Dee-1's Five Favorite Underground Rappers From New Orleans

Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings

Lil Wayne might be the mainstream prince of the New Orleans hip-hop circuit, having made his way from child rap star in the Hot Boys to solo skateboarding pop figure, but the city's rap realm runs deeper and more varied than Young Money's tatted-up figurehead. Dee-1 is part of that hometown movement; his new mixtape, The Focus Tape is hosted by Cash Money icon Mannie Fresh and showcases the rapper spitting fierce while writing with a social conscience. So Hive asked Dee-1 to select five of his city's grassroots heroes who also deserve a brighter spotlight.

1. Partners N Crime

I had to put them on there because to me, Partners N Crime are legends in New Orleans. They should have blow up much larger than they have. I reference their music in my music -- for the song I got with Mannie Fresh and Juvenile, "The Man In My City," I invoke one of their lines from "Up Early N the Morning." Everyone in New Orleans knows Partners N Crime. "So Attracted," is their latest hit.

2. Nutt Da Kidd

Nutt Da Kidd is with 50 Cent now. He used to be with [Lil Wayne's] Young Money. He's been around, but he's a wildcard. He's a real street rapper, but I got respect for him.

3. Allie Baby

Allie is dope. She's Southern, like a Southern go-getter. Allie goes hard, she's lyrical, but she's real broad with it. She has a sexy street vibe to her. Her voice is real sex appeal. Straight up, when they see her, a lot of dudes' eyes get big!

4. 3D Na'Tee

She's the same as Allie with the sexy street vibe. She's lyrical, but sexy, but a bit more street. She uses street words. She was going to be doing things with Timbaland at one point too.

5. Truth Universal

I would say Truth Universal is one of the pioneers of conscious rap in New Orleans. The reason why I put him on the list. He's stuck to his guns all these years and been consistent with the message he puts in his music, and with speaking on issues that are relevant in our community. He has this event in New Orleans that's a staple in the hip-hop scene called Grass Roots. He's been doing that for years. I came up on that circuit, performing at Grass Roots. When I opened up for Truth Universal, at my first show in New Orleans, that was the highlight of my career.

Download Dee-1's The Focus Tape below: