Nobody properly appreciates Lil' Flip. If asked, everyone reflexively points to 2005 as the year that Houston rap fully became actualized nationally. And really, that's because it's correct. That's the year that Slim Thug, Chamillionaire, Mike Jones and Paul Wall became everyday names on MTV and BET. But before they arrived — a handful of years before, in fact — Flip had become a marquee player outside of Beltway 8. Between 2001 and 2004, Flip sold more than 3,000,000 albums (Undaground Legend, U Gotta Feel Me), recorded with Beyonce, Game and St. Louis's Nelly and Chingy (who were hot shit back then), and very nearly singlehandedly legitimized the baby crack-rap genre ("The Way We Ball," "Game Over"). He is occasionally regarded as a local legend, but not nearly as often or frequently as he should be. Somehow, he's become a martyr, though no one seems to be able to identify what exactly he was sacrificed for. Maybe it's time to right that wrong?
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