Mia X is a rapper's rapper and one of the South's most venerated rhymers.
She was a prominent fixture of No Limit Records' historic run; but anyone who had ears knew that she was a standout talent -- even on a label with stars like Master P, Snoop Dogg and Mystikal.
Her distinctively girly voice echoed Roxanne Shanté's similarly sweet-sounding timbre; but like Shanté, Mamma Mia would lyrically rip you apart with an aggression and wit that was undeniable. Like Gangsta Boo and Trina, Mia was part of a late 1990s wave of women in southern rap who repped for the Dirty while also challenging the misogyny and chauvinism rampant in the strip club anthems and hood bangers being offered by their contemporaries.
Mia is nice with hers. So we picked some of our favorites from the Queen of NOLA rap.
"Freak Hoes" TRU feat. Mia X (Tru 2 Da Game, 1997)
This strip club classic was such a mainstay in booty bars that Future interpolated it for his own hit almost 15 years later. P and Silkk come with the predictably disrespectful verses one would except from a "skrippuh" song -- and then Mia closes the song by putting all the men in their place as only she can. CLASSIC VERSE"All you niggas talkin bout 'bounce that ass' This ain't a free show We want that motherfuckin' cash, hoFuck your weed, don't want no drank Don't even thank that you can fuck meYou ain't got enough to even touch me I seen you stuntin' in a Benz But do them broads know its for your motherfuckin' friends?Wanna be baller, nigga you's a hoHow you claimin' playa still gettin fronted dope Callin' us freaks, but you the freaky one Tongue lickin' on my pearl like a stick to a snare drumUntil I cum all in ya fuckin' face Floss ya teeth with my pussy hairs, and than I'm outta there I cares a fuck 'bout how you feel But I will slip a mickey in yo' drankGetcha-getcha out your dope and your bank Leave ya stank, cuz I ain't the ho To shake my ass in the club for you negroes I can't stand a motherfucka talkin shit When he knows he gets spung when the pussy lips drip That lil dick -- yeah, you call me bitch But I wonder why you still try to sweat me, trick. Impress me, trick Now ain't that a trip -- you niggas try to flip the script But still ain't sayin shit You niggas call your selves 'pimps' And try to spit the game, but it's too lame For a TRU bitch"
"Don't Start No Shit" feat. Master P, C-Murder (Mama Drama, 1999)
The end of the 1990s saw the streets go super glossy, and No Limit was no exception. Despite the South's most popular label undergoing a bit of awkward jigginess, The Tank could still be counted on to deliver some aggression. And Mia let everybody know she's still no joke -- even with a few platinum plaques under her belt.
CLASSIC VERSE"Mama Mia, southern girl; fuck 'Old Susanna' I totes two glocks and rock a camouflage bandannaI keeps them on cock when I'm riding through the hoodCause soldier haters live for plottin' something no goodI wish you would try to get your rap an attested MamaI gots the kind of cash to make sure they never find yaI'm trying to do the right and live my life in peaceHelp my soldiers make it better with the Colonel Master PBut we can still get rowdy rowdy as fuckAnd we got millions of niggas riding with usPut em up for tru playas click tight for lifeAnd make shots at fake haters who ain't playin it right"
"The Party Don't Stop" feat. Master P, Foxy Brown (Unladylike, 1997)
In the mid-1990s, Hip-Hop was bombarded with East Coast vs. West Coast headlines. But after the highly-publicized deaths of 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G., the industry went out of its way to bury the idea of regional hostility. The results of all the cross-regional collaborations were decidedly mixed, but Mia managed to deliver a solid track with Brooklynite Foxy Brown guesting.
CLASSIC VERSE"I got the ghetto grooves Guaranteed to make your shoes moveThrough the dance floorWhat you came for?Actin' like ain't know That I flows, everything over ?knocks? With the peep by the pound And the ice cream shop They finally drop the first lady off that No Limit tape And I'ma ???? flows baby, think I ain't?You can't see even if you had a bird's eye view Or bifocals, these mind vocals just goes On and on, you know you can't resist So let your head knock back and look forward to this, Miss Biggest Momma with the ?rhyme-a? and Prada Fly known rigotta and my ice just gotta Light up the room like Vegas Been by my papa, ever since my flight that China white Peelin' wit' the steel, recognize the real Better rimes and bring skills I will Keep it locked, word to my moms dreadlocks Some nights I just wanna set the party on top Wit' P and the Ill Na Na, unified Hip-Hop Mo' chedda as long as the party don't stop"
"Thugs Like Me" (Mama Drama, 1999)
Mia unapologetically reps for thug love; and makes it clear she knows how to get the kind of man she wants; with this underrated track from her third album. While boasting about her wifey skills may not go over as well in 2020, it's worth noting that this is a woman who knows what she wants. And she "knows when to cuss they fuckin' asses out."
Also worth noting: she worked that Waitresses "I Know What Boys Like" interpolation better than a certain dude named Jay.
CLASSIC VERSE"I represent for real bitchesWith ill tricks and real niggasFrom trill cliques with big dicks and long figuresThe bigger bitch in any situa-tionTake on ya crew and straight erase 'emIt's Mama, the southern belle with the soldier twistBecause I totes two guns I'll split ya shit like thisSo don't be fooled by the full tits and luscious lipsVoluptuous miss, a lovable miss, a fuckable missAt night? Nigga, love being all womanLooking good, smelling good, wet for that woodI also cooks good -- have it your way, DaddyAny way, from soul to gourmet, DaddyI gladly pleases my man, keeps him satisfiedWith the loving I'm giving, in various positionsSittin, lyin', ridin', standin,' kneelin,'Bendin' over, tooDaddy, I got you..."
"Make Em Say Ugh" Master P feat. Fiend, Mystikal, Silkk the Shocker, Mia X (Ghetto D, 1997)
In summer 1997, No Limit Records was primed to explode. The label had become the South's most buzzed-about force over the previous two years, but with this atom bomb of a single Master P, Mystikal, Fiend, Silkk the Shocker and Mia X made sure the world understood: our time is now. And Mia went nuts.
CLASSIC VERSE"We capitalize and monopolize on everything we see keep pistols drawed And cocked, we got the industry locked, we can't be stopped, too hot Check the spots that we got, on BillboardThis Tank can set up roadblocks, we fadin all you hoesWant some mo? Then let's go, stretch you out like elasticZip that ass up in plastic, have ya folks pickin casketsWe drastic, our tactics is homegrown in the ghettoSo feel the wrath of this sista, it's like you fightin' 10 niggasForget the baby boys, it's the biggest mamma MiaThe Unlady Like diva, lyrical man eater, believe herOr see her, and get that ass embarrassedIf you're a decision maker, guaranteed you'll get carried awaySo stay in yo' place, when ya hear mamma speakin'Cannon spray, clear the way, when ya see The Tank creepin'"
"Yo Boyz" (Good Girl Gone Bad, 1995)
As much as the hood loves a "ride or die" chick, the reality is these women are usually under-appreciated as they put their freedom and their lives on the line for the men they love. Mia repped for the woman who has been through it all with her dude, only to watch as his boys take him for granted. Who really has your back? It ain't always "yo boyz."
CLASSIC VERSE"Fifteen hundred dollars in jailhouse calls. l acceptedMy cable bill was due you needed tennis shoes, so i neglected myselfI called that sucka who you killed a nigga for (that playa hater)He said his hands were tied, I cried 'oh, but for sure'He drives a '95 Landcruiser, ain't got the balls to hurt a flyBut got balls big enough to use yaI proved the so many times them sellouts wasn't downBut since yo' ass been home that's all the fuck you hang aroundThem clowns usedta tell you they stayin' off them streetsBut they be at the club six outta seven day week Bustin' shy dea(?) pushing phat rides, sippin' on daiquirisWhile you was in a cage, see?Now how I'm posedta feel?You wonder why I boot em upI boot em up cuz, nigga, I got reasonThey only come when its convenient and at your expenseSo I resent, each of 'emCuz yo boys didn't send you a dime, didn't drop you one lineNow you know why they can't look you in the eyeWhile I struggle paying bills and taking care of yo' kidsSending you a lil something, plus handling biz?So fuck yo' boys"
"Much Love" (I'm Bout It - Orig. Motion Picture Sdtk, 1996)
Your hood love anthem wasn't really a hood love anthem if it wasn't a gangsta-fied take on an 80s R&B ballad (in this case Janet Jackson's "Funny How Time Flies.") Mia X had a knack for love songs, and she goes tender on this ode to hustlers who know how to treat a woman right and the women who hold those hustlers down.
CLASSIC VERSE"Now here we arePlush cribs and carsYou hold the title of the newest ghetto starYou gotta watch your back, cuz them niggas out to jackAnd you gotta guard my tracks, cuz them niggas kidnapYou even made me pack a baby nine in my purseTook me to the shooting range, told me poppa pain'll hurtMake they families feel the worstCuz losing me is your biggest fearYou said you wasn't even tryna shed those tearsSo now when I hearThat you're having your flings, I just laughBecause them broads'll never wear my rings, have my thingsAnd, most of all, have your heartWe've got the strongest ghetto love that'll never partSo, when you fell, I stood by your sideTook the stand and liedNever let 'em break me, though they triedCuz through it all, I'll be by you, thugReal for you, thugEven kill for you, thugMuch love"
"You Don't Wanna Go To War" feat. Master P, C-Murder, Silkk The Shocker (Unladylike, 1997)
No Limit broke through huge in 1997, and after the monster success of Master P's Ghetto D announced the label to the mainstream, the heat was on to sustain momentum. So Mia X opened her second album with this heat rock; aggressively raging at all comers. I thought I toldja?
CLASSIC VERSE"Below the sea level (New Orleans) chills the illest sistaQuick to get ya tangled in my web of gangsta pictures Descriptive vocals, who's the black widow I flow to Red Sea, flooded the rap in the streets, started the week And got my props in and out of bloody cheddar cheese Betta keep yo negativity about No Limit on the under My verbal warfare will shake that ass like thunder I thunder, man, they wanna be bad hoes, so ask yo-self Can you handle any physical encounters with moi?Huh? My thug entourage lives for rollin them bluntsTotin' them guns, tearin' shit up, what?There is no street bitch, rollin with niggasFlowin' with niggas, holdin' they own with niggasLike Mama Mia, and her kid sistaLady Smith and Wesson, 9 milli-heata splittaForever with the, TRU soldiers, till I dieWe gon' ride, smoke weed, and drop lyrical keys"
"No Limit Soldiers" TRU feat. Mia X (TRU 2 Da Game, 1997)
If the No Limit label has an unofficial theme song, this is it. The rat-a-tat production from Beats By the Pound's KLC, the way P lets the opening go on for almost a full minute, and the fire Mamma Mia unleashes during her epic verse. It's her scorched-earth verse that closes this 7 minute Dirty South opus.
CLASSIC VERSE "Hard times got my mind on cock, and massive thoughts be the plotTop priorities the family dope and royaltyMy loyalty, fiends with a gang of true niggasNo colors, just a bunch of ignorant motherfuckersTrust my pen is an infraredHollow-tips be my lyrics dipped in venom when I send emThey split ya head (pssssh) wide openMy rhymes on fire blood, but you can't smoke ne'er a oneDon't try to come, don't even touch the micMy shit so tight, it's more correct than right, when I reciteAbsolutely, you booty-ass hoes and niggasPerpetratin' behind water gun triggasHurry up and figure out thatStudio Gottis catch hotties to the mouth Who got that clout, don't act surprised cause it's that bitch from the South Mia X hoes, you don't want no problems Get so much respect, even yo' niggas call me 'Momma'The biggest one To come stompin' out the N.O., the crescent Testin', chin-checkin', wreckin' when I'm flexin'On your WHOLE crew Who wants to go to war with this lyrical arsonist Ya talkin' shit, I'll having ya runnin for the thesaurus, cause I'm walkin' wit The big dogs without hesitationUnladylike as ever Full of verbal annihilation Escaping, po-po's chasin,' want ta catch me but they cain't I made em think, and now they too scared to run up on the tank No Limit, you can start it, but we niggas is the hardest To deal wit, keeps the steel, and the plastics to peel wit In reach, so we can touch yo' ass And leave a 'Bout it' scarf on ya faceWe soldiers"
"I'm Bout It, Bout It (Pt. II)" Master P feat. Mia X (Ice Cream Man, 1996)
A call to arms for No Limit and for NOLA rap, for general. The way that squealing synth line echoes the rubbery bass. P's endless list of shout-outs in the middle. There's a lot to love here; but the cherry on top is Mamma Mia's surging verse, capped off with her ghostly freestyled ad-libs behind her in-your-face rhymes. Is this No Limit's best track? Debatable. But Mia X's classic verse? Not up for debate. It's like two verses for the price of one. Bounce! Bounce! Bounce, fool!CLASSIC VERSE"Niggas know that I'm bout it already, I can prove it So when they hear my voice, they all know I come to do shitMia X representin', puttin' it down for the south Keep a shank in my sock and bullet in my mouth So don't doubt the angel like voice, come across Get your cucumber sliced and you messy ho tossed, boss bitch I keep em sick from the way I kick my shit And KLC got em scared cause he's back whisperin' it, anotha hit No Limit niggas in the house, plus one niggette With that pimpstress clout, now what that talk be 'bout? Beaucoup hustlas, and thugstas, murderers, and dope fiends Militate from drama scenesInfrared beams aimin' at your forehead Ain't no fuckin' country boys Soldiers bringin' noise, leave you layin' in redPuddles from a fuckin' crisscross, Third WardNow who will be the next to get they fuckin' shoes took offI really can't call it, cause once the gumbo be grievenA nigga start ballin'Strike up the second line bandAnd put your black gear on cause we gonna stay bout itUnderstood?"
* HEADER CREDIT: Mia X performs onstage in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)