Southern rap duo Dirty signed with Universal Records in late 2000 in the wake of the South's late-'90s emergence as a major force in the rap game, becoming the first major rap act to arise from Alabama. Originating from Montgomery, group members Big Pimp and Mr. G' Stacka fused quick-firing styles in the tradition of Southern pioneers OutKast with a unique Alabama-style pimp-meets-gangsta disposition and some refreshingly inventive production. With an elegant delivery, they stood above their legions of Dirty South peers, experiencing remarkable popularity in their hometown thanks to their The Pimp & da Gangsta album, which became a regional smash hit when originally released independently by Nfinity Music. Though preceded by their 1999 release, Countryversatile, it was this second album that inspired the hype that led to their signing with Universal. In February 2001, The Pimp & da Gangsta saw national release in a more polished state with new tracks. The upbeat single "That's Dirty" announced the arrival of 2003's Keep It Pimp and Gangsta, the last album the duo would record for Universal. Love Us or Hate Us was rushed out by the end of the year. Released on Rap-a-Lot, the album included some sharp criticism aimed at Universal and other rappers who were signed to the label. The group formed their own label, Black Klown Records, and helped build the career of their little cousin Lil' Burn One before returning in 2005 with Hood Stories. ~ Jason Birchmeier

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