One of the pioneers of Southern rap, 8Ball and MJG, emerged from Memphis, Tennessee in the early '90s and, aligned with the Houston, Texas-based independent label Suave Records, quickly garnering a tremendous regional following while proving highly influential to a generation of aspiring, independent-minded rap artists and entrepreneurs. The pioneering duo enjoyed increasing recognition as the years passed, releasing a couple albums, namely Comin' Out Hard (1994) and In Our Lifetime, Vol. 1 (1999), which would become Southern rap milestones, along with classic singles like "Space Age Pimpin'." 8Ball and MJG eventually left Suave for a major label, JCOR/Interscope, in 2000, and then were signed by Diddy to Bad Boy Records, resulting in their most commercially successful album to date, Living Legends (2004). In addition, 8Ball and MJG recorded individually, the former by far the more prolific of the two. Despite never crossing over into the mainstream -- none of their singles ever broke into the Billboard Hot 100; for example, not even once they signed to Bad Boy -- and despite occasionally infrequent output, 8Ball and MJG persevered over the decades. There were no acrimonious incidents, no run-ins with the law, no "retirements," no hangups whatsoever -- if anything, 8Ball and MJG were respectably reliable over the course of their career, always comin' out hard and always representing the South.