The music was a reaction to the 1980s flow of hip hop culture from New York City and the Los Angeles area, and can be considered a third major American hip hop genre, after East Coast hip hop and West Coast hip hop. Many early Southern rap artists released their music independently or on mixtapes after encountering difficulty securing record-label contracts in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, many Southern artists had attained national success, and as the decade went on, both mainstream and underground varieties of Southern hip-hop became among the most popular and influential of the entire genre.
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