Make ‘Em Say Unhh!!!
featuring Master P, Fiend, Silk the Shocker, Mia X, and Mystikal
featuring Cool Breeze, Big Boi, and Big Gipp
This week, Battle of the Posse Cuts heads back to the Dirty South and in doing so, it’s only right that we pay respect to Cool Breeze, the man who coined the term. I agree with those who believe he is the Dungeon Family’s underrated MC. Choosing between Dirty South or Watch for the Hook was a challenge; but I am sure that Dirty South not only represents Cool Breeze’s influence but also just how seriously the Dungeon Family had the game on lock.
But if the Dungeon Family was one of the first networks of Southern rappers to really achieve national significance, then No Limit Records certainly solidified the South’s permanent imprint on Hip Hop. If you thought they were just Pen & Pixel Graphics best customers, you … man, I don’t know what to tell you besides you missed something special.
These battles are subjective and follow three rules. The competing songs:
- must feature at least three different MCs (to balance today’s battle, Silk the Shocker will sit this one out);
- cannot be from the same crew; and
- will be from a similar region.
Each MC in the battle is scored with the following relay-race inspired point system:
0 – Maybe y’all should have just sang the hook instead of this verse;
1 – Okay, we hear you;
2 – Whoa, that was nice!; and
3 – DAAANNNNGGG, I’ll be repeating those bars all day!
Lead-off Leg: Master P vs. Cool Breeze
Nope, P’s opening bars do not belong in the pantheon of Hip Hop’s best opening lyrics. But maannnn, the energy? Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!! preceded the popularity of Lil’ Jon’s Crunk movement; yet, Beats By The Pound’s production could easily feel as crunk as the crunkest joint your ever heard. Master P leads the charge with:
N***a, I’m the colonel of the mothef***in’ tank
Y’all after big thangs, we after big bank
Third Ward hustlas, soldiers in combat
Convicts and dealers and killers with TRU tats
Never gave a f**k bout no hoes on our riches
And n****as come short, I’m diggin ditches
M.P. pullin stripes, commander-in-chief
And fools run up wrong,
N***a I’m knockin out some teeth
If you were going to roll-up on P or anyone riding the No Limit tank, then the loss of your fronts was going to be the result. Speaking of rolling-up, Dirty South opens with the law rolling-up which sets a more somber tone than the hilarious introduction by Rappin’ 4-Tay on Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!!. But yo, when that countdown starts – “1 to da 2 da 3 da 4” … get ready because it’s about to get hella real and who better to bring the real than Cool Breeze:
Now if dirty Bill Clinton fronted me some weight
Told me to keep two, bring him back eight
And I only brought him five and stuck his a** for three
Do you think that Clampett will sick his goons on me?
Folks that argue about how much better Hip Hop used to be often bring up the notion that the music taught listeners something or made them think. While we know not all old school tracks made people think, with these bars Cool Breeze achieves that feat. He presents the hypocrisy and exploitation within the drug game. A perspective like that is way more insightful than braggadocio about spoils of hustlin’ or how to mindlessly kill people that look like you. Master P definitely jumps the thing off but Cool Breeze throws an unexpected hook.
Master P -1 Cool Breeze – 2
Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!! – 1 Dirty South – 2
Second Leg: Fiend vs. Big Boi
If Cool Breeze is the unheralded member of the Dungeon Family then Fiend is the unheralded No Limit Soldier. As I’ve come to learn, being the laidback spirit among a collection of animated voices lends itself to being overlooked. Those in the know or that have an ear or eye for such things, know better than overlooking the low-key dude. Fiend’s flow and bars won’t allow him to be overlooked:
Fiend exercisin his right of exorcism,
Bustin’ out the Expedition
Bullets choppin haters business to about the size of prisms our mission
They heard we scary, No Limit mercenary
No tellin how bad it get, because the worst’ll vary
I heard you make em worry, that this for the loot
They intimidated by the rounds that the tank shoot
When taking a reflective view of the entire OutKast catalogue, it is obvious that Big Boi improved as an MC with each album. On this track, we still hear Southernplayalistic Big Boi, whose aspirational pimp bars do not match Fiend’s intricacy:
Right, well if pimpin’ be a sport I be bein’ the wide receiver
That n***a B-I-G will make ya’ll n***as believers
Sippin’ on Cuervo Gold off in the club drunk as f**k
Callin’ them hoes “b****es” and smokin’ my weed up
Fiend – 2 Big Boi – 1
Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!! – 3 Dirty South – 3
Third Leg: Mia X vs. Cool Breeze
Any fool who discredited female MCs must have never heard “the unladylike diva, lyrical man eater” Mia X. She brings it, every time, just like when she spits:
We capitalize and monopolize on everything we see keep pistols drawed
And cocked, we got the industry locked, we can’t be stopped, too hot
Check the spots that we got, on Billboard
This Tank can set up roadblocks, we fadin all you hoes
Want some mo? Then let’s go, stretch you out like elastic
Zip that a** up in plastic, have ya folks pickin caskets
We drastic, our tactics is homegrown in the ghetto
So feel the wrath of this sista, it’s like you fightin 10 n****s
Forget the baby boys, it’s the biggest mamma Mia.
Yessir! Mia X could bring the heat! But you know who else brings it? Cool Breeze. Big shout out to blogger Christina Lee – because from her piece, I learned that Dirty South is originally Cool Breeze’s song. Maybe that’s why he has two verses on the track. He doesn’t disappoint:
See never did I think when I got grown
That some pee wee sacks had been done took this town
See, life’s a b****h, then you figure out
Why you really got dropped in the Dirty South
See in the 3rd grade this is what you told
You was bought, you was sold
Now they sayin’ Juice left some heads cracked
I betcha Jed Clampett want his money back
See East Point Atlanta threw this road block
Talkin ’bout all this blow traffic got to stop
So the big time players off John Freeman Way
Had to find themselves another back street to take
We didn’t understand, “Naw n***a, that money ain’t yours”
Think about some of the Hip Hop tracks you find the most memorable. I bet a number of them include MCs who told a story. The best ones have stories that listeners can “see.” In Cool Breeze’s case, he provides an almost singalong flow with seemingly simple lines packed with layers of meaning and local slang. Here’s what separates him from Mia X in this contest: I just enjoyed Mia’s fire but as Dirty South ending beats fades, I have consistently found myself re-rapping Breeze’s bars. This one is close.
Mia X – 2 Cool Breeze – 2.5
Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!! – 5 Dirty South – 5.5
Anchor Leg: Mystikal vs. Big Gipp
Talk about a contrast in styles – Mystikal’s animated Southern preacher inflections vs. Big Gipp’s effortless cool. But when we consider No Limit and factor the combination of a super hype song with an ultra energetic MC? Well, damn.
I’m that n***a that rappers look up to when they won’t know how to do it
Used to be the little bitty skinny motherf****r with the braids in his hair
Used to live on Tchoupitoulas
I done paid my dues, but still played the blues
N***a play me like you was scared to lose
I’m still a fool, you ain’t heard the news
I’m with them No Limit n***a, makin’ major moves
I won’t stop now, b***h, I can’t stop
You can’t stop me, so b***h don’t try we
We TRU soldiers, we don’t die
We keep rollin, na-nah-nah-nah-nah.
Whoa. Whew. I’m not sure if I heard Gipp ever spit like that; which he shouldn’t because he has his own style. Almost like a wise OG, Gipp’s seen-it-all-before persona is apparent when he goes:
Now that Cobras got the boys on Delowe on they back
Gipp hollered at Miss Ann, she said they didn’t get trapped
Behind the black, behind green, behind the red tint
Dealers breaking off that blow up for those woodchips
A lot of faces ain’t around, a lot of folks got shot
Scatta Mack droppin’ G’s while that Cristal pop
Been on the grind with Cool Breeze, droppin’ pounds with B
Eric Neal is the coolest from my century.
In this contest, that’s not enough to top Mystikal.
Mystikal – 2 Big Gipp – 1
Make ‘Em Say Unhhh!!! – 7 Dirty South – 6.5
In hindsight, Make ‘Em Say was the bigger hit while the Dirty South is more of a classic. Both made huge impacts when they were released, but head to head? There’s no stopping the No Limit Tank.