80)T.I. – Dope Boyz

Song: Dope Boyz

Album: I’m Serious

Year: 2001

While not nearly the first to mention the drug game from the South, T.I. popularized the term trap within Hip-Hop’s larger culture as drug dealing is a subculture all of its own. The etymology of the term trap (slang for the territory where these harsh transactions take place) stems from young men braving all odds to survive, despite knowledge that more often than not the trade results in death or the penitentiary. “Dope Boyz” took the street hustling occupation from being a part of the hood’s seedy underbelly to a becoming a thing of pride, this was their anthem as T.I. has long claimed to have ties to that lifestyle.

This was a highlight of his debut LP I’m Serious, an album that showed Southern rappers could make a complete album full of personality (there are introspective songs, car songs, party songs, battle rapping songs, humorous songs, girl songs and even a song about dying and fighting his way out of hell after meeting the devil on this album). Some would even argue that this song (and his sophomore LP Trap Muzik) is responsible for giving lanes to the careers of other Southern rappers that blew up in its wake, the likes of which include Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and others who have built names rapping about blow over the past decade.

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