Jam South, he released a landmark album of his own, The Fix.  On it, the veteran emcee tackles heavy themes such as spirituality, death, and artistic integrity.  And to help get his messages across, he enlisted the likes of current producers Kanye West and The Neptunes for beats.  The outstanding instrumentals they provided matched perfectly with Face’s baritone delivery and the songs that came forth from those sessions are some of the most thought-provoking rap records ever made.


2). The Resurrection – Geto Boys (1996)

After years apart, Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill reunited to create the strongest album in the Geto Boys’ catalogue.  Lyrically, the album has a bit more of a political slant to it and the production is at a higher level than their previous work.  But this is the Geto Boys, and they reassured people they were the still real deal by getting Larry Hoover [former leader of the Chicago gang called Gangster Disciples] to call from jail to be on the project.


1). Aquemini – Outkast (1998)

Aquemini is a masterpiece of an album.  It’s ambitious (“SpottieOttieDopaliscious”) and it’s authentic (“Rosa Parks”).  It’s jazz (“Liberation”) and it’s rock (“Chonkyfire”).  And the list goes on.  In every way possible, Outkast’s third album pushed the boundaries of what Hip-Hop could be and yet still sounded very rooted in Southern culture.  It shouldn’t work, but it does and that is why it is nothing short of brilliant and the best Hip-Hop album to emerge from below the Mason Dixon Line.

Honorable Mentions:

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik – Outkast (1994)

The Diary – Scarface (1994)

Word of Mouf – Ludacris (2001)

Let the debate(s) begin!  What do you think?  Share your feedback and opinions in the comments section!

105 Responses to “AHH’s Top 10 Southern Hip-Hop Albums of All-Time”

  1. johnblacksad

    Not a bad list… but definitely incorrect without Lil Keke!

    Lil Keke – The Commission <——— (THIS!! fcukin flawless album, ya hear me?! FCUKIN FLAWLESS!!)

    Young Jeezy – Let's get it : Thug Motivation 101

    • Cross7

      I don’t know about Lil Keke (Haven’t heard that album) but I’d say that’s still a really tough choice. TM101 is def a classic though.

  2. kitchenmagician

    Pretty good list, but what about
    Goodie Mob – Soul Food
    Scarface – Diary
    Three Six Mafia – When the Smoke Clears

  3. Shaf

    on top o the world,( 8bal and mjg, soulfood(goodiemob), and world domination(36maia) should be on this list., maybe b.g. choope city also

  4. mike h

    i always thought 8ball & mjg on top of the world was the most classical from them. o well…
    i also agree. the first goodie mob.

  5. wizefire

    the Diary is better than the fix so why is the fix here.. and Big Mike’s first album should be here too… Soul Food Goodie Mob

  6. Lamar Star

    The list really should have been longer

    Goodie mobb – Soul food

    All Outkast albus except speaker box and the love below

    Eightball & MJG – Comin out hard

    Three six mafia – The end

    Kingpin skinny pimp -King of the playas ball

    Tommy Wright ||| – On the run

    Playa Fly – Fly shit

    TRU – TRUE

    Fiend – Theres one in every family

    Master P – Ice cream man

  7. FaSho Money Prince

    SpeakerBoxx/TheLoveBelow is an album that is so great it is above any music genre and should have been number one easily….

    • johnblacksad

      very honestly… i fcukin loved ATLiens when it came out… but i also fcukin loved Aquemini when it came out… i would really put both on par (or actually even put Aquemini just a lil ahead… you know i’m a wu-tang fan, so that skew it on bbq, spottieottiedopalicious etc… plus they were getting more and more fame at the time… i dunno… i do respect ATLiens a lot, i used to bump that when nobody around me knew about Outkast… i just loved the Elevators video on MTV Yo raps… then i bought the album… discovered the comic strip in the cover, the naked broad on tha disc, the intro… OMG the fuckin intro… 2dopeboysinacaddie… given your avi name i don’t need to say mo’… ATLiens… Wheelz of Steel… Jazzy Belle… Elevators… etc.. (all this off the head…) Ova da Wudz, Babylon… etc… great album indeed… real talk i couldn’t choose between the too…


    Ok AHH this list is only half correct. Now since ya’ll not from the south im going to fault e that for your fucc-ups. Now #1 Scarface and Devin both belong on this list but the correct albums for them would have been “The Diary” for Scarface and “The Dude” for Devin. Now as far as 8Ball and MJG your selection is also a classic but their “On Top of the World” album would have been better. Now Ludacris is a wonderful rapper but due to him coming out so late in the 90s you have to replace him with Goodie Mob and their “Soul Food” classic LP. T.I. is a good rapper too but since he lied on Lil Flip for his fame he does not count plus he could be replaced with someone more appropriate for this list you have to understand that a list like this can only represent the builders of the Southern Foundation and he is a 2nd Gen artist he cannot count. T.I should be replaced with Tela and his “Peice of Mind” Lp. Also I almost forgot The Geto Boys album that you picced was incorect as well that should have been the “We Can’t be Stopped” album which contained their most famous “Minds Playing Tricks on Me”. Now if you talk Outkast you got that right even though you could have picced another one Aquiemeni is such a Classic. As far as UGK went that was correct as well but I would have put it higher on the list. Now if you make these nessesary changes then your list will be spot on.

    • Big Dog

      Im from the south too and TI deserves to b on this list he started that whole trap music movement, even if he is a 2nd generation artist he is one of the few 2nd gen. who has put out alot of classic material

  9. Mitchell Patterson

    I appreciate this list, but you got a lot of people’s 2nd best albums on here. All three of your honorable mentions, for instance are classics. And on top of the world should be #2. And to put it in perspective, if you’re from the east, it’s like saying it was written is Nas best album – it’s my favorite – but I know it’s not his best.

  10. TylerC

    I can agree with most but King was one of the most underrated TIP albums. That should be in there. Also Chamillionaire or Mike Jones deserve some love…
    Other than that, fresh list

    • johnblacksad

      dayum i forgot about King!!! that album is the bizness… i’d actually say that’s TIP best album, at least on par with Trap Muzik (very solid too)… off the head, i can name King, Front Back, What you know, Talkin To you, Ride with me, Top Back, I’m Straight (ma song!), that song with Jamie Foxx, Undertaker… etc… Why you wanna go and do that etc… King is definitely one of the best albums to come out da souf!

  11. OnlyFaDaReal

    Despite how Lil Wayne acting right now, I think Tha Carter 3 shoulda at least got a honorable mention spot…nice list tho!

  12. Quentin Bryant

    ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm no kilo, 3/6 mafia, posion clan, 2 live crew, trick daddy, goodie mob, pastor troy on your top 10, damn what happened to killer mike -rap music album that was one of three hip hop albums on rolling stones top 100 albums for 2012. the first 3 ball/mjg albums are classics, the first outkast album is a cult classic but there all classics. ummmmmmmmm the first scarface album. im not mad atcha , just redo your home work.

  13. Phil The Great

    Man there are too many classics down here to just make a 10 list. We embrace everything down here that has the accents and talks about the life we live. People like UGK, Scarface, Outkast/Goodie Mob, T.I., 8ball and MJG, Master P, The original camp of Cash Money, 3-6 back in the day and gentlemen of that nature are great at depicting and portraying different points of southern lifestyle without making it look all “sugarry”.

  14. Jason Tolbert

    This list sucks!! It’s obvious that the judges of these top ten were born in a time frame where they could not appreciate the impact that was made by certain groups especially the ones listed. The number #1 Album should have been Outkast but it wasSouthernplayalisticadillacmuzik. I’d say Ghetto boys but I’m not sure it would be that album, and Scarface had better albums than the Fix in his early day and so did MJG.
    As one person said you didn’t even list Goodie Mob with their first album Soul Food?? No 36Mafia…No BG or Lil Wayne? Devin the Dude may have had a cool CD but all the tracks were similiar and there was no variation and he didnt evolve the sound or break nationally or impact others style and sound which matters..and its not about sales and mass appeal either because sales or who produced ya video and music wasnt a corner stone of the product back then like now.
    We’re talking best in the south yet you don’t have Two Live Crew which everyone was playing before many of these artists were out in the mid late 80s?? The broke mainstream before there was such a thing. You got UGK in there but I’m not sure if that album is better than earlier stuff. Juvenile is good because he broke the rest of the Hot Boyz and Cash Money. But it’s obvious they didn’t consider prior to 1996 which tells me the judges of this are young and don’t know the history of rap so they should have sought someone out with the historical knowledge to get a more accurate picture of what is best in the south as for top ten! SMH….Amateurs..

    • johnblacksad

      just on UGK… i do think Ridin Dirty is their most ‘mature’ album out of their early work…

      on the rest you nailed it on too many points to argue… it’s funny how i was convinced i was gonna find 2live crew on the list when i was clickin… because as far as opening lanes for the south, you def gotta throw that in there… but then again it’s always hard to decide which criterias to go by…

      with all due respect tho, i really don’t think Luda belongs on the list… it’s a lot of other albums that gotta be put in there first…

      Goodie Mob should have been there too…

    • Quentin Bryant

      words out of my own mouth, no 2 live crew, poision clan which jt money was considered the nas of the south in the early 90s and no kilo. smh

  15. just_some_bastard #ALCOHOLIC

    while i like several albums on the list, I didn’t like the list its self. I don’t see how master p could beon the list at all. there are too many other reasons to type why I didn’t like this list.

  16. sa

    lil wayne- Tha Carter
    jeezy- TM 101
    t.i- King.
    curren$y- Polite Talk
    outkast- SpeakerBoxx/Love Below
    three 6 mafia- When the Smoke Clears
    project pat- Ghetty Green
    ugk- Dirty Money
    nelly- Country Grammar
    lil boosie- Badazz

  17. Eric

    Bullshit. 400 degreez (juvie), Coming Out Hard (8ball MJG), Piece of Mind (Tela) ATLIENS (Outkast), Supa Tight (UGK), Another Day Another Balla (South Circle), Shell Shocked (Mac), I agree with Riding Dirty, Aquemeni, and Trap Muzik

  18. Mitchell Patterson

    I can’t let it go. I had to come back. Man, get TI and Luda off this list!! – Def Jam South? never that. and where is Rap-A-Lot? I loved the Resurrection, but c’mon son?! What about We Cant Be Stopped! Something Serious? replace TI nem with Goodie, 3-6, Trick Daddy, DOC(oh I guess he ain’t from the south to yall) Ok I get it – I’m old. But damn you said All time. You never heard of Tela? Man, Ball’s first solo> Tip’s whole career. I won’t lie I bought every last one of these tapes/CDs on this list. but like ol boy said Luda and tip is 2nd gen

  19. Quentin Bryant

    1. outkast

    2. scarface

    3, 8 ball / mjg

    4.goodie mob

    5. 2 live crew

    6. geto boys

    7. kilo

    8.3/6 mafia

    9. poision clan


    11. tela

    12.devin the dude
    13, trick daddy
    hear are a few of the south all times greatness majority of these artist should and can have a greatest of all time album from the south.
    1. DJ SCREW
    3. DJ JELLY

  20. Ineed Allofmines

    Glad to see the Geto Boy’s “The Resurrection” and UGK’s “Ridin’ Dirty” make this list. Two of my all-time favorite rap albums that rarely get noticed as classic albums. These are two rap albums you can let play all the way through w/o fast fowarding a single track, and they both dropped in ’96, too.

  21. toreal

    UGK- Super Tight

    8Ball MJG- Coming out hard

    Mac- Shell Shocked

    Goodie Mob- Soul Food

    Ghetto Boys- We can’t be stopped

    Mystical- Mind of Mystical

    Juvenile -400 Degree

    Tru- Bout part 2

  22. i'mreloaded!

    Goodie Mob- Soul Food
    Outkast- Elevators
    8ball & MJG- Comin Out Hard
    Scarface- My Homies
    Trick Daddy- Chapter AK Verse 47
    TRU- Tru 2 Da Game
    Bout It Sdtk
    Pastor Troy- Face Off
    Geto Boys- We Can’t Be Stopped
    T.I.- I’m Serious
    Would be easier if it were top 20.

  23. $18592567

    400 Degreez is better than many of the albums listed ahead of it and should be at least #4… Ridin’ Dirty should be number 1 or 2 due to the influence it has on Southern rappers. The Fix was dope af and should be number between number 3 and 5. Speakerboxx/Love Below is NUMBER 1 (hands down)…

  24. Dave Williams

    i dont do dirty south rap alot of them in my opinion have no rhyme skills but a few some on the list too but what happend to Oukast first Album ? that should be up there that was a classic

    • johnblacksad

      “alot of them in my opinion have no rhyme skills” huh??!!

      i’m sure you’ve heard what they say about opinions… listen to Bun-b verses on Ridin Dirty… check out Lil Keke… just to name a very few… your are forgiven for admitting you don’t do dirty south rap-a-lot… (ha!)

  25. brotha_man

    outkast – atliens
    8ball mjg – on the outside looking in
    3 six mafia- the end
    goodie mob – soul food
    too live crew – nasty as I wanna be
    mystikal – unpredictable
    hot boyz – guerilla warfare
    Master p- cream man
    UGK – Riding dirty
    Trick Daddy – Thugs R us

  26. Eli Pinilla

    Whees “soul food”!?! And “comin out hard” is 8ball and mjg best album!!!! Clispe “lord willin” and young jeezy “tm103” shit, even “kings of crunk” and “the diary” is more classic then the “the fix” even though thats my shit too

      • Eli Pinilla

        Mos def!!!! At first, I wasnt feelin it even though put on was mushit..but after ridin too it, I think its his second best for sure. He suprised the hell outta me with that one

  27. Cross7

    I agree with this list for the most part. Everyone’s saying there’s too many classics to just list 10 but you’ve got to think. What albums have had a lasting impact? So when you add commercial and critical acclaim, and cultural impact these albums stand out.

    I might swap out certain records, like I’d take Ludacris out for Jeezy’s TM101, but that’s about it.

  28. Brent Folks

    This list is a little off base. Too many times top ten list are ruined by popularity rather than actual value to the game. I don’t have a top ten (because limiting to ten is just disrespectful), but I have a list that shook the music game up.

    1. Project Pat – Mista Don’t Play,Ghetty Green

    2. Master P – Ghetto D, The Last Don

    3. UGK – Ridin Dirty

    4. Young Jeezy – TM 101

    5. Juvenile – 400 Degreez

    6. Outkast – ATLiens,Aquemini

    7. 3 6 Mafia – When the Smoke Clears

    8. T.I. – Trap Muzik

    9. Goodie Mob – Soul Food

    10. 2 Live crew – Banned in the USA

    11. Ball and G – In Our Lifetime

    12 Swisha House – The Day Hell Broke Loose
    13. Silkk the Shocker – Charge it 2 Da Game
    14. C-Murder – Life or Death
    15. Scarface – The Diary, The Fix
    16. Devin the Dude & Coughee Bros
    No disrespect to anything left off but these just came to mind

  29. Spin Unoh


  30. box5

    I hate personal list smh, devin is that dude but he don’t deserve top 10, no 2 live or 3 6? And the diary is better than the fix, yell™

  31. Int'l J

    Pastor Troy – We ready… I Declare War

    One of the best storytelling albums ever…. Whether above or below the Mason Dixon Line! The only album that comes within miles is The Sporty Thievez – Street Cinema!

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