credit: Nick Rios
A member of the loosely organized Houston-based rap collective known as the Screwed Up Click, Lil' Keke quickly proved himself one of the collective's strongest artists, debuting in 1997 with Don't Mess wit Texas, which sold 40,000 copies in Houston alone. It was re-released nationally as The Commission in 1998 with the hood anthem “Southside,” as its single. Keke would release nine independent solo albums and a handful of collaboration LPs (with Slim Thug, Big Hawk, and his crew Herschelwood Hardheadz) before signing with famed northside label Swishahouse in 2005. His long-awaited Swishahouse debut, Loved by Few Hated by Many, appeared in 2008 and featured Birdman, Paul Wall, and Slim Thug as guests. Wall returned for 2012's Heart of a Hustla, a street release issued by the Hustle Town label, and Swishahouse dropped 2014's official LP Money Don't Sleep with 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, and Devin the Dude on the guest list.