Tampa Bay Hip Hop Celebs

TBT - Tampa Bay Times cover 2009-02-20

In today’s TBT there was an interesting article about celebrities that have either grown up in or once called the Tampa Bay area home. Some of those celebrities come from the hip hop and urban music worlds, so I thought I would highlight the few mentions that pertain to the Tampa hip hop music scene. Check it out…

Excerpts from:

The TBT Encyclopedia of Fame


Over the years, thousands of stars have passed through Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater for tours, promotional appearances or just for fun. Some grew up here; others decided they liked it and wanted to stick around. Here’s a roster of celebrities who have called Tampa Bay home. Whether we should be proud to claim them or not … well, that’s for you to decide. — Jay Cridlin

  • J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League: Producers and multi-in­strumentalists Rook, Colione and Kenny “Barto” Bartolomei are based in Tampa, but their Atlanta ties opened doors with Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and Mary J. Blige. Check out Jeezy’s Don’t Get Caught and Mary J.’s No One Will Do to hear their handiwork.
  • Plies: The rising rapper, who splits his time be­tween Fort Myers and Tampa, broke big in 2007 with his chart-topping singles Shawty, featuring T-Pain, and Hypnotized, with Akon. One of his latest albums, Definition of Real, dropped the same day as Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III … and still managed to sell 215,000 copies in its first week.
  • Bubba Sparxxx: Tampa’s other famous Bubba is actually better known as a Georgia boy. But the chunky-style rap­per behind Ugly, Ms. New Booty and Deliverance moved to Tampa a few years ago and now runs a recording stu­dio, Twice on Sunday Studio, here in town.
  • Syesha Mercado: Syesha’s from Sarasota, but she gets the nod over Tampa-based American Idol finalists Jessica Sierra and Melissa McGhee for making Idol’s top 3 in 2008, right behind Davids Cook and Archuleta.
  • Tango: Patrick “Tango” Hunter of Tampa was just an aspiring rapper before he went on — and won — VH1’s hot-mess reality dating show I Love New York (a spinoff of Flavor of Love, which was a spi­noff of Strange Love, which was a spinoff of The Surreal Life).
  • 2 Pistols: The Tarpon Springs rapper had a bit of a hit with She Got It, a collaboration with T-Pain and Tay Dizm. He’s still working on turning his local notoriety into a bigger national profile.
  • Yo Majesty: Outrageous? Electric? Genre-busting? You name it, and The rave-inducing electro-hip-hop duo of Shunda K. and Jwl B, who call Tampa and Plant City home, are it. The group has earned raves in Spin maga­zine, on Stereogum.com and at South By Southwest. They’re Tampa Bay’s artsiest, raunchiest and most buzz­worthy party clique.