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.
"All you niggas talkin bout 'bounce that ass'
This ain't a free show
We want that motherfuckin' cash, ho
Fuck your weed, don't want no drank
Don't even thank that you can fuck me
You 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 ho
How 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 drum
Until 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' drank
Getcha-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.
"Mama Mia, southern girl; fuck 'Old Susanna'
I totes two glocks and rock a camouflage bandanna
I keeps them on cock when I'm riding through the hood
Cause soldier haters live for plottin' something no good
I wish you would try to get your rap an attested Mama
I gots the kind of cash to make sure they never find ya
I'm trying to do the right and live my life in peace
Help my soldiers make it better with the Colonel Master P
But we can still get rowdy rowdy as fuck
And we got millions of niggas riding with us
Put em up for tru playas click tight for life
And 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.
"I got the ghetto grooves
Guaranteed to make your shoes move
Through the dance floor
What 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.
"I represent for real bitches
With ill tricks and real niggas
From trill cliques with big dicks and long figures
The bigger bitch in any situa-tion
Take on ya crew and straight erase 'em
It's Mama, the southern belle with the soldier twist
Because I totes two guns I'll split ya shit like this
So don't be fooled by the full tits and luscious lips
Voluptuous miss, a lovable miss, a fuckable miss
At night? Nigga, love being all woman
Looking good, smelling good, wet for that wood
I also cooks good -- have it your way, Daddy
Any way, from soul to gourmet, Daddy
I gladly pleases my man, keeps him satisfied
With the loving I'm giving, in various positions
Sittin, lyin', ridin', standin,' kneelin,'
Bendin' over, too
Daddy, 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.
"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 Billboard
This Tank can set up roadblocks, we fadin all you hoes
Want some mo? Then let's go, stretch you out like elastic
Zip that ass up in plastic, have ya folks pickin caskets
We drastic, our tactics is homegrown in the ghetto
So feel the wrath of this sista, it's like you fightin' 10 niggas
Forget the baby boys, it's the biggest mamma Mia
The Unlady Like diva, lyrical man eater, believe her
Or see her, and get that ass embarrassed
If you're a decision maker, guaranteed you'll get carried away
So 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."
"Fifteen hundred dollars in jailhouse calls. l accepted
My cable bill was due you needed tennis shoes, so i neglected myself
I 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 fly
But got balls big enough to use ya
I proved the so many times them sellouts wasn't down
But since yo' ass been home that's all the fuck you hang around
Them clowns usedta tell you they stayin' off them streets
But they be at the club six outta seven day week
Bustin' shy dea(?) pushing phat rides, sippin' on daiquiris
While you was in a cage, see?
Now how I'm posedta feel?
You wonder why I boot em up
I boot em up cuz, nigga, I got reason
They only come when its convenient and at your expense
So I resent, each of 'em
Cuz yo boys didn't send you a dime, didn't drop you one line
Now you know why they can't look you in the eye
While I struggle paying bills and taking care of yo' kids
Sending 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.
"Now here we are
Plush cribs and cars
You hold the title of the newest ghetto star
You gotta watch your back, cuz them niggas out to jack
And you gotta guard my tracks, cuz them niggas kidnap
You even made me pack a baby nine in my purse
Took me to the shooting range, told me poppa pain'll hurt
Make they families feel the worst
Cuz losing me is your biggest fear
You said you wasn't even tryna shed those tears
So now when I hear
That you're having your flings, I just laugh
Because them broads'll never wear my rings, have my things
And, most of all, have your heart
We've got the strongest ghetto love that'll never part
So, when you fell, I stood by your side
Took the stand and lied
Never let 'em break me, though they tried
Cuz through it all, I'll be by you, thug
Real for you, thug
Even kill for you, thug
"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?
"Below the sea level (New Orleans) chills the illest sista
Quick 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 blunts
Totin' them guns, tearin' shit up, what?
There is no street bitch, rollin with niggas
Flowin' with niggas, holdin' they own with niggas
Like Mama Mia, and her kid sista
Lady Smith and Wesson, 9 milli-heata splitta
Forever with the, TRU soldiers, till I die
We 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.
"Hard times got my mind on cock, and massive thoughts be the plot
Top priorities the family dope and royalty
My loyalty, fiends with a gang of true niggas
No colors, just a bunch of ignorant motherfuckers
Trust my pen is an infrared
Hollow-tips be my lyrics dipped in venom when I send em
They split ya head (pssssh) wide open
My rhymes on fire blood, but you can't smoke ne'er a one
Don't try to come, don't even touch the mic
My shit so tight, it's more correct than right, when I recite
Absolutely, you booty-ass hoes and niggas
Perpetratin' behind water gun triggas
Hurry up and figure out that
Studio 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 hesitation
Unladylike 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 face
"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!
"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 shit
Mia 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 scenes
Infrared beams aimin' at your forehead
Ain't no fuckin' country boys
Soldiers bringin' noise, leave you layin' in red
Puddles from a fuckin' crisscross, Third Ward
Now who will be the next to get they fuckin' shoes took off
I really can't call it, cause once the gumbo be grieven
A nigga start ballin'
Strike up the second line band
And put your black gear on cause we gonna stay bout it
* HEADER CREDIT: Mia X performs onstage in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)