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nominees PATIENTLY WAITING: ALABAMA 334 M.O.B.B. (Montgomery, AL)

Representing the Montgomery area code to the fullest, 334 M.O.B.B. parlayed their intense mixtape grind into national opportunities.

Attitude (Birmingham, AL)

Formerly signed to Timbaland, this underrated lyricist has penned rhymes for Diddy and Bubba Sparxxx. Now living in Atlanta, he’s poised and ready.

Birmingham J (Birmingham, AL)

Birmingham’s official hood representative has dropped several indie albums over the years, catching the majors’ attention.

Rich Boy (Mobile, AL)

Multi-talented Mobile representative Rich Boy landed a deal at Interscope through Jim Crow rapper/producer Polow and has since been working on his debut album.

The Last Mr. Bigg (Mobile, AL)

Mobile’s O.G. has survived court cases, prison time, and a near-death experience. Now sporting a glass eye, he’s collaborating with Three 6 Mafia to expand his musical reach beyond the region.

Tyte Wurk (Enterprise, AL)

Coming from a small town in South Alabama, Tyte Wurk had to double up their grind to get noticed.


ven beyond their music being overlooked, Alabama has had to fight stereotypes and scrap for respect for years. A lot of times, the only time you hear them mentioned is when someone hurls an insult like, “You’re ‘Bama.” How flattering can that be? Well, this year, things took a turn in the right direction for the state that rests in the heart of the South. Headlines were made when word broke that Montgomery’s 334 M.O.B.B. got signed to Def Jam. But instead of letting that get to their heads, they continued to work as hard as they did before they got the deal and it worked out in their favor. Releasing mixtapes on top of mixtapes, this duo received plenty of exposure with hardly any help from their pioneering label. If you need more proof, just peep them on Myspace. “Patiently Waiting” is definitely appropriate when speaking on Birmingham’s Attitude. Poised to blow by way of a deal with Timbaland’s now defunct Beat Club, ‘Tude got a chance to travel the world and work with the likes of Missy and Diddy. Even though no record came from out of that deal, it was not a wasted experience. Birmingham J reps so hard that he puts his city on the map without even saying a word. But, when he does finally speak, people listen. And that includes everyone from local retail and radio to big time A&Rs. And with his city prepping to be the next area to blow in the South, J is sure to lead the charge. About three hours away, you can hear what Mobile has cooking too. Rapper/producer Rich Boy is slowly proving that casinos aren’t the city’s only attraction. His single “Get To Poppin” generated just enough buzz to make is Gangsta Grillz mixtape one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Still signed to Interscope, Rich is bound to get richer. Right around the corner, we also saw the resurgence of The Last Mr. Bigg. Already a legendary figure in his region, he got a lot of face time due to his cameo on Three 6 Mafia’s “Poppin’ My Collar.” Now, with people going back to peep his older music after his unfortunate shooting earlier this year, his new music is guaranteed to open some more doors. A drive east to Enterprise, Alabama will bring you to Tyte Wurk. Their smash “Mary Jane: Remix” had smokers singing their praises while their other song “What It Is” served as the opening song for ESPN’s Sunday Night Football this past season. With this crop of artist leading the charge Alabama just may turn “Bama” into a compliment. - Kale Swanson

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