Born out of Montgomery, Alabama, a city best known as the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement, Big Pimp and Mr. G Stacka – The Gangsta, collectively known as “Dirty,” speak the universal language of hip hop with a down-home, southern accent.
First cousins Daniel “Big Pimp” Thomas, 25, and Tavares “Mr. “G” – The Gangsta” Webster, 20 started rapping on a whim when they were grade schoolers. “We been rappin’ since the third grade,” says The Pimp. “We got footage of us doing a show for [local radio personality] Roscoe ‘Killer Diller’ Miller years ago. We rapped for him at a store called Big “B” Drugstore. We went over there to get some candy and he was doing a live remote. The remote didn’t have anything to do with rap but we said, ‘We can rap.’ And he said, ‘Rap something then’.” Miller was so impressed with their performance, he invited them to make an appearance on his weekly television show — footage that he would proudly air again 12 years later, after the duo released their first album for Universal Records, The Pimp and Da Gangsta.
Big Pimp and Mr. G were already local celebrities before the Universal release of The Pimp and Da Gangsta. Dirty had previously released an independent album on Nfinity music in the summer of 1999 entitled CountryVersatile. They set it off with their hit local single “Rollin Vogues” and sold nearly 3000 albums independently in less than a month. If their national debut, which featured “Rollin’ Vogues” and “Hit Da Floe,” introduced the world to the real flavor of Dirty south music,’ its follow-up “Keep It Pimp & Gangsta,” will have the world ‘talking country’ in no time. Says The Pimp; “It’s letting you know who we is and where we come from. It’s like people from New York, the north or the west, they gon’ represent how they was raised ’til they die. We want everybody to know that if you sayin’ we country, we gon’ give you country and we gon’ make you talk country ’cause it’s gon’ sound so gooood to you. We got people in New York sayin’ ‘here we is boy.’ They thought they would never say that so we bringing it like that..We know who we is, we know where we come from, we know what we about.”
“Keep It Pimp & Gangsta” displays the Dirty boys at their Dirty best – telling stories, painting pictures and spitting truths so real, so riveting they’ll make listeners want to hop the next Greyhound headed south, just to get a whiff of what life is like below the Mason Dixon line. “We really took our time with this album,” says Big Pimp. “We got our own studio now so we basically buried ourselves inside for days at a time, taking our time to come up with the coldest raps we could. We didn’t have the pressure about being on somebody else’s time or dime and going over any studio budgets cause we were at home in our studio.” Says Da Gangsta, “This album will pretty much tell you how we live on a everyday basis. What I mean by that is most of the stuff that we talk about in our songs we’ve seen or been through. What you hear Pimp saying is pretty much what he do or how he lives; what you hear me say is pretty much what I do and how I live and we just collab together like that.”
The album’s supercharged first single, “That’s Dirty,” re-introduces The Pimp and Da Gangsta as they bounce through ‘the Gump’ – as Montgomery is affectionately called — in Cadillacs and Chevy’s kicking verses at breakneck speed. Riding shotgun are Mr. Blue, Lil Burn and Cash Money’s Mannie Fresh.
And the ride continues with “Ghetto Ride,” the most autobiographical song on the album. “It’s basically talking about why we living like this,” says The Pimp. “Why my mama had to get evicted from her apartment, why we had to struggle coming up. We not really questioning God but we trying to tell Him, ‘Do You really see the ‘hood? If You don’t see it come with me and let me ride you through it.’ And I’m asking the Lord to ‘Let me take You on a ghetto ride and maybe You’ll see how we came up, you’ll feel the ‘hood and do more for the ‘hood’.”
“Lose Control (Candy Man Pt. 2),” pairs the duo with Atlanta R&B group Silk. The song matches the singers’ sexy, soulful vocals with Dirty’s nasty boy rhymes.
Label-mate and fellow Dirty South rapper Pastor Troy joins the group on “C’mon”, a confrontational, ‘knock-the-chip-off-my-shoulder’ battle cry. Explains, Da Gangsta, “‘C’mon’ is pretty much about all the people who had any negative thing to say about Dirty or anybody who’s trying to do their thing. Why you hatin’ behind closed doors? Why don’t you come to my face? Come on, bring the noise if you ready for war.”
“Ackamonkey” (read ‘act a monkey’) is a get-crunk club joint that pays homage to southern towns like Montgomery, aka Monkey Town. The Pimp explains, “‘Ackamonkey’ is on the level of how we act down here. Monkey is a word for act a fool, or crazy. That’s what that’s saying. That’s like a club song, a real club anthem. Once they hear it, they gon’act a monkey on it. We callin’ out a lotta places that’s from the country, like we callin’ Georgia, Florida — all the places that’s real south.”
Keep It Pimp & Gangsta features appearances by several members of Montgomery’s thriving music scene and, with the exception of Silk and Pastor Troy, there are no other big name cameos. That’s not what Dirty is all about. “We worked with Silk and Pastor Troy because of the vibe that we got from their music,” says Da Gangsta. “We listened to Troy when he was underground. And then Silk we been listening to them when we was coming up. They had a couple of songs that we liked. ‘Lose Control’ was a song we wanted to re-do so we pretty much felt them on their music. There’s a lotta other artists out there we wouldn’t mind working with but right now we trying to do this thing Dirty way. If you put too many cameos on there it’s more like a compilation than a Dirty album so we try to put ourselves out there first and maybe later on they’ll call us to do cameos.”
While many rap acts have come from the south, Dirty is the first to come from Alabama and they take their place in history quite seriously. “I feel like we wanna represent the Dirty south,” says Da Pimp. “There’s a lotta rumors going around about how people live in Alabama and what we do, how country we is. Everybody hatin’ on ‘Bama but they don’t know about ‘Bama and I can bet you nine times outta ten they got a relative that stays down here in ‘Bama or they’re from ‘Bama so we need to let them know it ain’t like that, we ain’t ’bout that.”
One listen to Keep It Pimp & Gangsta and listeners will know that the south is definitely on the rise again but they’ll also realize that in the real world — the world that rappers rap about — what you say is more important than how you say it and who you are is far more significant than where you’re from.
They’ll realize that, when you really think about it, there’s not that much difference in the ghettos of the north, south, east and west. And they’ll learn that even though there are lots of stories and lots of rappers born each day in the Montgomery, Alabamas of the world, there is only one Dirty.