I love the way that I can jump topics and showcase my range with this blog, so much so I should have probably been born a Gemini.
No worries, but I’m gonna continue to hold it down for my Scorpio delegation ’cause you never know where I am willing to go.
Rightfully so, I plan to continue keeping you all on your toes and continue to shape shift through topics.
Now let us get on with this week and put on for the 90s and 2000s.
Besides…we will all forever be down with doing it for the 90s and 2000s so this post is more than essential right now.
If you know anything about anything you know The South had us all in a chokehold with their takeover of 90s and early 2000s Hip-Hop.
Plus, if you know anything about me, this era still got me in a chokehold.
I challenge anybody to put up their playlist, but it is not hitting on mine!
I blame my parents for my love of this era more than anything. They were having fun and raising a child all at the same time…I call that balance! Naturally, I grew up on a lot of different music as a child, which solidified my impeccable future musical taste of today.
My musical catalog is extensive. I will take you on a journey from past to present and back again to ask about me.
I must say my parents encouraged my mind always, most importantly, my need to research, so I always had access to their music and any artifacts that showcased the best eras they lived through.
In the present era we live through it is all about instant gratification with everything, so much so that the past is often forgotten and left behind.
Yet, we cannot forget who paved the way for the rappers of the now.
These two iconic rappers deserve their praise from then and now, hopefully this post will do them some justice and raise awareness for their current circumstances.
Fortunately for you I am here to tell these stories today, so without further ado I give you a full run down on the rise and fate of two of the world’s biggest trendsetting rappers to ever put on for Louisiana or The South period, B.G. and C-Murder.
B.G. Is Your Number One Original Hot Boy
“I stay flossed out all through the week/My money long if you don’t know I’m the B.G.” –B.G. “Bling Bling”
B.G. came across my radar through my dad’s daily rotation of The Hot Boys albums as a kid.
I can remember listening to The Hot Boys almost on a loop as I played all throughout the house.
The Hot Boys (1997-2003) consisted of four top tier rappers from the Magnolia projects by the names of Lil’ Wayne, Juvenile, B.G., and Turk.
Their Cash Money record label was on fire under the control of Birdman and his brother Slim.
If you are unfamiliar with The Hot Boys…I promise you are living under a rock!
When they came together as The Hot Boys it was like the teaming up of The Black X-Men.
Nonetheless, their solo albums were just as good, because they helped them stand out and showcase the skills that each four had brought to the group.
B.G. was something special because his flow was just different, very gritty, and experienced. That New Orleans Southern drawl is not to be missed or underestimated.
B.G. is short for Baby Gangsta because he was young and gettin’ it how he lived in the Louisiana streets.
He was originally signed to Cash Money as a solo act in 1994 after rapping for Birdman in a local barbershop a year earlier.
He began to create his musical catalog that we know today starting with Chopper City (1996).
After releasing three solid musical bodies of work, he debuted his most famous work of today Chopper City in The Ghetto (1999) which coincided with Cash Money Records signing their Universal Records deal.
Chopper City in The Ghetto is certified platinum. The album spawned the hit that we have come to know and love, “Bling Bling” featuring Birdman, Manny Fresh, Lil’ Wayne, Turk, and Juvenile. “Bling Bling” in Hip-Hop refers to the sound and flashiness of jewelry worn by rappers and entertainers alike.
This album alone has led to a phrase “Bling Bling” being added to The Oxford Dictionary in 2003.
B.G.’s albums often portray stories from his past dealing drugs, street life, women, and rise to fame. B.G. is not afraid to touch on any aspect of his life because he was a product of his environment, and it is typical in Hip-Hop to tell stories, possess a braggadocious ego, and be creative.
B.G. has been very transparent in his music so much so that after leaving Cash Money Records, he started his own label called Chopper City where he released the controversial Life After Cash Money (2004).
I know it might come across as messy (spare me the politics), but this is my favorite B.G. album. Yes, it is controversial, I understand that, and I am not about spewing beef. The media has done that to the max with the East Coast versus West Coast beef (Biggie Smalls v. Tupac) and yet they still have not learned their lesson.
Regardless, this album is my favorite because B.G. was telling his truth as he saw fit regardless of however it looked to the outside world. This was when the music was real, it was not about a publicity stunt or looking and acting “gangsta.” Back then, the albums spoke for themselves, and artists did not have to depend on a viral moment from a press run or social media traffic to sell records.
I say this “real recognize real” era ended in the early 2000s.
Any who, let us get back to our number one original Hot Boy.
Life After Cash Money established B.G. like never before because it truly allowed the audience to see he could stand alone. There was no major label behind him, and he could still pull his own weight. After all, he was the talent no ghostwriter needed, just B.G. and a producer would do.
Life After Cash Money’s narrative answered the questions: Who is B.G. without Cash Money Records and why would B.G. ever leave?
Some might have thought B.G. might be committing career suicide by jumping The Cash Money ship and making it to shore with a Chopper City life raft.
B.G. had that grind and hustle that would allow him to bounce back with “My Life” on Life After Cash Money where he would go on to tell his life story by his government name Christopher Dorsey.
B.G. gave a timeline or an autobiography if you will, of his birth, his parents, his upbringing, hustling, drug use, rise to fame, and ultimately his reason for leaving Cash Money on “My Life.”
Remarkably, on the same song, he still held out hope for a Hot Boys reunion.
Overall, B.G.’s Life After Cash Money was bold in every way with his storytelling and beat picking ability.
I can’t forget to mention the two big name features from ATL royalty T.I. and The Ying-Yang Twins.
My favorite song off the album is “Don’t Talk to Me.” The song is broken up into two parts and paints the picture of B.G. as the underdog who has risen above his drug addiction, ready to take the rap game by storm, and capitalize off his departure from his former label. This song is motivation for me because after everything I have been through, like B.G. I have chosen to keep fighting so don’t talk to me about what I can’t do.
The album is timeless for its songs that are four or five minutes long, which nowadays are a rarity in today’s music scene where songs range between a minute and thirty to two minutes long. The album in its entirety is roughly seventy-seven minutes long, but it is worth the whole listen because there are no skips.
He worked hard to establish his rebirth as a solo artist and CEO of Chopper City Records releasing countless albums.
B.G. was thriving and living his best life until he caught his case in 2009.
The infamous case started with a 2009 traffic stop in Eastern Louisiana where he was found to be in possession of a firearm, in which he allegedly pushed an associate to take ownership of said weapon.
He later confessed to both crimes of possession and witness tampering. Thus, leading to his conviction in 2012 where he was given fourteen years for the crimes. Currently he has been in prison for over a decade at forty-one years old.
B.G. has pursued the path of petition with a letter where he took accountability for his past actions for early release in 2020, but he was denied.
However, he has a potential release date of 2023
Although, B.G. has had a rough past from fame and street living. He should not be forgotten. Life can be rough, especially with the cards he was dealt.
His music is a testament to his struggle, and he takes accountability. The way I see it, glorification is a mere coping method or mirage for the painting that is a cautionary tale of survival. Louisiana living is simplified here as doing everything you can to live, but do not turn your back on where you came from.
The environment he has grown up in makes it hard to see the light, looking into his life story, goes to show that surviving is no easy feat especially in the ruthless projects of New Orleans, Louisiana.
In the words of fellow member Hot Boy Turk, “It’s not free B.G., It’s B.G. free.”
C-Murder is A TRU No Limit Soldier
“They thought I was dead but I’m still in it/I’m back to life back on top ain’t no limit.” –C-Murder, “A 2nd Chance”
My introduction to C-Murder differs slightly because it involves a lot of middlemen. My dad hardly listened to C-Murder, but he had a Master P cassette tape that he got from who knows where amongst his collection of music. I cannot be sure what the name of it was, but I managed to play it since I had to be in elementary school at the time.
I remember shuffling through the songs, but it did not really stick at the time. I asked my dad about it, but he really did not give me much information. Since I have grown up, we have discussed Southern music in detail and if he had to choose sides he is always going to pick the side of Cash Money’s Hot Boys, but if you need the full debrief you would have to ask my dad…so good luck with that.
It was not until my early teenage years when I would stumble upon No Limit Records in its entirety.
I had on a whim picked up Death Around The Corner by C-Murder at my local library. The cover as you can imagine from here caught my eye for sure. I had to see what it was all about because from my first impression I immediately thought life and death is going to be about the fast life.
Of course, I was right. It was still an interesting read because one of the most iconic “hood certified” rappers painted a visual picture with his words. I had never seen fiction from a musical artist at this point, so I was floored.
The book did not seem repetitive given these were some of the same themes he touched on in his music.
The book tells the story of Daquan Watson’s life growing up in the Calliope projects in New Orleans, Louisiana. Daquan’s tale is portrayed as a coming-of-age narrative from age five to adulthood. His neighborhood is fueled by violence, drugs, poverty, and death.
Daquan is swept up into the madness that the streets have to offer and in turn, he serves some time in prison due to his actions. Determined to make a better life for himself and leave his former life behind he gravitates toward Hip-Hop.
The greatness of the novel is something you will have to read for yourself, I would rather not give you too many spoilers here…but be sure to thank me later.
This novel made me sympathize with C-Murder because I did not know his story until I read the short blurb about him mentioned in the book. I had only known him to be one of Master P’s brothers. I read that he was incarcerated, and that was all it took for my researcher senses to start firing off.
I began researching his case and career online, but there was only so much I could read or comprehend as an early teenager. It would still be some time that would pass before I would finally hear his music for myself. I would say it would not be until a year or two later that we would come across a movie box set of “hood classics” that would happen to have Master P’s Hot Boyz included in the collection. This was purely coincidental, thanks to the past “Five Dollar Movie Bins” at Walmart.
Now before you say anything about the irony of No Limit Films using the title “Hot Boyz” when there was already a Hot Boys rap group, let us continue rolling ahead because it has no bearing on the premise of the movie. I love both the Hot Boyz movie and Hot Boys the group. I am entertaining writing about the two in a future civil blog post Cash Money Records and No Limit have quite the iconic history in their own rights.
The Hot Boyz film (2000) is about Kool (Silkk The Shocker) an aspiring rap artist whose girlfriend gets set up for the murder of a police officer, in efforts to clear her name, as an informant immerses himself in the criminal underworld to clear her name.
The film is entertaining to say the least, but the soundtrack is even better. In fact, the soundtrack exposed me to the best No Limit Records had to offer. The soundtrack is responsible for me hearing my favorite C-Murder song called “Like A Jungle.”
C-Murder’s part in the movie was small, but the film fueled my interest in him and how he rose to fame.
Master P was responsible for putting his brothers on his label No Limit Records. The brothers formed the musical group TRU (The Real Untouchables) in 1989. They took the world by storm and dominated the 90s with hits back-to-back and production from the in-house producing work of Beats by the Pound.
The end of an era brought us 1998’s Life or Death by C-Murder. The album’s title speaks for itself with themes of street tales from the mind of No Limit Soldier C-Murder. The album would later go on to reach platinum status.
My favorite song off the album is “A 2nd Chance” (featuring Master P & Silkk The Shocker) it talks C-Murder’s reflection of living the fast life from underworld activities, fake friends and what it is like in the Calliope projects.
The song explains the hard circumstances of his hometown when there is no other option to take care of yourself, why people turn to the streets, and consequences being the grave or prison.
Unfortunately, early during the dawn of a new millennium, in 2002 C-Murder would see himself living out the fate of a cautionary tale best described by his music.
In 2002, Corey “C-Murder” Miller attended the now closed Platinum Club in Harvey, Louisiana where the attack of 16-year-old Steven Thomas was fatally shot. He was arrested in connection with the murder six days later. Since his arrest, the details and the case have been soiled with coercion and unreliable testimony.
Yet, C-Murder has been sentenced to life in prison for his alleged role in the murder of Thomas.
C-Murder maintains his innocence and continues to appeal for his freedom. More details about the case continue to come to light. Hopefully, true justice can be served soon for both families because the system has yet to provide it.
B.G. And C-Murder Are The Culture
Both B.G. and C-Murder have represented The South their whole career. I know I am not speaking just for myself when I say the fans want to see them flourish and rise again. They have contributed heavily to Hip-Hop with their respective groups and their solo careers.
I know when they are granted their freedom…I am not saying if because they should be free one day, that a VerzuzTv event should be set up. I am going to need a percentage up front for this, because you heard it here first, a Bad Boyz: Hot Boys of Louisiana event where they each play twenty hits from two incredible catalogs.
If not a Verzuz, they each could do a tour with their former groups because a Hot Boys and TRU tour would be iconic in 2022.
I would love it even more to see everyone put their differences aside, put on for Louisiana, for both groups to rack in what their due, but that may be a bit on the fairytale side because politics can run deep.
Maybe, it is not too far of a stretch though because B.G. and C-Murder collaborated on 2005’s “Y’all Heard of Me” from C-Murder’s album The TRUest Sh*t I Ever Said.
All in all, they have equally had an amazing impact on the culture and their bodies of work will continue to influence the culture.
Last Minute Thoughts…
I must say, writing this blog has been truly therapeutic for me. The most major is my ability to recall and travel in time using my mind to memories of childhood. I found myself reliving them, grateful for their impact on my life today.
Although my dad was the one to expose me to Southern Hip-Hop, it also helped me to feel closer to my mom’s family seeing as her family comes from Louisiana. Mainly, I feel more in touch with my roots. I envision what it was like to live there, and I feel like I have traveled through the music. One day, I plan to go there and experience the culture in person.
Thankfully, my parents have helped influence my taste in music and always encouraged me to research my interests are the other reasons. My love for music is almost as strong as my love for writing. If anyone were to ask me, I would say I might have missed my calling to be an A&R (that may or may not still be Plan C).
I find myself somehow living in another world where 90s and early 2000s Hip-Hop/R&B still rules the world or maybe I am just permanently stuck there?
More importantly, B.G. and C-Murder should not be forgotten.
I wrote this post to raise awareness for their influential careers and unfortunate situations. The justice system in Louisiana is still one of the harshest, especially for African Americans and it is time for change. These men have been isolated from society for way too long.
Currently, the state of Rap and our criminal system is in shambles. Rappers are being seen as guilty before they can even get the chance to plea for their innocence. Unfortunately, their reputation and careers often are used against them despite whether they are guilty or not.
Still, these celebrities are human and fall victim to the same fate as any regular citizen because fame is not always the shield, we may think it is.
B.G. and C-Murder’s cases make me reflect on just how much Black bodies are not protected or respected. We are often sentenced with the harshest time, killed, beaten, or forgotten. Yet, our culture is the most impactful to be repackaged, dissected, and copied for a profit or aesthetic.
No matter how much they try to erase, re-write, and study, our presence will always be felt.
B.G. and C-Murder will be released one day soon…I am sure of it.
Luckily, until then and even after, your favorite TRU No Limit Soldier and Number One Original Hot Girl (AKA H.G.) will still be doing it for the 90s and 2000s.
good stuff..I also checked out your documentary on Oak Park.great job.You should do one about Woodland!