Mista Madd

A fixture in Houston's urban and rap establishment, Mista Madd is best known for hosting one of the city's top morning shows on KBXX 97.9 The Box as radio persona the "Madd Hatta." But on the business end, he was responsible for helping launch the careers of then-underground rappers Paul Wall and Chamillionaire on his Paid in Full Entertainment label. From the mid- to late '90s, before the morning show gig, he ran the Straight from the Streetz radio show (which also aired on local TV) alongside Southern rap producer Simon "Crazy C" Cullins, Jr. (Scarface, Do or Die, Eightball & MJG). Breaking many local acts, the show was an important medium for Houston hip-hop. Using the Straight from the Streetz title, Madd also released a series of Houston Hard Hitters compilations through his Paid in Full imprint. However, the Mista Madd alias was first introduced on the full-length album PH Factor in 1997. His major local hit, "Down South," featuring Slim Thug and Yungstar, came by way of his 2000 LP Can I Live? It was a few years after, in 2002, that Paid in Full acquired Paul Wall and Chamillionaire when they were together as the Color Changin' Click, but after becoming underground sensations, they broke up and moved on to the majors in 2004. Not long afterward, rumors began to swirl in Houston concerning the financial status of Paid in Full. Thus, Madd responded to the gossip, entitling his 2007 album Still Standing. Featured throughout the album was the production team Beatco, which is headed up by Crazy C, and his label's star singer, Shei Atkins. ~ Cyril Cordor

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